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Want to Move to the United Kingdom? Here’s Your Chance!

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Washington chapter.

Have you ever dreamed of living and working abroad? Exploring a new place while experiencing a new culture sounds like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, yet the glamor of moving somewhere international can wear off the moment you think about logistics. Most notably, how difficult it is to find work abroad, with many companies not having the resources to fund an international visa. But what if I told you that it’s become more feasible to move to the United Kingdom? I’m here to tell you all about the High Potential Individual (HPI) visa, and how as a UW student, you can use it to your advantage.

The HPI visa gives graduates from an “equitable university” permission to stay in the United Kingdom for at least two years. And the University of Washington is one of fifty qualifying institutions! You may be asking yourself, what makes a school eligible? According to their requirements, these universities are ranked in the top fifty on at least two of these three global rankings: The Academy of Ranking World Universities, Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Ranking, and The Times Higher Education World University Rankings. Each year, the British government reevaluates which universities qualify, and if you got your degree from one of those schools within the qualifying time frame, you are eligible. This visa is intended to recruit global talent for early-career positions. And applicants do not need a job lined up; the only requirement is that you must have graduated from a qualifying institution within five years of applying. For those of you who recently graduated, or about to graduate this year, your degree counts for the HPI visa. And with how well UW tends to do on global rankings, current students will likely be eligible when they get their degrees in preceding years. 

With this visa, you will need to have a significant amount of savings at the ready: it costs £715 ($860.60) for the application alone, then £210 ($252.79) for Ecctis to check if your qualifications are valid. There is also an annual healthcare charge of £624 ($751.11). And on top of this, visa holders need to prove they can support themselves, with at least an additional £1,270 ($1528.64) available. So if you are considering applying, make sure you take these costs into account, along with other significant expenses that come with living abroad.

It’s important to note that the HPI visa is not renewable, meaning that if you’re looking for long-term or permanent residency, you will have to switch visas. Instead, you can view this as a starting point (and quite a significant one at that). If you are interested, you can apply online here.

Annie Melnick

Washington '24

Annie is the Senior Editor for Her Campus UW, majoring in English with a minor in Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies. She is originally from Los Angeles, and is a self-described bookworm, reality competition show superfan, and coffee connoisseur, among other things.