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Renewed post study work pressure

Published: 16 Jun 2016 09:42

New minister to use first debate to call for Home Office meeting.

The Minister for International Development and Europe is urging the UK Government to honour a Smith Report recommendation to continue to discuss the reintroduction of a post study work route.

Despite receiving cross party support and backing from businesses, colleges and universities in Scotland, the UK Government has ruled out the return of the PSW visa, which allowed international students from outside the EU to remain in Scotland and work after graduation.

Ahead of a parliamentary debate on the issue, Alasdair Allan has written to UK Immigration Minister, James Brokenshire, to request talks as soon as possible.

Immigration is an issue reserved to the UK Government and managed by the Home Office; however, some of those unable to remain in Scotland because there is no effective post study work route, including the Brain family, have written to the Scottish Government seeking help.

Dr Allan, said:

"Scotland's immigration needs are different to those in the rest of the UK and the return of a post study work route would be an important economic lever of great benefit to Scotland.

"It is essential Scotland has an immigration system that enables businesses to attract and access the skills and talent needed to boost Scotland's long-term competiveness and to support Scotland's Economic Strategy.

"The UK Government has failed to engage positively and meaningfully with the Scottish Government to change the current system. I urge Mr Brokenshire to get back round the table to recognise Scotland's needs and to discuss the reintroduction of post study work visa and what can be achieved."

Notes to editors

Scottish universities welcomed over 50,000 students from overseas in 2014/15 including 29,210 international students from outwith the EU.

In 2014/15 Scottish institutions received an income of around £445 million from non-EU student course fees alone.