French officials are planning to soften their stance on limiting working permits to foreign college graduates and to reconsider recently rejected work-visa applications after criticism from students and heads of universities, the Education Ministry said Thursday.

This autumn, non-European Union students were subjected to stricter work-visa procedures, making it increasingly hard for them to pursue job opportunities after graduation in France. A memo dated May 31 and issued by the ministries of Interior and Labor called on the local authorities and immigration offices to apply existing regulations “rigorously” to limit legal immigration. “Priority should be given to the professional insertion of job seekers already present on our territory, both of French and foreign nationalities, residing legally in France,” the memo read.

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