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New UK visa exempts Nigerian university graduates

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A new visa provision that allows applicants to relocate to the United Kingdom without a job offer or sponsorship will exempt graduates from Nigeria universities.

To qualify for the HPI visa, applicants must be awarded a degree from an overseas university and the university has to be one of the top global universities as published in the global universities list by the UK Home Office.

Chronicle NG reports that some of the requirements exempted graduates from Nigerian universities as no Nigerian university is ranked among the top universities in the world.

The issuance of this new visa 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.

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The UK government noted that the list would be compiled annually and would 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, Quacquarelli Symonds World University and Academic Ranking of the World Universities.

Also, the applicants must have been awarded a degree, equivalent to or not less than a UK bachelor’s degree.

The UK is a choice destination for many Nigerian students and citizens seeking to relocate abroad.

“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,” UK Minister of Safe and Legal Migration, Kevin Foster, said.

Foster added that, “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.

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“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,” Foster said.

On 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.

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