The Scottish National Party which was able to have a landslide of 56 seats won in the elections in the United Kingdom from Scotland and is presently the party that is the third largest in the lower house of the British Parliament is asking the government of the United Kingdom to bring back the work visa for post –study for students who are from overseas and non – EU.
A group which comprises of delegates of all the significant political associations in Scotland has been established to coordinate their efforts and activities with regards to the reenactment, with Humza Yousaf the Scottish minister for Europe and international development as the leader of the initiative to review the processes through which the visa can be used to perform in the best interests of Scotland. The visa for post – study work which was discontinued in 2012 by the government of the United Kingdom permitted students from abroad to stay in the United Kingdom for 24 months after completing their studies at a university in the UK, and it was well known for getting talents who were world-class attracted and retained in Scotland.
Presently a group that is cross-party is presenting the activities of the working group of the post-study work established last year in August whose recommendations in a report published this year in March were that a reintroduction should be made of the visa. As an initial measure last week, the immigration minister of the United Kingdom James Brokenshire was written to by Mr. Yousaf once more requesting for him to consider the requirements of Scotland and also drew his focus to the support that the topic has amongst various parties in the Scottish Parliament.
Last week Mr. Yousaf had stated that once again he had written to the government of the United Kingdom requesting from them to constructively perform their activities together with the government of Scotland and other partners in the best interests of Scotland, and permit them to have the work visa for post-study reintroduced.
In a reply to ET by email, Mr. Yousaf stated that the government of Scotland was in opposition to the discontinuation of the work visa for post-study work and they have continually been making arguments for it to be reintroduced. The route for work that is post-study had support that was strong cross-party and cross-sectoral in Scotland. It was a lever that was important for getting student talent that was the best and brightest attracted, making sure that they were competitive globally, and getting streams of income secured for colleges and higher educational institutions in Scotland.
The minister stated further that he was busy with the government of the United Kingdom to search for every likely ways that had to do with the re-commencement of a route for post-study work in Scotland as quickly as possible.
The Scheme for Fresh Talent – Working in Scotland had been initially started in Scotland before it later on got merged into the route for post-study immigration that is Tier 1 and covers the entire United Kingdom. It is the scheme under which graduates from India numbering 3,000 were able to stay back in Scotland for post-study, while being employed under a dedicated visa from Scotland.
The chancellor of the University of Birmingham and Cobra Beer’s founder Karan Bilimoria stated that as far back as 2005 this scheme had been introduced by Scotland and it was adopted by the rest of the United Kingdom. So there was simply no excuse against why it could not be introduced again even if it was not going to be adopted by other parts of the United Kingdom. However, he admonished that there could be some obstacles because laws on immigration needed to have some uniformity for the entire nation.
Bilimoria added that so far, the government of the United Kingdom did not appear to be reducing its policy on immigration and foreign students were still being added in the tough targets that the government appears to have established. If the work visa for post study is reintroduced by Scotland it was going to be of benefit to both international students from India and other nations as well as the universities of Scotland. He has been criticizing the immigration policies of the Conservative government which he believes have been destroying commercial ventures and universities in the United Kingdom.
Minister Yousaf is strongly convinced that the work visa for post-study will assist Scotland in increasing the age of the population that are working so that they can empower and support their economy.
He stated that world-class talent must be attracted and retained by Scotland in order to get vacancies filled where they cannot be manned by their workers who are resident. An important lever was what the work visa for post-study work was because it was what would assist them in getting top quality international student talents attracted, important streams of income secured, and enabling graduates who are talented to continue adding to the development of Scotland even on completion of their studies.