News story

Points based system welcomes highly skilled graduates to the UK

Talented graduates in areas such as science, engineering and research from internationally renowned universities are encouraged to bring their talents to the UK.

This was published under the 2019 to 2022 Johnson Conservative government

The world’s top graduates in subjects such as science, engineering and medical research will be able to bring their skills to the UK following the launch of a new visa route targeting graduates from prestigious universities such as Harvard, MIT, the Karolinska Institute and Kyoto University.

From engineering to cyber security to advanced medical research, the UK will be able to welcome talented individuals to drive both economic growth as well as technological and medical advances. The race to attract the brightest and best international talent is fierce and inviting talented individuals from international universities will complement the pool of high achieving graduates from UK universities.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:

This new visa offer means that the UK can continue to attract the best and brightest from across the globe. The route means that the UK will grow as a leading international hub for innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.

We want the businesses of tomorrow to be built here today - which is why I call on students to take advantage of this incredible opportunity to forge their careers here.

The UK is already home to some of the most ground-breaking start-ups, on the forefront of R&D and an incredibly diverse and exciting place to live - come and join in!

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

I am proud to be launching this new and exciting route as part of our points-based immigration system which puts ability and talent first – not where someone comes from.

This government is delivering for the British people by bringing in the high skills and talent our country and businesses need.

The UK government is making the country the best place in the world for innovative and talented people to live, work and be successful – and to usher in an unprecedented new era of global collaboration and innovation. With record levels of investment into its research base, as well as being home to world-leading tech companies and four of the world’s top universities, the UK offers unique opportunities for recent graduates.

The new High Potential Individual route is intended to attract those at the early stages of their careers, who demonstrate exceptional promise, providing a highly desirable and able pool of mobile talent from which UK employers can recruit.

Successful applicants will be given a 2-year work visa (3-year for those with a PhD) and will be permitted to move into other long-term employment routes. Great innovation is built from a diverse workforce and the new route will ensure the UK continues to nurture talent from around the world.

The visa forms part of a series of changes to the immigration system after leaving the EU to restore control over our borders, so that the UK can welcome people based on the skills they have to offer and the contribution they can make, not where they come from.

The new points based system is will ensure that the UK is open to business and continues to be at the forefront of innovation. The Global Business Mobility route opened on 11 April to simplify and improve various routes to enable businesses to expand.

Later this year, the Scale-up visa route will follow to ensure businesses are supported during periods of growth and are able to recruit talent by enabling them to bring employees to the UK.

Updates to this page

Published 30 May 2022