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University Students From Non-EU Countries to Be Able to Remain in Spain After Graduation

The Spanish authorities have announced that the country’s government is preparing legislation that aims to make it easier for university students from non-European Union countries to stay in Spain for a limited period after their graduation.

According to the government of Spain, the legislation that is still in the process will no longer require non-EU university students to renew their residence permits on an annual basis.

This means that non-EU university students will automatically be permitted to stay in Spain for up to two years after they graduate, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Even though students have been choosing Spain as their study destination, the country still remains behind the UK, US, and France. These three countries manage to attract a large number of students each year even though they have higher tuition fees.

Despite having lower tuition fees, students still hesitate to choose Spain as their study destination as it takes lots of time before their prior qualifications are validated, the Local explains. In addition, the same source notes that another setback is that students are not guaranteed residence in Spain once their complete their studies.

Taking into account the current rules that Spain applies to non-EU university students, it is expected the country’s higher education institutions will lose approximately 20 per cent of their students between the age of 18 and 29 by the year 2035.

In order to prevent such a thing from happening, the authorities are planning to introduce the new legislation and thus make Spain a more attractive destination for those who wish to study abroad.

Commenting on the legislation that is to be introduced, the Minister of Universities of Spain, Joan Subirats, explained that among other plans for the new University system Law is that the residence permit to study in Spain will no longer be requested every year. He said that the residence permit would automatically be extended for the duration of the studies.

In addition, Subirats emphasized that Spanish authorities have to find ways to retain that talent that they have trained “so they can keep their residence status and look for work for two years”.

Currently, all graduates that are not nationals of the EU must apply for an extension of their residence permits in order to be permitted to stay in Spain. Nonetheless, as soon as the new legislation gets approved, they will no longer have to go through these procedures.

Students from other represented 9.4 per cent of the total number of countries that enrolled at Spain’s universities in 2021. Most of them were students from third countries.

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