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Non-EU students may be forced to leave the UK after graduation


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Theresa May has announced that changes regarding immigration after the vote for Brexit may force non-EU students to leave the UK after graduation. Students are expected to return home before applying to return under a work visa.

The UK has been criticised for its approach compared to the likes of the United States, Australia and Canada, who have welcomed graduates to stay for up to 12 months for employment celebrating diversity and creative talent.

Since 2012, non-EU students have faced the removal of post-study work visas, which allow graduates to work for up to two years after finishing their degree. Its elimination was triggered by fears of students remaining past their visa expiration date in order to stay in the country. It is estimated around 1 in 5 stay, according to the Home Office. 

Also according to a government report, the economy benefits from an additional £1 billion from the 55,000 foreign students coming in each year. However, the added recent hostility toward them has resulted in students looking to other countries to continue their studies instead. Despite having several of the top universities in the world, applications to study in the UK have dropped by 6% since December and the number of arrivals from non-EU countries has been its lowest in the last nine years. 

Seamus Nevin, head of employment and skills at the Institute of Directors, said to the Daily Mail: "Britain already makes it difficult and artificially expensive for international students to enter and stay, and now these proposals would eject them ignominiously when their studies are finished. 

“Restricting talented workers from staying on in the UK would damage business and lead to a loss of important skills.” 

The valuable skills of those who have been educated in the UK would be best utilised within the UK workforce, but instead these individuals may be forced to return home.

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