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Britain has announced a new High Potential Individual (HPI) visa route that will allow graduates from the world's top 50 non-UK universities, including Indian students to stay and work in the country for minimum 2 years. And for a PhD or other doctoral qualification, the work visa will be for at least three years. According to the UK government rules, those facing difficulties in extending their HPI visa, will be allowed to switch to a different visa, for example a Skilled Worker visa.

In a joint announcement, Indian-origin UK Cabinet ministers Rishi Sunak and Priti Patel said the new "exciting" category under the post-Brexit points-based system is aimed at attracting the “best and brightest" talent from around the world, regardless of nationality.

UK's new High Potential Individual (HPI) visa route; All you need to know

-According to the UK Home Office, an applicant applying under this route must have funds of at least GBP 1,270 ( 1,24,462.63), and to be eligible, an institution must be outside of the UK and must have featured in the top 50 of at least two of the three rankings for the year in which the applicant was awarded the qualification.

-Successful applicants will be given a two-year work visa, with a three-year visa offered to those with a PhD, without the need for a specific job offer in hand.

-The top 50 list of universities has been identified from the rankings lists produced annually by ‘QS’, ‘Times Higher Education' and the ‘Academic Ranking of World Universities’ and covers universities from the US, Canada, Japan, Germany, Australia, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, France, Sweden and Switzerland.

-The new HPI visa route will cost around GBP 715 ( 70,071.48) and have the option to bring in dependents or close family members.

-Meanwhile, international students, including Indians, who are studying in the UK at any of the top universities are already eligible to stay for up to three years through the Graduate visa – popularly referred to as a post-study work visa – opened in July last year.

-The UK government said these new visas form part of a series of changes to the country’s immigration system after leaving the European Union (EU) and grant visas “based on the skills they have to offer and the contribution they can make, not where they come from".

UK's new High Potential Individual (HPI) visa; How long does it take

An applicant needs to prove his/her identity and provide relevant documents. One gets a decision on their visa within:

3 weeks, if you’re outside the UK

8 weeks, if you’re inside the UK

What you can and cannot do with an HPI visa?

  • work in most jobs
  • look for work
  • be self-employed
  • live in the UK with your partner and children, if they’re eligible
  • do voluntary work
  • travel abroad and return to the UK

Studying with an HPI visa

One can only study with an HPI visa if his/her chosen course is not eligible for a Student visa. If the course is eligible for a student visa, then he/she needs to apply for a Student visa instead, or extend their Student visa.

One may need an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate if you’re studying or researching sensitive topics.

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