Listen to Tory critics and change path on graduate visa changes, Rishi Sunak told

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is considering introducing restrictions
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is considering introducing restrictions

RISHI Sunak should “listen to critics from within his own party” and refrain from making changes to graduate visa schemes, the SNP have said.

It comes as the Prime Minister is reportedly considering introducing restrictions to the graduate visa in an effort to cut international student numbers.

The visa, which allows foreign students to live and work in the UK for up to two years after graduating, is seen by some Tory MPs as a backdoor for longer-term immigration to Britain.

READ MORE: Gaelic is minority language in Western Isles for first time – new census

But on Tuesday, the Migration Advisory Committee found no evidence of widespread abuse of the graduate visa route and warned some courses would become “less financially viable” if the number of international students was cut.

Former prime minister and current Foreign Secretary David Cameron has also written to Sunak outlining his opposition - joining other senior Tory figures.

The National: Foreign Secretary David Cameron approved arms exports to Israel two days after its military killed
The National: Foreign Secretary David Cameron approved arms exports to Israel two days after its military killed

Now, SNP MP Carol Monaghan – who wrote a letter to Home Secretary James Cleverly last week warning that the UK Government’s immigration approach endangers Scotland and the UK’s universities – has again hit out at Westminster.

The SNP’s education spokesperson said: “Rishi Sunak looks set to plough ahead recklessly with a move that threatens job losses, and even the existence of some universities, all to placate the far-right of his party and satisfy their fixation with cutting migration.”

She added: “The UK Government should remove international students from overall net migration statistics - as they do in Canada, Australia and the US - and stop pursuing reactionary policies driven by a determination to simply ‘cut numbers’.

“World renowned Scottish universities deserve better than to be sidelined by the Tories in the pursuit of such short-sighted and economically illiterate policies.

"The Prime Minister should listen to experts and the growing number of critics in his party urging him against pursuing such a detrimental policy.”