The United Kingdom has implemented a new law aimed at reducing immigration numbers by preventing Nigerian students and other international students from bringing their families as dependents, except in specific circumstances. The law is set to take effect in January 2024.
In addition to limiting family dependents, the UK government plans to prevent international students from switching from student visas to work visas before completing their studies. This measure aims to prevent misuse of the visa system.
The changes also include a review of the maintenance requirement for students and dependents, as well as a crackdown on education agents involved in inappropriate applications that prioritize immigration over education.
These measures come in response to an unexpected increase in the number of dependents accompanying international students, which goes against the government’s commitment to lower net migration. The Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, stated that while international education plays a crucial role in supporting the economy, it should not compromise the overall goal of reducing migration.
The UK government believes that these new restrictions strike a balance between addressing net migration concerns and preserving the economic benefits that international students bring to the country.
The Home Office clarified that the restrictions do not undermine the success of the government’s International Education Strategy, which aims to host 600,000 international higher education students in the UK annually by 2030 for two consecutive years.
These measures provide students starting courses in the UK with time to adjust to the new rules and reflect the government’s commitment to managing immigration effectively.