A new visa scheme allows graduates of the 50 most prestigious universities in the world to apply for entry to the UK.
According to the government, the “high-potential individual route”, which was launched Monday, is expected to attract “the brightest and most talented” individuals who are starting their careers in the UK.
Successful applicants with a bachelor’s/master’s degree will be granted a two-year work visa. PhD holders can apply for a 3-year visa.
If they meet the eligibility requirements, they will be eligible to “switch” to another long-term employment visa.
Graduates must have attained their degree, equivalent to a UK bachelor’s or postgraduate degree, by the date of application.
Visa schemes do not limit numbers. Candidates don’t need to have a job offer. They will allow their dependents to accompany them.
Only graduates of the top 50 universities in the world outside of the UK are eligible to apply.
This scheme is one of several visa offers that are available to help attract talent after Brexit.
The universities must be in the top 50 of at least two of these lists: Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings or Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
The government published a list of eligible universities for 2021, which included 20 US universities, along with universities from Canada, Hong Kong and China.
The Times’ top five are all currently located in the US: Harvard, Stanford and MIT, as well as California Institute of Technology (CalTech), Harvard and Princeton.
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Candidats must pass a criminal and security check. They must be able speak, read, hear, and write English at the minimum B1 (intermediate) level. This means that they can communicate with native speakers without difficulty.
The visa costs PS715, and successful applicants will need to pay the immigration healthcare surcharge in order to use the NHS.
Candidates must have at least PS1,270 in maintenance funds.
Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the UK, stated: “This new visa offer allows the UK to continue to attract the brightest and best from all over the world.
“The route will ensure that the UK is a global leader in innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship.
“We want tomorrow’s businesses to be built right here, so I urge students to seize this amazing opportunity to build their careers.