From education to employment

Scotland Extends Permits for Overseas Students

Scotland has launched a new scheme to encourage overseas students to remain in the country after completing their studies. The Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland scheme allows foreign students to stay and work in Scotland for two years after completing their courses without needing special permits.

Minister for Finance Tom McCabe announced the new scheme saying: “Today our Fresh Talent initiative takes another important step forward. Overseas students will be able to apply to stay and work in Scotland for two years after the end of their course without the need for a work permit.

Continuing he said: “I have no doubts the scheme will prove to be popular – I am convinced many students will want to remain in Scotland to work or study. Scotland is, after all, a great country with a great deal to offer. We have worked extremely closely with the Home Office on the Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland scheme.”

The new scheme will benefit non European Union citizens who have completed courses at Scottish Further and Higher Education institutions. Eligibility will be granted to graduate, Masters, PHD or Higher National Diploma holders only, who apply within one year of completing their studies.

“[The scheme] will build on the other measures we have put in place to address the demographic challenges Scotland faces. We are serious about Fresh Talent – it is a very clear signal we want Scotland to grow in profile and stature,” continued Mr. McCabe.

Successful applicants will be expected to work in Scotland for the duration of their stay and leave after the two years have elapsed, they must also be able to support themselves during this period. Students who have left Scotland may still apply for the scheme providing this is done within a year of the date of completion of studies (the date on the graduation certificate or, for a Masters or Ph.D. graduate, the date of the expiry of leave to enter or remain as a student).

Application forms will be available from the Home Office. Decisions on applications will be made by the Home Office, not the Executive.

Dan Atkinson

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