The UK Government has opened up a new pathway for international students to stay and work in the UK for up to three years. The High Potential student visas now available will accept overseas students from top universities to come for work – with or without a job offer.

The scheme is aimed at students with a recognised undergraduate or master’s degrees from a highly regarded international university. These are institutions that have achieved top 50 ranking places in two out of three global surveys.

The surveys include the Times Higher Education world university rankings, Quacquarelli Symonds world university rankings, and the Academic Ranking of World.

The current approved list of institutions covers a number of colleges in USA, plus similar ranked universities in Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Australia, China, France, Switzerland, Sweden.

The scheme recognises institutions where the student graduated up to five years ago. Applicants can check to see if their institution is listed on the Government website.

What do applicants need?

Applicants for the scheme and their dependents must meet the entry requirements for knowledge of English and have the necessary financial means to support themselves. Applicants from a number of current and former British Commonwealth countries do not have to prove they meet the knowledge of English requirements.

Though the visa cannot be extended, successful applicants can apply for another visa, such as Skilled Worker Visa.

The HPI is not available to the student if they have been awarded a Graduate visa. Students in the UK as a Doctorate Extension Scheme student can use other visa routes.

You can only study with an HPI visa if your chosen course is not eligible for a Student visa. If your course meets the requirements you can apply for, or extend your Student visa (if you already have one).

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