High Potential Individual Visa Route and its Benefits for Employers

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High Potential Individual Visa Route and its Benefits for Employers

Key Contact: Claire Knowles

Author: Saskia Musacchio

The launch of the High Potential Individual (HPI) visa has marked a shift in the immigration and education landscapes. Open to applicants from 30 May 2022, this innovative route provides recent graduates of top international universities the opportunity to work in the UK without already holding a job offer.

To be eligible for a HPI visa, applicants must fulfil the following criteria:

  • the applicant must have received a qualification from an ‘eligible university’ – the list of eligible universities is centred on global rankings and UK universities are not eligible;
  • the qualification must be the equivalent of a UK bachelor’s or UK postgraduate degree;
  • the qualification must have been awarded within the 5 years before the date of application;
  • the applicant must be able to demonstrate their knowledge of the English language; and
  • the applicant must meet a financial requirement of holding £1,270 for 28 days or must have lived in the UK for the 12 months prior to their application.

Successful applicants holding the equivalent of a UK bachelor or master’s qualification will be given authorisation to work in the UK for two years, while those holding the equivalent of a UK PhD will be given permission for three years.

This new route could be beneficial for employers. Unlike skilled worker visas, the HPI visa route does not require sponsorship, allowing employers to recruit graduates from top global universities without having to apply for, or finance, a sponsorship licence. The route will also allow employers to access a wider and more diverse pool of gifted candidates, thus strengthening recruitment processes and the efficacy of the workforce. At a time where the labour market in the UK is more fluid than ever, use of the HPI visa route may provide greater recruitment options for employers.

Employers should remember to conduct appropriate right to work checks prior to employing any individual and should now be aware that this HPI visa is a right to work that may arise. If you come across this visa in your checks or would like to recruit overseas graduates directly, and would like to know more about this route, please feel free to contact a member of the Acuity Employment team.

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