The Scottish Greens have today welcomed cross-party calls for the reintroduction of the post-study work visa.

In a report published today, the Cross Party Steering Group on Post Study Work, which includes representatives from all major political parties, sets out ten steps for the reintroduction of the visa. John Finnie, an independent MSP and Scottish Green Party candidate for the Highlands and Island, is a member of the group.

John Finnie and Isla O'Reilly, Scottish Green Party spokesperson on Education and MSP candidate for Highlands and Islands, urged the UK Government to recognise Scotland's clear position on the issue and consider recommendations to reintroduce the visa.

John Finnie said:

“It is very encouraging to see the immense public support that there is for the post-study work visa. It would be incredibly foolish for the UK Government to ignore the voices of the Scottish people on this matter, especially given that people of all parties and none have joined together to call for the return of the visa.

“We all want a just and welcoming Scotland and if agreement can be reached on this important issue we will not only enhance Scotland’s reputation internationally, but also enrich our communities.”

Isla O'Reilly said:

"Students who come to university or college in Scotland contribute a great deal to our society, our economy and our communities. Our very own co-convenor Maggie Chapman was one of them when she came to Scotland to study, and the Scottish Greens believe these students should be welcomed and supported, not pushed away as soon as their course is done.

"Our country could benefit enormously from fostering links with other nations and welcoming people from elsewhere into our society, and it's great to see Scotland's political parties come together to call for the reintroduction of the post-study work visa.

"The onus is now on the UK Government - if Westminster really has Scotland's best interest at heart, it will recognise that our nation needs international students to contribute to our workforce and economy, and that people here are ready to welcome new Scots into our country."