UK launches post-Brexit visa route for graduates – POLITICO

LONDON — Graduates from the world’s top 50 non-UK universities will be able to apply for a dedicated visa to work in Britain, the Home Office announced Monday.

The department launched a new visa route targeted at “high potential individuals” with a bachelor’s or master’s degree, who would be eligible for a two-year work visa and allowed to bring their families. Applicants with PhDs will be able to apply to stay for up to three years.

The scheme will be open to those who obtained their degrees in the last five years and, unlike other visa routes, they won’t need a job offer or a sponsor at the time of applying for the visa.

The government will use the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the QS World University Rankings and the Academic Ranking of World Universities as the benchmarks for deciding which universities are eligible.

The most recent list of universities, published on the Home Office’s website, is dominated by the United States, with 20 institutions, and only three of the 50 are in the EU: Sweden’s Karolinska Institute; France’s University of Paris Sciences and Letters; and Germany’s University of Munich. Another two are in continental Europe: Switzerland’s Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne and ETH Zürich.

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel said this new route “puts ability and talent first, not where someone comes from.”

Applicants will have to prove a B1 intermediate level of English, pass a crime check by the Home Office and pay £715 in visa fees plus the immigration health surcharge in exchange for access to the National Health Service. Those wanting to stay in Britain for less than a year must show funds of at least £1,270.

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