Parliamentary Briefing

Post-study work routes for international students

24 Jul 2015

The Scottish Government has established a Cross Party Group to examine the case for a separate post-study work system in Scotland. In a technical sense the Scottish Government is specifically calling for the reintroduction of the Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) Visa. The Migration Advisory Committee has also published a call for evidence on minimum salary thresholds for Tier 2.

The proposals in Scotland reflect a strongly held and broadly supported position in education and industry that the Tier 2 system does not work as well across the UK as it should in practice.

Post-study work routes are a factor in international student choice in some markets and the UK’s competitors have systems that appear to be perceived by students as more welcoming. This briefing argues that many of the restrictions on the effectiveness of the system can be addressed technically, with no need for legislation or significant changes to Home Office policy. 

Also whilst we find the Migration Advisory Committee efforts to consider the benefits of varying salary threshold by region encouraging and a welcome start we would also strongly advise against any increase in the minimum salaries per occupation for new entrant workers in terms of percentile group.

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