This High Potential Individual visa route is for recent graduates of top global universities, who want to work, or look for work in the UK, following the successful completion of an eligible course of study equivalent to UK bachelor’s degree level or above. The study must have been with an institution listed on the Global Universities List. The High Potential Individual route is an unsponsored route (i.e. a job offer from a licensed employer is not required).

The High Potential Individual route is NOT a route to settlement.

The applicant must not have been previously granted permission under the Student Doctorate Extension Scheme, as a Graduate or as a High Potential Individual.

A dependent partner and dependent children under 18 can apply on this route. There must be a genuine and subsisting relationship and the Partner must intend to live together with the Main Applicant throughout the visa validity.

The applicant must be awarded a total of 70 points based on the table below.

RequirementRelevant rulesPoints available
Global Universities List degree requirementHPI 5.1 to 5.450
English Language requirement at level B1HPI 6.1 to 6.310
Financial requirementHPI 7.1 to 7.410

The applicant must, in the 5 years immediately before the date of the application, have been awarded an overseas degree level academic qualification which Ecctis confirms meets, or exceeds, the recognised standard of a UK bachelor’s or UK postgraduate degree.

The institution at which the applicant was awarded the degree must appear on the Global Universities List in respect of the date the applicant was awarded the degree.

The date the applicant was awarded the degree will be the date as confirmed by Ecctis.

Unless an exemption applies, the applicant must show English language ability on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in all 4 components (reading, writing, speaking and listening) of at least level B1

If the applicant is applying for permission to stay and has been in the UK with permission for 12 months or longer on the date of application, they will meet the financial requirement and do not need to show funds.

An applicant who is applying for entry clearance, or who is applying for permission to stay and has been in the UK for less than 12 months at the date of application, must have funds of at least £1,270.

The applicant will be granted entry clearance or permission to stay for the period as set out in the table below based on the qualification relied on to meet the Global Universities List degree requirement.

Type of Degree QualificationPeriod granted from date of decision
PhD or other doctoral level qualification3 years 
All other degree qualifications2 years 

The grant will be subject to all the following conditions:

(a) no access to public funds; and

(b) work (including self-employment and voluntary work) is permitted, apart from work as a professional sportsperson (including as a sports coach); and

(c) study is permitted, except study with an education provider which is a Student sponsor, and which would meet the approved qualification and level of study requirements of the Student route which are set out in Appendix Student; and

(d) study is subject to the ATAS condition in Appendix ATAS; and

(e) if Part 10 of these rules applies the person will be required to register with the police.

There are separate lists of Universities published for each year from 2016 to 2020 and those can be found here:

We copy below the list of universities relevant for qualifications awarded between 1 November 2021 and 31 October 2022.

Alphabetical Rankings Lists 2021 (establishments from Top 50 rankings which appeared on 2 or more lists)Country
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)USA
Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)Hong Kong
Columbia UniversityUSA
Cornell UniversityUSA
Duke UniversityUSA
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL Switzerland)Switzerland
ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)Switzerland
Harvard UniversityUSA
Johns Hopkins UniversityUSA
Karolinska InstituteSweden
Kyoto UniversityJapan
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)USA
McGill UniversityCanada
Nanyang Technological University (NTU)Singapore
National University of SingaporeSingapore
New York University (NYU)USA
Northwestern UniversityUSA
Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research UniversityFrance
Peking UniversityChina
Princeton UniversityUSA
Stanford UniversityUSA
Tsinghua UniversityChina
University of British ColumbiaCanada
University of California, BerkeleyUSA
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)USA
University of California, San DiegoUSA
University of Chicago USUSA
University of Hong KongHong Kong
University of MelbourneAustralia
University of Michigan-Ann ArborUSA
University of Munich (LMU Munich)Germany
University of PennsylvaniaUSA
University of Texas at AustinUSA
University of TokyoJapan
University of TorontoCanada
University of WashingtonUSA
Yale UniversityUSA