Recent graduates from elite universities around the world are now allowed to apply for a three-year working visa in the United Kingdom (UK) even without an official job offer.
The UK immigration system has introduced the High Potential Individual (HPI) visa, which gives preferential treatment to those who have received college degrees from eligible universities within the last five years.
Out of 50 prestigious universities, 20 are from the US, including Harvard, Stanford, Yale, MIT, and Columbia among many others.
The institutions accepted by the government must have appeared in two of three global ranking systems, including the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, and the Academy of Ranking World Universities.
Other requirements include being proficient in English, proof of financial capacity, and having at least £1,270 (or $1,360) in available funds. Applicants must also pay £715 (or $765) for the visa application and a healthcare surcharge — usually £624 ($668) each year.
The initiative is part of a UK effort to attract more highly-skilled employees to the country, as the country has revised its immigration policy to a points-based system after leaving the European Union.
Due to the changes, visa applicants need to score 70 points or higher to secure skilled-worker status. These points will be based on the job they’re applying for, their qualifications, their projected salary, and their language skills.
However, the announcement has drawn criticism for not including African, South Asian, or Latin American institutions.