The Student Immigration System in Scotland

Written evidence submitted by Mr Shakir Mughal

Most respectfully, once again I want to bring very important information in your knowledge which a majority of genuine International student will suffer soon because of the newly brought changes by the abolishment of Post Study Work Visa, which was actually promised before we started our studies in United Kingdom.

Despite the outcome of Home office consultation (which government didn’t even bother to publish), Home Affair Committee report, students and all relevant parties protest UK Government implemented these unfair rules. The current Transitional Arrangements that the government made have let the undergraduates students down very badly, for instance I myself is graduating in June 2012 and PSW will be close from April 2012 so in short I am being late just two and half months which is quite unfair after I already have spend a lot of money. This might be the case of all undergraduate’s student as well who got admission in 2010 (before these rules) and hoping to be Graduate in maybe 2013. We were all expecting some rational transitional period by Government "depending on when we got our visas or new rules for new students" but unfortunately Government ditched them.

Even Government did not bother to answer these questions at all:

1. Some of prospective graduates like myself willing to do self employment and start a small business rather than look for a job to qualify for a Tier 2 visa.

2. Even as for a good professional job employers always want to see the right to work documents first before offering any position, means NO PSW NO JOB OFFER.

3. Plus it’s impossible to secure the job in the last remaining 4 months of visa because most of employers want to see the full degrees not just transcripts and degrees normally awarded at the end of visa / stay.

In January 2011 I received a very encouraging letter by Scottish Government which says Scottish government opposed these proposals and if PSW will scraped the Scottish government will call the similar scheme like fresh talent Scotland. Now I would say its time for an action.

Let me remind you Scotland had its own policy of retaining graduates in Scotland "Fresh Talent Initiative" for those international students who study in Scottish colleges/ Universities so this scheme could facilitate them to work in Scotland. The initiative was launched in February 2004 to boost the falling population, but unfortunately opposition towards the scheme was voiced by some English universities which felt that the Initiative gave Scottish universities a competitive advantage in terms of attracting students from overseas therefore this scheme ended on 29th June, 2008 when the UK government brought PSW for entire country but unfortunately now it has been scraped too therefore it is quite sensible for Scottish Government to restore the previous scheme Fresh Talent Initiative. So that people like me who came into this country by good faith and with the promise of post study work should not suffer.

 

Scotland is a home of almost 40 colleges and 20 Universities where thousands of International students are studying in different diplomas and degrees by investing a huge sum of money. I am studying HND Contemporary Fine Art Practice in Forth Valley College, Falkirk. I am an artist and have participated in solo and group painting exhibitions. I want to work as a self employed practicing artist rather than look for a job. If the government don’t give current Undergraduates students any transitional arrangements it will not possible for me and other international students to work and live in this country legitimately.

We acknowledge Government is doing what is best for country but we are the ambassadors of our countries and don’t want to take a bad impression of UK in our countries. Therefore I thought to represent 100s of international students and show their concern regarding this serious matter. Hope you will look at our problem and do something reasonable for the reputation of Scotland; we will be much oblige, many thanks to reading this.

March 2011