UK's new visa needs no job offer: Everything to know
Following Brexit, the United Kingdom has been facing a shrinking talent pool and thus devised a new visa program to attract talented graduates from the world's top universities. Its new High Potential Individual (HPI) visa allows foreign graduates to stay and work in the UK for two-three years based on their degree level without a job offer. Applications will likely open on May 30.
Why does this story matter?
Indians form the largest chunk of foreigners granted a skilled worker visa in the United Kingdom, as per The Economic Times. The UK's Minister for Safe and Legal Migration Kevin Foster said the new HPI route "will make it as simple as possible for internationally mobile individuals" demonstrating a high potential to come to their country. It is expected to benefit many Indian graduates.
Who can apply for HPI visa?
People of any nationality aged above 18 years who have a degree from any of the foreign universities listed on the British government's website in the past five years can apply. The list will reportedly include the top 50 schools on international university ranking systems like Times Higher Education World University Rankings, Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities.
What are the eligibility criteria?
Applicants don't need a job offer or sponsorship to be eligible for the new visa. However, it can be obtained only once and isn't available to those who previously had a graduate visa. If one's degree wasn't taught in English, they must at least pass the B1 English Exam. For all degrees obtained outside the UK, Ecctis will need to confirm the qualification standards.
How is it different from a graduate visa?
Notably, the new HPI visa will only be available for graduates of schools located outside of the UK. The UK graduate visa permits people who have earned a degree there to stay for a minimum of two years after graduation. Bachelor's and master's degree holders are granted a two-year visa. Meanwhile, graduates who receive a PhD or other doctoral degrees are given three-year visas.
What are the financial requirements for this visa?
Applicants must have at least £1,270 (around Rs. 1,20,000) in their bank account for a consecutive 28-day period—no later than 31 days before submitting their application. Those who have been living in the UK for over 12 months need not meet this requirement. Moreover, the fee for the visa is £715 (Rs. 68,000 roughly). Individuals are welcome to bring their partner/spouse or minor children.
What will happen after your visa expires?
Notably, unmarried partners will have to prove that they have resided together for a minimum of two years and that their relationship is genuine, as per reports. Once the HPI visa expires, individuals will be unable to directly apply for permanent residency. However, they can apply for permits under the skilled worker, start-up and innovator, exceptional talent, or scale-up categories before the visa expires.