Everything Top College Graduates Need To Know About The New UK High Performance Individual Visa

06/06/20229 minute read
Everything Top College Graduates Need To Know About The New UK High Performance Individual Visa

Have you always dreamed of living in the bustling city of London? Or perhaps you're simply figuring out the next steps in your career?

If you're a high-achieving college graduate, we've got some good news! The UK has announced a new visa scheme that will allow graduates from the world's top universities to live and work in the UK.

If you're curious about the visa, how it works, who can apply, and the benefits of working in the UK, keep reading!

About The High Potential Individual (HPI) Visa

The UK created a new visa scheme called the High Potential Individual (HPI) visa to attract the "best and brightest" graduates worldwide. This visa is open to graduates from eligible top non-UK universities who graduated within the last five years.

You can apply regardless of your nationality, and there are no requirements to have a job offer in the UK. If you want to explore your options or start your own business, it's a great place to start.

Who Is Eligible For The HPI Visa?

The UK gives graduates with a bachelor's or master's degree from a global top 50 non-UK university a work visa that lasts two years and three years if they hold a PhD.

Additionally, applicants must be proficient in English to at least B1 intermediate level, meaning they can communicate without effort with native speakers.

While you can't extend the duration of your stay with the HPI visa, you'll be able to switch to other long-term employment visas, such as the Skilled Worker visa, if you meet specific requirements!

How Much Does The HPI Visa Cost?

The visa costs £715 plus the immigration health surcharge (about £524 per year), which allows you to use the country's public healthcare services. Additionally, you must be able to provide proof that you will be able to support yourself when you arrive in the UK, with at least £1270 in your account. 

Which Universities Qualify For The HPI Visa?

To be eligible, your university must appear in at least two of these rankings when you attended. 

This link provides a comprehensive list of the universities that qualify you for an HPI visa.

Over 20 US universities — including Harvard, Stanford, and MIT — and 17 institutions from other countries worldwide are on the newest list of universities that make you eligible for the program. For graduates of 2021-2022, to qualify for a visa, you must graduate from one of the following universities:

List Of Universities That Qualify for HPI Visa

North America

  • University of British Columbia (Canada)
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • California Institute of Technology
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of California, San Diego
  • University of Chicago
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
  • Duke University
  • Harvard University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • McGill University (Canada)
  • University of Michigan Ann Arbor
  • New York University
  • Northwestern University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Princeton University
  • Stanford University
  • University of Texas (Austin)
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Washington
  • Yale University

College acceptance calculator

Asia & Oceania

  • Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • University of Hong Kong
  • Kyoto University (Japan)
  • University of Melbourne (Australia)
  • Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)
  • National University of Singapore
  • Peking University (China)
  • Tsinghua University (China)


  • Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Switzerland)
  • ETH Zurich (Switzerland)
  • Karolinska Institute (Sweden)
  • University of Munich (Germany)
  • Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University (France)

Top University Spotlight

Stanford University

Stanford University

Currently ranked #3 in the QS World University Ranking, Stanford University is in the heart of Northern California’s dynamic Silicon Valley. Situated on 8,180 acres, Stanford is one of the largest campuses in the United States, with 18 interdisciplinary research institutes and seven schools on a single campus.

Stanford has a reputation for producing entrepreneurial students who create, invent, develop and champion globally significant initiatives.

Getting into Stanford is highly competitive, with acceptance rates as low as 3.95%!

Harvard University

Harvard University

Established in 1636, and named after the college’s first benefactors, John Harvard, Harvard University is the oldest university in the United States and a member of the elite Ivy League. This private, liberal arts university is one of the most highly ranked and globally respected academic institutions in the world.

Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in an urban setting across the Charles River from Boston, Harvard offers unmatched student experiences within a broad range of academic programs.

Harvard is one of the hardest schools to gain admission with acceptance rates as low as 3% for the class of 2026!

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is one of the most highly regarded private universities in the United States. The coeducational, independent institution maintains a strong focus on scientific and technological research. Located in Cambridge, not far from its highly prestigious neighbour Harvard University, MIT students enjoy a beautiful yet vibrant campus located along the edge of the Charles River Basin.

MIT is an extremely selective university and offered acceptance to only 3.9% of students for the class of 2026!

Benefits Of Working In The UK

Are you drawn to London, a 21st-century city with a history stretching back to Roman times? Or maybe Manchester, a textile powerhouse with an 18th-century canal system? If you're thinking about working in the UK, explore all your options.

London, in particular, is not only the UK's capital but the economic and cultural heart of the country. When it comes to advancing your post-graduation career, this vibrant city offers everyone a plethora of industry opportunities.

Here are a few reasons you might enjoy working in London:

1. Cultural Diversity

London is a melting pot of different cultures from all over the world. The city's architecture, art, literature, music, and, most importantly, its people are all influenced by this diversity. In fact, over a third of London's population comes from overseas!

2. Career Development

The UK's capital is the business hub of global corporations such as HSBC, Unilever, Virgin, and Barclays. The city also ranks second best in Europe for startups, so it's perfect for entrepreneurs. Whether you're looking to rise the ranks at an international firm or work for a successful startup, the city offers plenty of opportunities to take your career to the next level.

3. Easy access to Europe

Despite Brexit, Europe is relatively affordable and easy to get around. Whether you're looking to dine on a rooftop bar overlooking Paris or wander the streets of Amsterdam, many European cities are within easy reach by train or short flight!

4. A global network of friends

Despite its reputation as a cold and unfriendly city, something about London brings people together from different walks of life. Strike up a conversation, and you'll find yourself making lifelong friends from all over the world.

There are many reasons to consider living and working in the UK. Research locations and opportunities that will help establish your career.

Value Of A Degree From A Top University

Students who attend top universities have access to exclusive career and postgraduate opportunities unavailable to many other graduates. The global reputation and alumni connections alone help graduates take the first of many steps into successful and lucrative careers. An HPI visa is just one of the many opportunities available to students who attend a world-class university.

Contact one of Crimson's academic advisors if you are interested in top university applications and increasing your chances of acceptance in a very competitive pool. We support our students throughout the college planning period, including answering questions and providing detailed feedback throughout the application process.

Book a free consultation

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