UK’s New Visa for Talented Graduates: No Job Offer Needed, Apply from May 30

Facing a dwindling talent pool after Brexit, the United Kingdom (UK) has come up with a new visa programme to get graduates from the world’s top universities to the country.

Called the High Potential Individual (HPI) visa, the programme will be open to applicants from May 30.

As part of the new visa, the high-skilled foreign university graduates will be allowed to work and stay in the UK for two-three years depending on their degree level.

This helps UK employers as they will be able to hire HPI visa holders without paying their sponsorship fees. After arriving in the UK, visa holders can apply for jobs in any industry.

Minister for Safe and Legal Migration Kevin Foster said in a statement: “The new High Potential Individual route will make it as simple as possible for internationally mobile individuals who demonstrate high potential to come to the UK. It will enable those who have already demonstrated their potential through academic achievement to come to the UK without a prior job offer.”


Those who have completed a degree from a qualifying university outside the UK within the past five years.

People of any nationality who are at least 18 years old.

The applicant should have a degree from any one of the universities listed by the British government on the website annually.

It will include schools outside the UK that appear in the top 50 on at least two of the following world rankings:

Times Higher Education World University Rankings

Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings

The Academic Ranking of World Universities

The names may vary from year to year, but are likely to include Harvard, Stanford, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US; Canada’s University of Toronto; Peking University and Tsinghua University in China; and the University of Tokyo in Japan.


You don’t need a job offer or sponsorship to qualify for the visa.

You can go to the UK and set up as self-employed or volunteer.

This visa can only be granted once and will not be available to those who have already had Graduate visa.


If your degree wasn’t taught in English, you will need to pass at least the B1.

If your degree was taught in English, you will need a certificate from the awarding body or a university transcript.

ALSO READ | UK Opens New Post-study Work Visa Route for International Students

If the degree was awarded outside the UK, you will need confirmation from Ecctis that the qualification meets the required standard of a UK bachelor’s, master’s or doctorate degree.


The visa will cost £715.


You will need to show the equivalent of at least £1,270 in your bank account for a continuous 28-day period no later than 31 days prior to making the application.

If you have living in the UK for more than 12 months, you might not need to meet this requirement.


The HPI visa is available specifically for graduates of schools outside the UK.

The UK graduate visa allows people who have completed a degree in the UK to stay for at least two years after graduating.


Graduates with a bachelor’s or a master’s degree will be given a two-year visa.

PhD or other doctoral-level graduates will get visas valid for three years.


You can bring your dependents, such as a partner or children under the age of 18.

“Partner” refers to a spouse, civil or unmarried partner.

However, unmarried partners will have to show they have lived together for at least two years, and their relationship is genuine, according to reports.


You cannot directly apply for permanent residency.

Instead, before your visa expires, you can switch to permits under the skilled worker, start-up and innovator, exceptional talent or scale-up route.

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