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New Visa Rules for Foreign Students: UK Says No to Family Members

"Starting from 2024, the UK will ban foreign postgraduate students on non-research courses from bringing their family members with them. The Home Office said this was to prevent the abuse of the student visa route for working in the UK.“We issued almost 500,000 student visas last year, but the number of dependents of overseas students has soared by 750% since 2019, reaching 136,000 people,” the Home Office said.“The new reforms will take effect for students starting in January next year. However, we will work with the higher education sector to find alternative options to allow the most talented students to still bring dependents when they study at our world-class universities.”The UK also said foreign students will have to finish their studies before switching to a work visa.The government will review the amount of money students need to show they can support themselves and their dependents.The Home Office said it will crack down on “dishonest” international student agents who may be helping inappropriate applications.Home Secretary Suella Braverman said the move was needed to protect the UK economy.“The UK is a top destination for the brightest students to learn at some of the best universities in the world. But we have seen an unprecedented increase in the number of student dependents coming to the country with visas,” Braverman said.“We need to tighten up this route to reduce migration numbers and fulfil the government’s promise to the British people to cut net migration. This is the fair thing to do to safeguard our public services, while supporting the economy by allowing the students who contribute the most to keep coming here.”The ban will affect all master’s students and some other post-graduates, but not PhD students who are highly skilled and whose courses last between three to five years.


Nigerian students who want to pursue their postgraduate studies in the UK will be among those most affected by the crackdown, as they had the highest increase in the number of dependents accompanying persons with study visas in 2022.Nigerian nationals also had the largest increase in sponsored study grants compared with 2019, rising by 57,545 (+686%) to a record high of 65,929, making them the third largest nationality group.This is Braverman’s latest attempt to restrict migrants from entering the UK. It follows her plans to reform the graduate visa route

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Home Office Nigerian The UK


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