By May 30, the United Kingdom will begin issuing a new visa that will allow holders of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees to travel to the country and work in fields such as science, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship.
The visa, known as a high-potential individual visa, allows candidates to move to the United Kingdom without a job offer or sponsorship. Meanwhile, people who graduated from Nigerian universities were excluded from some of the requirements.
Applicants for the HPI visa required to have received a degree from an abroad university, according to the UK government. The university must be listed among the top worldwide universities on the Home Office’s global universities list.
The government stated that the list would be updated annually and would include institutions that were ranked in the top 50 universities in at least two of the following ranking systems: Times Higher Education World University Rankings, Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings, and Academic Ranking of World Universities.
Applicants must also have received a degree that is at least comparable to a UK bachelor’s degree.
Meanwhile, inspections revealed that none of these global rankings include Nigerian universities.
Many Nigerians looking to relocate overseas for academic or professional reasons have considered the United Kingdom.
The “High Potential Individual” visa path, according to UK Minister of Safe and Legal Migration Kevin Foster, is aimed at luring high-skilled foreign university graduates who will be able to work and reside in the UK for two or three years.
After the visa has expired, the holders can apply for visas under the skilled worker, start-up and innovator, exceptional talent, or scale-up routes to stay in the UK.
“The new High Potential Individual pathway will make coming to the UK as straightforward as possible for internationally mobile individuals who have high potential.” It will allow students who have already proved their academic ability to travel to the UK without having received a job offer.
“If you’ve been in the UK for more than a year, you may not be required to complete this criteria.” Bachelor’s and master’s degree holders will be granted a two-year visa. Graduates with a Ph.D. or other doctorate degree will be granted three-year visas. “This visa can only be awarded once, and individuals who have already had a Graduate visa will not be eligible,” Foster explained.