An update in the UK’s immigration rule will now allow for graduates from the world’s top 50 universities to work in the country under a new visa scheme. It doesn’t matter where the graduate was born and will not even need a job offer to apply – all that’s needed is that the applicant must be an alumnus of the top non-UK universities who graduated in the past five years.

To be classified as one of the top universities, the institution must have 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.

All the universities that qualify are listed here.

Of the 50 universities, eight are from Asia, namely: Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Kyoto University, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NSU), Peking University, Tsinghua University, University of Hong Kong, and Tokyo University.

The visa will be for two years for bachelor’s or master’s degree holder, and three years if they hold a PhD. There is no limit to the number of graduates.

It will cost £715 on top of the immigration health surcharge which allows access to use of the NHS.

This new program is an extension of a previous scheme which allowed for foreign student graduates of UK universities to stay and work for up to two years. Prior to that, all overseas students had to leave within four months after finishing their degree following an announcement by then Home Secretary Theresa May in 2012.


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