On January 1, 2024, the Home Office of the United Kingdom made it known that it had initiated the execution of a new policy. This policy strictly prohibits Nigerian students and other international students from being accompanied by their dependents when they enter the country through the study visa program. A reiteration from the Home Office was recently posted on X (formerly Twitter), stressing that there are exemptions of some individuals from the development.
According to the post, this exemption will solely apply to individuals engaged in postgraduate research or those benefiting from government-sponsored scholarships. The Home Office of the United Kingdom has expressed its unwavering determination to witness a significant reduction in migration. Henceforth, any prospective international students will be prohibited from bringing their family members to the United Kingdom. However, as earlier stated, there will be an exception only for postgraduate research or government-funded scholarship students, as stated by the Home Office.
United Kingdom’s gov’t to ensure reduction of the influx of immigrants.
In May 2023, a legislation was enacted by the United Kingdom (UK), as revealed by report, aiming to restrict Nigerian students, along with other international students studying in the UK, from bringing their family members as dependents, unless certain circumstances are met. As the United Kingdom (UK) government strives to ensure reduction of the influx of immigrants, which is currently estimated at one million, it aims to implement measures ensuring decreased immigration levels within the country.
Also, in an effort to safeguard the integrity of the visa system, the United Kingdom has implemented a fresh regulation that entails revoking the privilege for international students to transition from the student route to work routes prior to completion of their studies. According to another report, there is an additional aspect to consider in this case. They have indicated that a thorough examination of the maintenance criteria for both students and their dependents will take place.
Student visas accounted for almost half a million issued last year.
Additionally, there will be strict measures applied to tackle the issue of deceitful education agents who exploit improper methods to promote immigration rather than education. According to the official website of the UK’s Home Office, the implementation of new regulations regarding student visa routes will have a significant impact on reducing net migration. These restrictions mainly involve limiting the opportunity for international students to bring their family members along, which applies to all paths except postgraduate research routes.
Furthermore, individuals will be prohibited from exploiting student visas as a loophole to gain employment in the UK. According to the ONS, migration figures for the period between June 2021 and June 2022 exceeded 500,000 individuals. While some of this increase can be attributed to temporary factors like the implementation of the Ukraine and Hong Kong schemes in the UK, it is worth noting that student visas accounted for almost half a million issued last year. Additionally, there has been a remarkable 750% surge in the number of dependants accompanying overseas students since 2019, with a total of 136,000 individuals.
It will contribute to lowering net migration to sustainable levels.
The Home Office made an additional point stating that the implementation of this new regulation would not compromise the government’s promise to the public regarding the reduction of total migration and the prioritization of highly skilled individuals who bring substantial advantages to the UK. They claim that the intention behind the proposal is to enable the government to fulfill its obligations under the International Education Strategy while effectively contributing to lowering net migration to sustainable levels. Additionally, the government has emphasized that they have no intentions of altering the conditions of the graduate route.
Home Office: Website