What is the SNP’s position on Westminster’s restrictions on foreign students?

Scotland has different immigration needs to the rest the UK. There is consensus in Scotland, amongst business, education institutes and across the political spectrum, that we need a return of the post-study route to allow talented students to remain and contribute to the Scottish economy.

The UK Government’s decision to rule out a return of the post study work visa is deeply disappointing and damaging to Scotland. The decision has come without Scottish stakeholder discussions and before key reports on post study work have been published.

The SNP have repeatedly called for the reintroduction of the post study work visa, which allowed international students to remain in Scotland and work after graduation. The call has been backed by businesses, colleges and universities, and has cross party support in the Scottish Parliament amongst every political party represented in Holyrood.

By ruling out a return of this route, the UK Government has ignored this consensus and the recommendations of the Smith Commission, and dismissed Scotland’s call to positively and meaningfully engage on this issue.