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Scotland plans post-study work visas for Indians

Posted on June 9, 2015
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The Scottish National Party (SNP) is living up to its election promise of re-introducing the Tier 1 (Post-study Work) visa which was abolished by the UK government in April 2012. This had led to a 50% dip in Indian students visiting British universities for higher education.

“Scotland needs immigration. It needs bright students from India to come and study in its 19 world class universities and then stay back and work to help develop its economy,” Scotland’s international development minister Humza Yousaf told TOI. “Scotland’s population is rapidly ageing and hence leading to an acute shortage of skilled workers. We need bright immigrants from India to fill in. We require engineers, experts in the oil and gas industry and healthcare specialists like pediatricians.”

Glasgow pioneered the Fresh Talent Working in Scotland Scheme visa in 2006, she said, which enabled students from Scottish institutions to remain there for two years to work and gain further experience. The scheme ran from 2005 to 2008, when it was subsumed into the UK-wide Tier 1 (Post-study Work) visa. It was later abolished by the David Cameron-led coalition government that took over Westminster in 2010.

“We will start corrective negotiations with the UK government next month on re-introducing the post-study work visa. This is one thing that all political parties in the Scottish parliament universally agree upon. I will meet UK’s immigration minister James Brokenshire. I am confident that Westminster will understand Scotland’s needs. However if they refuse, we will have to look at re-introducing the Fresh Talent Working in Scotland Scheme visa,” Yousaf said.

This visa would be for Indian students to study in a Scottish university after which they can work only in Scotland, he added.

The SNP has put together a 12 member group, including one representative from all major political parties in Scotland – SNP, Labour, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and the Green Party – and experts from Scottish universities and members of the industry to look at how the visa can best work in Scotland.

The number of new entrants to Scottish Higher Education Institutions from India fell by 63% between 2010-11 and 2013-14.

SNP strongly feels that the current four months given to international students at the end of their studies is insufficient time for most to find skilled employment and to transition to a Tier 2 visa.

With one in every three outbound higher education students across the globe expected to be from India and China by 2024, Scotland does not want to lose out on the revenue it can earn from foreign students.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/nri/other-news/Scotland-plans-post-study-work-visas-for-Indians/articleshow/47570198.cms

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