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UK Opens High Potential Individual Visa Application For International Graduates 

The United Kingdom (UK) has said it will start receiving applications for a new visa type — High Potential Individual visa (HPI), beginning from May 30.

This will allow up to two-year visas for people with bachelor’s and master’s degrees and up to three years for PhD holders.

The HPI visa will allow people to live and work in the UK without the need for a sponsor or a prior job offer.

However, graduates of Nigerian universities do not immediately qualify because of the global ranking criterion.

The UK government said in order to qualify for the high potential individual visa, applicants need to have been awarded a degree from an overseas university. The university has to be one of the top global universities as published in the global universities list by the Home Office.

The government said the list will be compiled annually and will comprise institutions included in the list of the top 50 universities in at least two of the following ranking systems: Times Higher Education World University rankings, Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University rankings and the Academic Ranking of the World Universities.

A quick check however shows that no Nigerian university features among the top 50 universities in the latest reports of these three global university rankings, thus excluding Nigerian graduates.

A statement by the UK Minister of Safe and Legal Migration, Kevin Foster, said the visa route is targeted at attracting high-skilled foreign university graduates.

He said applicants will be required to show the equivalent of at least £1,270 in their bank account for a continuous 28-day period no later than 31 days prior to making the HPI visa application.

“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. PhD 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”, the statement read.

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