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UK Launches New Visa for World's Top Graduates — Is Your College on the List?

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Graduates from the world's top colleges, who are still early on in their careers, will now be able to apply for a short-term visa to stay and work in the U.K.

From Monday, the U.K. government has said people who have graduated, in the last five years, from one of the eligible leading universities listed on its website, will be able to apply for the U.K.'s "high potential individual" visa.

Successful applicants will be granted a two-year visa, while those with a PhD will be offered a three-year visa. Graduates granted a HPI visa will also be able to switch to other long-term employment visas, if they meet the eligibility requirements.

Graduates' partners and children can also apply to join, or stay with them, in the U.K.

To apply, graduates will need a valid passport or other travel document that shows their identity and nationality. It will be available to those eligible regardless of their nationality or where they were born. Applicants will also have to prove they have at least a "B1" level of English, where they can communicate with native speakers without effort.  

The application fee for the visa is £715 ($904), along with £210 to verify that their qualification is valid, or £252 if they're applying from the U.K.

In addition, applicants will have to pay a health care surcharge, so that they can use the U.K.'s National Health Service, which is usually £624 for every year they'll be in the U.K. Applicants will also have to prove that they can support themselves by showing they have at least £1,270 in their bank account, though this is subject to exemptions.

Applicants will usually find out whether they've been successful within 3 weeks if they're applying from outside the U.K. and 8 weeks if they're already in the U.K., and are switching from another visa.

The list of eligible colleges is based on university rankings from around the world. Here's the 2021/22 rundown of eligible universities.

'High potential individual' visa 2021 college list

  1. California Institute of Technology (Caltech) — U.S.
  2. Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) — Hong Kong
  3. Columbia University — U.S.
  4. Cornell University — U.S.
  5. Duke University — U.S.
  6. Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL Switzerland) — Switzerland
  7. ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) — Switzerland
  8. Harvard University — U.S.
  9. Johns Hopkins University — U.S.
  10. Karolinska Institute — Sweden
  11. Kyoto University — Japan
  12. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) — U.S.
  13. McGill University — Canada
  14. Nanyang Technological University (NTU) — Singapore
  15. National University of Singapore — Singapore
  16. New York University (NYU) — U.S.
  17. Northwestern University — USA
  18. Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University — France
  19. Peking University — China
  20. Princeton University —  U.S.
  21. Stanford University — U.S.
  22. Tsinghua University — China
  23. University of British Columbia — Canada
  24. University of California, Berkeley — U.S.
  25. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) — U.S.
  26. University of California, San Diego — U.S.
  27. University of Chicago US — U.S.
  28. University of Hong Kong — Hong Kong
  29. University of Melbourne — Australia
  30. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor — U.S.
  31. University of Munich (LMU Munich) — Germany
  32. University of Pennsylvania — U.S.
  33. University of Texas at Austin —  U.S.
  34. University of Tokyo — Japan
  35. University of Toronto — Canada
  36. University of Washington — U.S.
  37. Yale University — U.S.

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