Special Visa Schemes Among Scotland Regions Rejected

By Czarina Ara Lasco

Oct 29, 2016 06:00 AM EDT

After the UK's brexit vote, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called for different authorities over the immigration. On the other hand, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is urging for a "London Visa" to let businesses and investors in  the capital continue to employ workers from abroad following the projected end to free movement from with the EU.

Robert Goodwill, UK 's Immigration Minister, said in a statement to the UK Parliament's Scottish affairs committee that a "single policy of migration for employment" functioned across the United Kingdom.

"Applying different immigration rules to different parts of the UK would complicate the immigration system, harming its integrity, and cause difficulties for employers with a presence in more than one part of the UK," Goodwill said.

The Immigration Minister's statement was an answer to the appeals in Scotland for the reestablishment of a Scottish post-study work visa scheme applicable for students overseas. However, it seemed to exclude also other regional schemes.

The Scottish Affairs Committee report, on the other hand, mentioned an 80% decrease in non-EU students who remain in the UK upon graduating since the student visa was denied.

The report claimed that change was needed in order to address the demographic challenges experienced in Scotland and fill skills gaps in areas including health and finance.

First Minister Sturgeon, at the autumn conference of her Scottish National Party this month, connected the concerns of Scotland's visas, where immigration has been basically lower compared to England, to a probable improved urge for independence after the Brexit vote.

For the next few weeks, Sturgeon has assured the publication of "specific proposals" for decentralization of immigration powers.

Pete Wishart, the one who chairs that SNP-dominated Scottish affairs committee, commented that it was "extremely disappointing" that the British government was declining such a flexible tactic. Wishart claimed that its committee had found "almost universal support for improving post-study work schemes in Scotland".

Britain has observed a dissimilar visa system for overseas students from 2004 to 2008 at Scottish universities making it easier for the student to stay in the country after finishing their respective courses.

However, the system was replaced by a UK-wide post-study work visa which was scrapped later on. Universities and companies in Scotland held that the change of scheme has made it more difficult for them to attract students and staff coming from other countries.

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