UK’s New Visa enables Graduates’ Entry without Job Offer

    Updated on: 22 May 2022

     


    It’s been a while since Brexit but the aftermath effects are yet visible on the UK economy, and also on the talent deficit the industries are facing. Everybody anticipated a talent pool gap but none could have anticipated the extent, and now the UK government has felt the brunt of the talent pool gap. To bridge the existing gap, it became pertinent to come up with new ways to pull in more talented graduates from universities across the globe. Of late, countries are fighting tooth and nail to bring in more talent from other countries amid the relaxed visa policies by countries like Canada, and Australia. Earlier the UK and the US were the sole competitors, and the majority of students used to go to these countries but now that others are in the fray, it becomes crucial for them to not only retain the existing talent pool but also take steps to direct the flow of talent to their respective countries.

    In this direction, the UK has come up with a new visa named, the High Potential Individual visa, or the HPI visa. As evident from the name itself, the visa is for graduates from the world’s top universities and colleges. It will enable the students from top universities to directly get a visa to the UK, and that too without any formal job offer. The visa program will commence on 30th May, and graduates seeking this visa should brace themselves for an entirely new opportunity in the UK.

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     Brief Overview of the HPI Visa Program

    The visa process is for students from top universities of the world, and it will enable the students to stay in the UK for 2-3 years depending on the work they get or other criteria laid out by the British government. It is of dual benefit for both employers and employees, as it will save the sponsorship cost that the employers had to pay in the past. Once you land in the UK, an ocean of opportunity awaits. You can apply to work in any industry depending on your skill set, work experience, or any other factors that the employer might put for employment.

    The rationale behind the scheme was explained by Minister for Safe and Legal Migration Kevin Foster, wherein he said that it will enable internationally mobile individuals to get a job opportunity in the UK without having the need to wait for a formal job offer from an employer in the UK. He went further and said that students who have an impeccable academic track record will be the greatest beneficiary of the new visa program.

    One of the core differences between the HPI visa and the Graduate visa is that the former is open only for graduates from universities outside the UK while the latter is for students who have completed their degree program in the UK. The Graduate visa program lets students graduating from UK universities take up jobs and stay for a period of at least two years.

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    Eligibility For the HPI Visa Program

    The eligibility criteria are pretty straightforward, and there are no hidden caveats tagged to them. To apply for the HPI visa program you just need to ensure the following:

    • Must have completed a degree from a university outside the UK in the last five years.
    • Individuals who are aged more than 18 years, and there is no bar on the basis of nationality.
    • To be eligible you must have a degree from a list of universities put up by the British government. This list is refreshed annually based on the shift in the ranking of top universities.

     

    The list includes those universities and colleges that have featured in the top 50 of any of two rankings among the following:

    • Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings
    • Times Higher Education World University Rankings
    • The Academic Ranking Of World Universities

     

    So, if you have a degree from any of the top universities of the world then chances are very likely that you will be eligible for the HPI visa program. There is no need for a job offer from an employer in the UK, and you can go directly and take up jobs that suit your field of expertise. You will also have the option to set yourself as self-employed or as a volunteer. However, this visa will be granted only once, and you are not eligible for it if you already had a graduate visa. If your medium of instruction wasn’t English then you will have to pass B1. In case, your medium of instruction was English then you will have to get a certificate from the degree-awarding body or a university transcript. To substantiate your qualification is at par with the levels of education in the UK you will have to take confirmation from Ecctis. Ecctis is a reference point for qualification and skills standards.

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    Financial Requirements for the HPI Visa Program

    There are no stringent financial requirements for the HPI visa program, and broadly speaking there are only two criteria that you need to fulfill:

    • The cost of the visa is £715 for all students.
    • You have to maintain an average bank account balance of £1270 in continuity for 28 days. However, the 28-day period shouldn’t be more than 31 days prior to the date of visa application.
    • Those who are already living in the UK are exempted from any financial requirement whatsoever in the HPI visa program.

    Duration of Stay in the HPI Visa Program

    Students with a graduate degree will get the HPI visa for two years. However, those with doctorate degrees will get the visa for three years. At the time of stay, the visa holder will also be allowed to bring in their dependents. The dependent could be a partner or a child but the age of the child must be less than 18 years. As far as the partner is concerned, even unmarried partners are allowed but the visa applicant will have to prove that they are in a genuine relationship for more than two years.

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    Post Expiry of the Visa

    The visa program doesn’t allow the visa holders to directly take up permanent residency. If you are interested in applying for permanent residency then there are other avenues that you can tap. Other options are always open for those who have talent and wish to continue. The students can switch to other permits e.g. skilled worker permits, startup and innovator permits, exceptional talent, or scale-up. It will depend on your skillset, and also on any other criteria that the UK government might put up at that point in time.

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