By Victoria Ojeme
The United Kingdom yesterday announced plans to begin issuance of new visa that allows holders of first degrees, masters, and doctorates to travel to the country and work in fields, such as science, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship by May 30.
The visa, known as high potential individual visa, allows applicants to relocate to the UK without a prior job offer or sponsorship.
Meanwhile, some of the requirements exempted those who graduated from Nigerian universities.
Also, the applicants must have been awarded a degree, equivalent to or not less than a UK bachelor’s degree.
It was learned that the UK’s action against Nigerian graduates was based on the fact that Nigerian universities do not appear in any of the global rankings.
The UK had been one of the choice destinations for many Nigerians seeking to relocate abroad for academic and work purposes.
UK Minister of Safe and Legal Migration, Kevin Foster, said of the visa: “The High Potential Individual visa route is targeted at attracting high-skilled foreign university graduates who will be allowed to work and stay in the UK for two or three years.
“On the expiration of the visa, the holders could switch to permits under the skilled worker, start-up and innovator, exceptional talent, or scale-up route for continued stay in the UK.
“The new High Potential Individual route will make it as simple as possible for internationally mobile individuals who demonstrate high potential to come to the UK.“
”It will enable those who have already demonstrated their potential through academic achievement to come to the UK without a prior job offer.
“If you’ve been resident in the UK for more than 12 months, you might not need to meet this requirement. Graduates with a bachelor’s or a master’s degree will be given a two-year visa. Ph.D. or other doctoral-level graduates will get visas valid for three years.
”This visa can only be granted once and will not be available to those who have already had a graduate visa.”