UK launches new visa for graduates of world’s top universities

Published on: 30 May 2022


The UK’s Home Office and Her Majesty’s Treasury have announced a new visa route for talented graduates from highly regarded universities around the world —such as Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Kyoto University, and the Karolinska Institute (in Sweden).

This new visa route is called the High Potential Individual route and is part of the UK’s points-based immigration system, which was launched after Brexit as a means of re-establishing the UK’s control over its own borders.

The points-based immigration system provides work visas to skilled professionals from around the world who can score a certain number of points related to a certain set of requirements.

The points-based immigration system already has routes for Skilled Workers, highly skilled workers or “Global Talents”, innovators and entrepreneurial talents, etc.

Now, with the High Potential Individual route, talented graduates in the early stages of their careers can apply for a 2-year work visa (3-year for those with a PhD) to live and work in the UK in the framework of a new era of global collaboration and innovation.

“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”, said Home Secretary Priti Patel.

The only requirement for the interested graduates is to belong to an internationally renowned university and to demonstrate “exceptional promise” in an area such as science, technology, and/or engineering. The goal is to attract top-skilled professionals that are able to drive technological advances, medical research, and economic growth for the UK.

“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,” said Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak. “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”.

According to the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak, “the UK is already home to some of the most ground-breaking start-ups”, and is “on the forefront of R&D”. The mission of this new visa route is to keep that up.

In fact, the UK already has four of the world’s top universities, an increasing number of world-leading tech companies, and record levels of investment in their research base.

Still, the UK authorities want to enhance the pool of top talents from British universities with an amplified, more diverse pool of mobile talents for British employers to recruit.

“This government is delivering for the British people by bringing in the high skills and talent our country and businesses need”, concluded Home Secretary Priti Patel.


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