Home Office pilots more generous visa scheme for international postgraduate students
Some international students at prestigious universities will automatically be allowed to stay on in the UK for six months after their courses end, under a scheme being trialled by the Government.
Non-EU nationals applying for a one-year master’s degree at Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College and Bath will be able to access a streamlined process to obtain their visa.
The extra six months at the end of the visa could be used to seek a job that would allow them to remain in the UK under the Tier 2 visa programme, or to apply for another course.
The SNP has compared the pilot to the post-study work visa, which was scrapped in 2012 and allowed students to remain in the UK for two years after their course finished.
“After a long-running campaign by Scotland’s universities for the reintroduction of the post-study work visa, it beggars belief that the Tories have completely excluded Scotland from a similar pilot scheme,” said SNP MSP Sandra White.
“Every political party in Scotland, our colleges, our universities and businesses want to see a return of the post-study work visa.
“Excluding Scotland from a similar scheme for masters students can only be viewed as a deliberate snub – and one that shows shocking disregard for the international success of Scottish universities.
“We should be encouraging the best and brightest from around the world to learn in Scotland – it’s essential that Scotland is given the powers to do this.”
Theresa May oversaw a series of measures to tighten up the visa regime for international students when she was Home Secretary.