UK - Work visa scheme for graduates announced in 2004 Budget

On Wednesday, 17 March 2004, the UK Government announced plans that will allow graduates from the World's top 50 business schools to work in the UK for twelve months. Further details will be announced over the next few months. At the endof the first year's work it is envisaged that most candidates will be ableto obtain an employer-sponsored work permit or a Highly Skilled MigrantProgramme (HSMP) visa.

The 2004 UK Budget has introduced measures to promote productivity growthwhich included this new entitlement for MBA graduates. The Governmentacknowledges that migration helps productivity and boosts economic growth byincreasing labour supply and reducing domestic skills shortages. The UKbenefits from free movement of labour within the EU, and in order tomaximise these benefits, the Home Secretary David Blunkett has recentlyannounced that workers from the new EU accession states will be allowed toaccess the UK labour market from 1 May 2004, subject to a workerregistration scheme.

To promote schemes attracting overseas talent to the UK, the Government hasrecognised in particular the potential of international students, andtherefore will introduce over the coming months this new scheme allowinggraduates of the world's top 50 business schools to work in the UK for up to12 months on completing MBAs. This programme would also build on measures announced last month by the Scottish government to allowgraduates from Scottish universities to remain in the country for up to twoyears to live and look for work. If this pilot project turns out to besuccessful, then an extended scheme could provide greater freedom for otherparts of the UK to attract migrants. According to the Government, this wouldbenefit regional exonomies and communities.

Please check this site frequently for further information on this scheme, which will be provided once announced.