Tuesday 10 September 2019 / 10:27 PM Diane Abbott / Home

The government’s international students announcement

Diane Abbott MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, responding to the government announcement on international students, said:


“Labour has always said graduates should be able to work here after their studies because it enables them to contribute to our economy, our universities and to research, and helps us to attract the brightest and best from around the world. It is a great pity that ministers have previously supported measures that did the opposite.


“But it also highlights the foolishness of government plans to place a salary limit on work visas at £30,000. Many of the graduates doing fantastic medical and other research earn less than that. Government policy will prevent us from attracting them to live and work here.”




Notes to editors


In April 2012, the Government announced it would to close down the Tier 1 (Post-study work) visa which enabled international students to do any kind of work in the UK for up to two years after graduation. At the time, Theresa May claimed it was ‘too generous’.

Hansard, 22 March 2011 c. 855-8, https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm110322/debtext/110322-0001.htm#11032282000218


In July 2015, Jeremy Corbyn signed an Early Day Motion calling for the reintroduction of the 2-year post-study work visa.

EDM 243, 06 July 2015, https://edm.parliament.uk/early-day-motion/48021


In September 2018, the Shadow Home Secretary gave a speech saying a future Labour Government “will be encouraging work after study visas”.

Diane Abbott, 13 September 2018, https://labour.org.uk/press/diane-abbotts-speech-labours-plans-simpler-fairer-immigration-system/


In April, Jo Johnson tabled an amendment to the Immigration Bill in April, calling for a two-year post-study work visa option for international students.

TES, 1 May 2019, https://www.timeshighereducation.com/news/jo-johnson-post-study-work-visa-amendment-has-very-good-chance


In June, while participating in the Tory leadership contest, then-Home Secretary Sajid Javid said he backed a cross-party move to liberalise the student visa regime led by Jo Johnson.

FT, 7 June 2019, https://www.ft.com/content/74d7920a-8835-11e9-a028-86cea8523dc2?sharetype=blocked