Nigeria Tops List As UK Bars Foreign Students From Bringing Family Members Over By January 2024 | #NwokeukwuMascot
The British Government under its new plan to cut immigration numbers has announced the proposal to ban foreign students from bringing family members to the country.
Under the proposals, only a limited number of those who come from abroad to study in the UK will still be allowed to bring their partners or children to the country from January 2024.
The crackdown on foreign students bringing their dependants to Britain comes ahead of fresh migration figures which would be released on Thursday, according to Daily Mail.
British ministers are reportedly braced for the official statistics to show a huge surge in net migration which was possibly above 700,000 in 2022.
It was reported that Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, on Tuesday afternoon unveiled a package of new restrictions on foreign students aimed at helping to reduce net migration to 'sustainable levels'.
Under her plans, foreign students will be banned from bringing dependants to Britain with them unless they are on postgraduate research programmes, and foreign students will no longer be able to switch out of the student route into work routes for staying in the UK before their studies have been completed.
Also, efforts will be made to clamp down on 'unscrupulous education agents who may be supporting inappropriate applications to sell immigration not education'.
Internal government modeling is said to have predicted the crackdown on foreign students bringing dependants to Britain will cut immigration by between 120,000 and 150,000, based on 2023 figures.
Daily Mail further reports that already published Home Office figures showed that 485,758 sponsored study visas were granted in 2022, which was a new high, with 135,788 visas granted to dependants including partners or children of foreign students over the 12 months.
This was a more than eight-fold increase from the 16,047 visas granted to dependants in 2019.
According to the figure, Nigeria had the highest number of dependants with 60,923 of sponsored study visa holders in 2022, while India had the second highest number of dependants with 38,990.
The figure showed that there were almost 120,000 dependant visas granted to the top five nationalities of Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka last year.
The Home Office has suggested the growth in study related visas granted to dependants could be because a greater number of older students are coming to Britain.
In a written ministerial statement in which Braverman unveiled the new restrictions on foreign students on Tuesday, she acknowledged there had been an 'unexpected rise' in the number of dependants coming to the UK alongside international students over recent years.
She added, “This does not detract from the considerable success that the Government and the higher education sector have had in achieving the goals from our International Education Strategy, meeting our target to host 600,000 international students studying in the UK per year by 2030, for two years running, and earlier than planned – a success story in terms of economic value and exports.”