Scotland keen to reintroduce post-study work visa

24 Mar 2015 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Scotland appears to be keen to reintroduce the post-study work visa, which was abolished across the UK by the Westminster Government in 2012.

The Scottish Government's Post-Study Work group believes that there is “overwhelming” support for it to be reintroduced north of the border.

Humza Yousaf, Scottish Europe and International Development Minister, remarked that there was a “clear indication that business and education in Scotland are equally keen to see the reintroduction of post-study work visas”.

“Immigration policy is currently too heavily influenced by the priorities of the south east of England, based on the values of the current UK government and driven by a desire to reduce the numbers of incoming migrants which does not recognise Scotland's needs and does not serve our economic or societal interests.”

He suggested that by reintroducing the post-study visa the country could attract and retain “world-class talent” that the country would be unable to supply itself, at least in the short-term.

However, in England, support remains weak. A spokesman for the Home Office stated that the system as it stood had been open to “widespread abuse” while Home Secretary Theresa May has previously said that the student visa route is being abused with many students remaining in the country after the end of their studies.

At the moment, the system allows students from outside of the EU to remain in the UK after their course for four months. This can be extended through applications for UK work permits if an individual manages to find a graduate job.

Ms May and the Conservatives would prefer to see students leave the country upon expiration of their student visa. They would then require them to reapply for entry to the UK on a work permit from outwith the country.