In a bid to attract the world’s top graduates into the UK to work, the Government has launched the new High Potential Individual (HPI) visa.

The visa will allow a number of people who have graduated in the past five years to live and work in the UK.

Who can apply?

The HPI visa is open to graduates who have been awarded a qualification by a university on the Government’s list of eligible institutions, and usually lasts for two years.

However, if an individual has a PhD or other doctoral qualification, it will last for three years.

Positive news for employers

With many sectors struggling to fill roles due to skills shortages, the scheme is good news for employers.

The HIP visa will help to potentially speed up the recruitment process, with highly skilled graduates from across the globe filling necessary gaps.

Vanessa Ganguin, an immigration lawyer, commented on the scheme:

“It will also prove very useful for employers who want to hire a talented graduate without the expense or responsibility of sponsoring them. Any employment they undertake will not be subject to having to be coded under a standard occupation classification (SOC) code or minimum salary restrictions. “

She continued: “Employers can get to know High Potential Individuals first before sponsoring them on a more permanent immigration route.”

Quick and cost-effective

The initiative will provide a cheaper and often faster alternative visa route for new talent, notably benefitting start-ups or SMEs that are not yet sponsors or that can’t afford the elevated sponsorship costs.

For international businesses that are launching into the UK for the first time, this will help erase the primary delay and obstacles concerning sponsorship.

Applications for the HPI visa went live as of 30 May 2022.