In another recent development, the UK Government has decided to reject calls for a flexible post-study work visa system for international students in Scotland. As per a House of Commons Scottish inquiry concluded in February, the removal in 2012 of a scheme that allowed overseas graduates to work for 2 years post-studies had made Scotland a less attractive destination for education.
The committee’s report mentioned that there was an 80% reduction in non-EU students staying in the UK after their graduation and said that change was needed to address demographic challenges north of the border and fill skills gaps in domains that also include health and finance.
In a response by the Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill, the UK Government stated that the 4 current visa categories for non- EEA graduates from UK universities “comprise an excellent post-study work offer”. The government further said that the previous system was largely abused and had spoilt the reputation of education system. The proof for this was also mentioned – due to availability of Tier 1 (post study work) category visa there were many migrants who, to a considerable extent were unemployed or were engaged in unskilled works just to extend their stay.
The Government also took note that applications for visa to study at Scottish universities had grown by 10% from international students since 2010.
At the universities of Oxford, Cambridge, Bath and Imperial College London, there is a pilot project going on to simplify the visa application process for students of Masters Degrees. It will grant them 6 months leave to remain after the end of the course to find for themselves a graduate job under Tier 2 visa rules.
The idea is to welcome genuine students coming to our world-class universities and encourage them to bring real benefits to the country. The responsibilities of immigration lawyers in London, UK are also crucial in such a scenario.