Graduates from 20 elite U.S. colleges are eligible to apply for visas that will allow them to work in the United Kingdom under a new plan.
The British government published a list of eligible schools that can take part in a "high-potential individual" program that will attract the "brightest and best" early in their careers, BBC reported Monday.
Graduates during the past five years can apply. They will not need a job offer to apply, and their places of birth do not matter.
The U.S. universities on the list that covers applications between Nov. 1, 2021 and Oct. 31, 2022 includes some of America's best:
- Cal-San Diego
- Johns Hopkins
Successful applicants will receive a work visa lasting two years if they hold a bachelor's or master's degree, and three years if they hold a Ph.D., BBC said. They will be able to switch to other long-term employment visas if they meet certain requirements.
There will be no cap on the number of eligible graduates.
"The route means that the U.K. will grow as a leading international hub for innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship," Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak told the BBC.
"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."
The program follows changes to allow international students currently studying in the U.K. to stay and work for up to two years. Previously, overseas students were forced to leave four months after finishing a degree.
Applicants must have attended a university that appeared in the top 50 of at least two of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, or The Academic Ranking of World Universities, in the year in which they graduated.
No South Asian, Latin American, or African universities are included on the current list, the BBC reported.
The visa will cost £715 ($770) plus the immigration health surcharge, a fee which allows migrants to the U.K. to use the National Health Service.
Graduates will be able to bring their families, although they must have maintenance funds of at least £1,270 ($1,368).
They also will need to pass a security and criminality check and be proficient in English to at least the B1 intermediate level, defined as having the "fluency to communicate without effort with native speakers," BBC reported.
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