Graduates from the top 50 non-British universities can apply to come to Britain as part of a new visa scheme, Home Secretary Priti Patel said on Monday.
The most recent list of eligible universities from 2021, published online by the government, comprises 20 U.S. institutions, plus universities from Canada, Japan, Germany, Australia, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, France, Sweden and Switzerland.
The government hopes its high potential individual route, inaugurated on Monday, would attract the brightest and best at the beginning of their careers, to come and work in Britain.
Successful applicants with a bachelor’s or master’s would be given a two-year work visa, while holders of doctorates can apply for a three-year visa.
Government guidance states that beneficiaries can then “switch to other long-term employment visas if you meet the eligibility requirements.’’
The route is open to graduates from the top 50 non-British universities, who hold a degree, equivalent to a British bachelor’s or postgraduate degree, awarded no more than five years before the date of application.
Although the Home Office would not comment on the number, The Telegraph reported that the visa scheme would be uncapped, meaning the number would depend on demand.
Eligible universities must appear in the top 50 rankings of at least two of either: the Times Higher Education World University Rankings; Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings; or The Academic Ranking of World Universities.
The government also stipulated that candidates must pass a security and criminality check, and be able to speak, read, listen and write English to at least the B1 intermediate level.
The British Council, Britain’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, defines the B1 intermediate level as “those who have the necessary fluency to communicate without effort with native speakers.’’
The visa would allow eligible individuals to come to Britain without a prior job offer.
Dependants would be allowed to accompany them.
The visa would cost 715 pounds ($902) and is subjected to the immigration health surcharge, a sum successful visa or immigration applicants’ pay which allows the use of the National Health Service.
Anyone applying for the visa must have maintenance funds of at least 1,270 pounds
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “This new visa offer means that the UK can continue to attract the best and brightest from across the globe.
“The route means that the UK would grow as a leading international hub for innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.
“We want the businesses of tomorrow to be built here today, which is why I call on students to take advantage of this incredible opportunity to forge their careers here.’’
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “I am proud to be launching this new and exciting route as part of our points-based immigration system which puts ability and talent first, not where someone comes from.’’
The government’s points-based immigration system means people coming to Britain for work must now meet specific requirements for which they would score points, with visas awarded to those with enough points. – dpa/NAN.