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Call for border controls to be relaxed for international graduates

Posted on March 26, 2015
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An expert group has called for border controls to be relaxed so students from outside Europe can stay and work in Britain.

The SNP-appointed Post-Study Work group has recommended the reintroduction of the work visa, which was abolished by the UK Government in 2012.

The group’s report includes the findings of a survey of Scottish business and education providers.

It found 90% of all respondents were in favour of bringing back the post study work visa for international students.

The group’s report recommends that international students on higher education courses at Scotland’s colleges and universities should be able to apply for a new visa to remain in Scotland to work for two years after graduation.

Europe and international development minister HumzaYousaf said: “This report demonstrates overwhelming support from Scotland’s business and education sectors for the reintroduction of the post-study work visa for overseas graduates – something the Scottish Government has repeatedly called for.

“We need to grow our working-age population to support and strengthen our economy. So we must be able to attract and retain world-class talent to fill vacancies which cannot be filled by resident workers.

“This report recognizes that the post-study work visa is an important lever for attracting the best international student talent, securing essential income streams, and allowing talented graduates to continue contributing to Scotland after their studies end.

“The report makes clear the benefits that our education institutions, communities and economy enjoyed when previous post-study work routes operated in Scotland, and the negative impact we’ve seen since they were closed by the UK Government in 2012.

“The Scottish Government opposed the closure of the post-study work visa and we have consistently argued for its reintroduction. We will continue to press the UK Government on this point.

“We welcome the Smith Commission’s view that the UK and Scottish Governments should work together to explore a potential new post-study work scheme for Scotland and will make every effort to work with the UK Government to ensure that such a route is re-established in Scotland.”

Gordon Maloney, president of the National Union of Students (NUS) Scotland, said: “NUS Scotland has been proud to work alongside colleagues in business and education on the issue of post-study work visas, and contribute to today’s report.

“This shows clearly why we’re all united in wanting to see the return of post-study work visas, the overwhelming support for the policy, and its benefits for Scotland.

“For far too long we’ve allowed a negative and damaging rhetoric to take precedent when we discuss immigration, harming Scotland’s reputation abroad and depriving our communities and country from the benefits we know immigration and international students bring.”

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