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  • Updated: May 23, 2023

Nigerian Students, Others Barred From Taking Family To UK

Nigerian Students, Others Barred From Taking Family To UK

Nigerian students and others studying in the United Kingdom have been barred from bringing family members as dependents except under specific circumstances.

The law was passed following hints that the UK government intends to lower the rising number of the nation's immigrants who enter to pursue education which currently stands at 1 million.

To prevent abuse of the visa system, the UK will no longer allow international students to switch from the student path to the employment route before their studies are finished.

"There will also be a review of the maintenance requirement for students and dependents and a crackdown on “unscrupulous” education agents “who make use of inappropriate applications to sell immigration, not education," Sky News added.

The new law will take effect in January 2024 to give students who are commencing their studies in the UK time to get prepared.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman, in a written ministerial statement on Tuesday, said data revealed an "unexpected rise" of dependents joining international students in the UK.

Braverman said UK's intention to lower net migration resulted in the surge, the UK media house reported.

She argued that although international education is a key component of the government's economic development strategy, the commitment to the public to reduce total migration should not be jeopardized.

Braverman, according to Sky News, claimed that the package achieves the ideal mix between taking decisive action to address net migration and safeguarding the economic advantages that students can provide the UK.

According to a statement on the UK Home Office website, the "New government restrictions to student visa routes will substantially cut net migration by restricting the ability for international students to bring family members on all but post-graduate research routes and banning people from using a student visa as a backdoor route to work in the UK.

“The ONS estimated that net migration was over 500,000 from June 2021 to June 2022. Although partly attributed to the rise in temporary factors, such as the UK’s Ukraine and Hong Kong schemes, last year almost half a million student visas were issued while the number of dependants of overseas students has increased by 750% since 2019, to 136,000 people.”

The Home Office further emphasized that the government's commitment to the public to reduce overall migration and ensure that immigration to the UK is highly skilled and beneficial is not endangered by this new rule.

They added that the proposal aimed at authorising "the government to continue to meet its International Education Strategy commitments while making a tangible contribution to reducing net migration to sustainable levels.

"The government has also made clear that the terms of the graduate route remain unchanged.”

They further said.“The proposals announced today do not detract from the success of the government’s International Education Strategy, including meeting the target to host 600,000 international higher education students studying in the UK each year by 2030, for two years running.”

Net migration has increased from 504,000 in the 12 months leading up to June 2022 to more than 700,000 in the year leading up to December, according to official numbers that are scheduled to be released this week, according to Sky News.

Data shows that international students brought 135,788 family members to Britain in 2018—nine times more than in 2019—while 59,053 Nigerian students brought more than 60,923 relatives in 2022.

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