In the latest expansion of its post-Brexit immigration system, which was designed to attract the “best and brightest” workers in the world, the UK promised to offer work visas for graduates of the best universities in the world.
After leaving the European Union, the UK has introduced strict immigration policies. EU citizens are no longer prioritized and a points-based system is used, ranking applicants on categories from language skills, education and qualifications to the type of job offered to them in the country. However, the strict screening process combined with the Covid-19 pandemic, has left the Kingdom with a very tight labour market, companies in manufacturing, logistics and the food sector having urged the government to loosen the rules for entry-level jobs.
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.Priti Patel, UK Home Secretary
The new policy allows bachelor’s or master’s degree graduates from the top 50 universities in the world (outside of the United Kingdom) to apply for a 2-year work visa and PhD graduates to apply for a 3-year work visa. Furthermore, successful applicants will be able to switch to long term employment visas.
The new scheme will allow eligible individuals to come to the UK without a prior job offer, and dependants will be allowed to accompany them. Although the Home Office would not comment on the number, the Telegraph reported that the visa scheme would be uncapped, the offered number depending on demand.
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 will 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.Rishi Sunak, UK finance minister
To qualify for the visa, applicants need to have a diploma from one of the universities that is found among the top 50 in at least two of the following rankings: the Times Higher Education world university rankings, the Academic Ranking of World Universities and the Quacquarelli Symonds world university rankings. For easier verification, the British government annually updates the list on their own website.
The diplomas have to be awarded no more than 5 years before the visa application, which costs £715. Furthermore, applicants must prove they have maintenance funds of at least £1,270, as well as an intermediate level of English (at least B1), and must pass a security and criminality check.