Can I apply for a High Potential Individual (HPI) Visa?

07 Sep 2023, 26 mins ago

The HPI visa is a 2- to 3-year visa which allows graduates of top overseas universities to come to the UK to work or start their own business. In this blog, we tell you more about what the HPI visa is, what the requirements are to apply and how long it may take to get this visa.

What is an HPI visa?

The UK government launched the HPI visa in May 2022 in a “race to attract the brightest and the best international talent”.

There is a set list of 50 top non-UK universities published by the Home Office. Where you have graduated from one of these universities in the last five years, you may qualify for a one-time HPI visa, which is valid for 2 years (or 3 years if you have a PhD).  During this two or three year period, the visa holder can work or be self-employed in the UK without a sponsor. The visa holder is then expected to switch onto a longer-term visa route (e.g. a work visa – which usually requires a sponsor) should they wish to remain in the UK.  

What are the requirements to apply for an HPI visa?

To qualify for an HPI visa, you must be outside of the UK and you cannot have previously held an HPI visa, graduate visa or student doctorate extension scheme visa.

You must have been awarded a recognised degree from a listed university in the five years prior to application.

You must also satisfy suitability requirements, demonstrate your proficiency in the English language and show access to sufficient funds to financially support yourself in the UK. 

How long does it take?

Once you have submitted your application online and attended your biometrics appointment to provide your fingerprints and documents, the Home Office’s published processing time for HPI visas is 3 weeks. Home Office processing times, however, are not guaranteed and certain applications will take longer for a variety of potential reasons.

If you are considering the HPI visa as an option, please contact us for advice.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. If you have any questions arising from this blog, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on TwitterFacebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.

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