High Potential Individual Visa Route | What Employers Must Know

The UK have announced they will offer work visas to the “brightest and best” graduates from the world’s best universities.

This has come in the form of the High Potential Individual (HPI) visa route, which was launched on Monday 30th May. UK chancellor Rishi Sunak said, “The route means that the UK will grow as a leading international hub for innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.”

To qualify, a graduate must meet the following criteria:

  • Must have attended a university which appears in the top 50 of at least two of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, or The Academic Ranking of World Universities, in the year in which they graduated. The list of universities recognised by the UK government for the HPI visa route can be viewed here
  • Must have graduated in the last five years from a qualifying university
  • Cover a cost of £715, plus an immigration health surcharge
  • Pass a security and criminality check
  • Have proficient English skills to at least B1 (intermediate level)

Employers in the UK must note the following about the scheme:

  • A High Potential Individual (HPI) visa gives permission to stay in the UK for at least 2 years (3 years for those with a PhD)
  • Graduates are allowed to bring their families, but must have maintenance funds of at least £1,270
  • At this time, the route doesn’t require sponsorship and graduate will not need a job offer to apply
  • Graduates are eligible to apply regardless of where they were born

Sadly, it appears no African, South Asian, nor Latin American universities have been included on the list, which has sparked controversy from academics and industry professionals a like.

For more information regarding the High Potential Individual Visa Route, you can find out more on the official UK Government Website.

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