Nigerian migrants to the United Kingdom (UK) may face restrictions as a result of the country’s plans to reduce net migration.
According to Home Office data, Nigerians accounted for the greatest increase in the number of dependants accompanying people on study visas for the fiscal year ending in June 2022.
“In the year ending June 2022, there were 486,868 Sponsored study visas granted (to both main applicants and their dependants), 71% (202,147) more than 2019,” the report reads.
“The number of Sponsored study visas granted in the year ending June 2022, is the highest on record in our time series, with the substantial increase representing both a recovery from lower numbers during the Covid-19 pandemic but also an increase on the pre-pandemic period.
“There were 117,965 grants to Indian nationals in the year ending June 2022, an increase of 80,569 (+215%) compared to 2019.
Chinese nationals were the second most common nationality granted Sponsored study visas in the year ending June 2022, with 115,056 visas granted, 4% lower than the number seen in 2019 (119,825).
“In the other top 5 nationalities, Nigerian nationals saw the largest relative increase in Sponsored Study grants compared with 2019, increasing by 57,545 (+686%) to a record high of 65,929, making them the third largest nationality group in the latest year.”
According to the Daily Mail, Nigeria accounted for 40% of all dependants between June 2021 and June 2022, and “some 34,000 Nigerians were granted study visas in the UK, bringing with them a total of 31,898 dependants.”
“This is the highest on record in our time series, with the substantial increase representing both a recovery from lower numbers during the Covid-19 pandemic but also an increase on the pre-pandemic period.”
As part of efforts to reduce the number of unskilled migrants, the UK home secretary and Nadhim Zahawi, minister for intergovernmental relations and minister for equalities, are reportedly considering limiting the number of children who can accompany international students.
Nigeria ranked second on the list of nationalities granted work visas in the most recent fiscal year.
Meanwhile, the UK home secretary, Suella Braverman, had earlier announced her “aspiration” to reduce overall migration levels, amid a growing call from party activists for the government to take control of immigration levels.
She also stated that she would change the law to prevent migrants from crossing the English Channel in small boats.