Graduates from the world’s top colleges, who are still early on in their careers, will now be able to apply for a short-term visa to stay and work in the U.K.
From Monday, the U.K. government has said people who have graduated, in the last five years, from one of the eligible leading universities listed on its website, will be able to apply for the U.K.’s “high potential individual” visa.
Successful applicants will be granted a two-year visa, while those with a PhD will be offered a three-year visa. Graduates granted a HPI visa will also be able to switch to other long-term employment visas, if they meet the eligibility requirements.
Graduates’ partners and children can also apply to join, or stay with them, in the U.K.
To apply, graduates will need a valid passport or other travel document that shows their identity and nationality. It will be available to those eligible regardless of their nationality or where they were born. Applicants will also have to prove they have at least a “B1” level of English, where they can communicate with native speakers without effort.
The application fee for the visa is ?715 ($904), along with ?210 to verify that their qualification is valid, or ?252 if they’re applying from the U.K.
In addition, applicants will have to pay a health care surcharge, so that they can use the U.K.’s National Health Service, which is usually ?624 for every year they’ll be in the U.K. Applicants will also have to prove that they can support themselves by showing they have at least ?1,270 in their bank account, though this is subject to exemptions.
Applicants will usually find out whether they’ve been successful within 3 weeks if they’re applying from outside the U.K. and 8 weeks if they’re already in the U.K., and are switching from another visa.
The list of eligible colleges is based on university rankings from around the world. Here’s the 2021/22 rundown of eligible universities.