UK Refuses Nigerian Students, Others From bringing Dependants

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The UK Home Office said on Monday that it has begun implementing its policy prohibiting Nigerian and other international students from bringing dependants into the country via the study visa route.

The Home Office emphasized in a post on X (previously Twitter) that only those on postgraduate research or government-sponsored scholarship students will be excluded from the development.

“We are fully committed to seeing a significant reduction in migration.” New international students will no longer be permitted to bring family members to the UK as of today. Students pursuing postgraduate research or receiving government-funded scholarships will be excluded, according to the Home Office.

The United Kingdom enacted legislation in May 2023 to prohibit Nigerian students and those studying in the UK from bringing family as dependents except under specific circumstances.

This is because the UK government wants to reduce the country’s immigration, which currently stands at over one million people.

To avoid visa system abuse, the UK will limit the ability for overseas students to transition out of the student path and into the employment route before their studies are done under the new regulation.

According to Sky News, “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.”

According to a statement on the UK Home Office’s official website, “new government restrictions on student visa routes will significantly reduce 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 per cent since 2019, to 136,000 people.”

The Home Office also noted that this new rule was not at the expense of the government’s commitment to the public to lower overall migration and ensure that migration to the UK was highly skilled and provided the most benefit.

According to them, the proposal is aimed at allowing “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.”

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