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High Potential Individual Visa Universities

The High Potential Individual visa is available to those who have gained a qualification from an approved university within the past five years and wish to work in the UK for up to three years.

Only graduates who attended an institution on the eligible global universities list and at the time stated by the UK government are able to apply for the High Potential Individual visa.

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    What qualifications are accepted under the High Potential Individual visa scheme?

    Before applying for the High Potential Individual visa you must ensure that you are applying with a qualification that meets eligibility requirements.

    You need to have been awarded your qualification by an eligible global university and you must have been awarded the qualifying qualification within the past five years otherwise your visa application will be refused.

    Remember to double-check that your qualification was successfully completed during the correct period and that the institution awarding your degree was on the global universities list at the time that you graduated.

    Also, the qualification you received must be at the same level as any one of the following:

    • a UK bachelor’s degree
    • a UK postgraduate degree
    • a UK PhD or doctoral level qualification

    If you are unsure if the degree taught is eligible you are advised to seek advice before starting the application process.

    As well as having a qualifying university degree level academic qualification, you must also provide evidence of the following:

    • A qualifying knowledge of English language ability – this can be via a secure English language test or you may be exempt if you come from a majority English speaking country
    • Enough personal savings to support yourself during your time in the UK – although you are exempt if you have already been in the UK with a valid visa for at least 12 months

    You will not be eligible for a High Potential Individual visa if you have already been given a Graduate visa in the past, have been part of the Student Doctorate Extension Scheme student or already been a holder of a High Potential Individual visa.

    Who is the High Potential Individual visa for?

    The High Potential Individual visa is aimed at global graduates and is a immigration route for those top global graduates who want to do the following during their time in the UK:

    • Take on most paid roles
    • Look for employment and accept a job offer
    • Become self-employed or start a new business venture
    • Live in the UK with your partner and children
    • Do voluntary work
    • Travel abroad and return to the UK

    You are not permitted to:

    • Apply for most benefits (public funds), or the State Pension
    • Work as a professional sportsperson
    • Extend your High Potential Individual visa
    • Apply to settle permanently in the UK

    The aim of the visa is to boost the skills within the UK workforce by attracting the world’s leading graduates.

    How to apply for the High Potential Individual visa 

    Once you have established that your qualifications will be accepted by the scheme, then you can apply online for the visa. You will need to provide a number of supporting documents such as:

    • A valid passport or other travel document that shows your identity and nationality
    • Proof of your knowledge of English
    • A statement from Ecctis verifying they’ve your qualification is eligible and at least equal to a UK degree or UK postgraduate degree
    •  If your qualification was taught in English then you will need to provide an Academic Qualification Level Statement and English Language Proficiency Statement, also referred to as a Academic Qualification Level Statement
    • Your biometric residence permit (BRP) or online proof of your immigration status, if you’re switching to this visa from another visa
    • Proof of your relationship with dependents applying with you
    • A negative tuberculosis test result depending on your national country

    Any supporting documents must be provided to the Home Office in English or Welsh otherwise you will need to provide a certified translation copy with your application.

    You will also need to pay the application fee of £715 plus £210 (£252 if applying from inside the UK) for Ecctis to verify your qualification. In addition, you will have to cover the annual immigration health surcharge of £624 – this allows you to access some National Health Service treatments.


    Which universities are relevant for the High Potential Individual Visa?

    There are a number of leading universities that are on the Home Office’s approved list of eligible universities. The list is based on a number of leading university rankings.

    Qualifications awarded between 1 November 2021 and 31 October 2022 by the following universities are accepted for the High Potential individual visa:

    • California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
    • Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)
    • Columbia University
    • Cornell University
    • Duke University
    • Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL Switzerland)
    • ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)
    • Harvard University
    • Johns Hopkins University
    • Karolinska Institute
    • Kyoto University
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
    • McGill University
    • Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
    • National University of Singapore
    • New York University (NYU)
    • Northwestern University
    • Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University
    • Peking University
    • Princeton University
    • Stanford University
    • Tsinghua University
    • University of British Columbia
    • University of California, Berkeley
    • University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
    • University of California, San Diego
    • University of Chicago
    • University of Hong Kong
    • University of Melbourne
    • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
    • University of Munich (LMU Munich)
    • University of Pennsylvania
    • University of Texas at Austin
    • University of Tokyo
    • University of Toronto
    • University of Washington
    • Yale University

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