United Kingdom: an “HPI” visa to attract global geniuses


LEnglish people are ready to do anything to attract the crème de la crème of the world’s top schools. According to the British daily FinancialTimes, the UK has launched a visa program for graduates of 50 top schools around the world. Her name ? HPI (High Potential Individual, in English). Behind this acronym, it is individuals with high intellectual potential who are wanted by the British government.

While Brexit has driven many expatriate workers to the United Kingdom, the country is relaunching its program to welcome the most qualified foreign professionals under a new name. Until 2008, the “Highly Skilled Migrant Program” allowed British companies to recruit people with the best global profiles.

According to the first elements provided by the English executive, this HPI visa should not have restrictions in terms of nationalities. The only condition: the university from which the candidate comes must be one of the 50 best in the world. In the list published by the British government are thus present the Harvard universities or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Only one French school has been selected from the very restricted list of the English government. This is the University of Paris Sciences & Lettres (PSL). The number of European universities is very small, the list being mainly dominated by North America and Asia.

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A visa for more than 800 euros

Once in hand, the HPI visa authorizes a two-year stay on British soil for individuals who have validated a license or a master’s degree. PhD graduates could stay for three years. Once expired, obtaining a permanent visa will not be possible. The only solution for these expatriates is to apply for a more “classic” work permit before the end of the HPI visa.

For London, the challenge was to set up a simplified administrative process. Authorities are also promising a faster process. The cost of this visa should be 715 pounds sterling (about 840 euros). Applications cannot be launched more than five years after the end of studies. In addition, candidates must demonstrate a sufficient level in English for their file to be accepted.

In all likelihood, the UK has no plans to put a cap on the number of HPI visas issued each year. And for good reason, the conditions for obtaining this new residence permit are extremely “restrictive”, assures the economic newspaper. Thus, in fact, it is mainly students from the elites of the richest countries who can hope to obtain this British sesame. Especially since daily life in this country is one of the most expensive on the European continent. At the same time, the immigration authorities require applicants to have at least £1,270 in their bank account. The first applications can be sent from May 30, 2022, announces the British government website.

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