visa to work in the uk
Work, live and socialise in summer sunshine with this new visa to work in the UK. Source: Daniel Leal/AFP

If you graduated from the University of Melbourne or the Australian National University in the last five years, you can now apply for a visa to work in the UK. No job offer is necessary for the High Potential Individual visa and your dependents — such as a partner or children under the age of 18 — can follow you, The Guardian reported.

Graduates of these two Australian universities qualify because their institutions were ranked in the top 50 of at least two of the following university rankings: the Times Higher Education world university rankings, the Quacquarelli Symonds world university rankings, or the Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Those with a bachelor’s or master’s degree stand to get a two-year visa to work in the UK. Successful PhD graduates can apply for a three-year visa to work in the UK. When your visa expires, you can “switch to other long-term employment visas, if you meet the eligibility requirements,” according to government guidance.

Your degree must have been awarded no more than five years before the date of application.

visa to work in the uk

With this new visa to work in the UK, you can pursue your dreams in London, Manchester and the rest of the UK. Source: Daniel Leal/AFP

“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,” Minister for Safe and Legal Migration Kevin Foster said in a statement.

“It will enable those who have already demonstrated their potential through academic achievement to come to the UK without a prior job offer.”

New visa to work in the UK: Requirements and perks

Successful applicants will have the option to switch to other routes which could lead to settlement in the UK. There will be no cap on the number of visas in this category, according to the Home Office.

“This route will support UK employers by enhancing the pool of the highly talented individuals available to UK businesses, by complementing the existing Graduate route which allows a period of post-study work for international students graduating from UK universities,” added Foster.

According to initial reports, the High Potential Individual Visa UK route will not require many conditions for global talent to work in the country. Apart from allowing international graduates to stay in the UK for up to three years without sponsorship, visa holders will not have to be in the UK for a minimum period of time. 

This will give international graduates the chance to come to the UK not only to find work, but to be self-employed or do volunteer work. Holders of the High Potential Individual Visa UK will also be able to pursue a range of different projects without losing their right to live in the UK.

“There will be no job offer requirement, giving individuals the flexibility to work, switch jobs or employers and make contributions to the UK economy,” said the UK government in a statement last year

There are some other requirements for this visa to work in the UK, however.

  • To apply, you must pay 715 pounds (around US$894 or 1,259 Australian dollars at the time of writing)
  • To verify that your qualification is valid, you must pay 210 pounds (US$262, A$369)
  • Show you have at least £1,270 in you bank account (this is subject to exemptions)
  • Pay a health care surcharge — usually 624 pounds (US$779, A$1,098) for every year you’ll be in the UK.  Paying this lets you use the National Health Service.