Anticipated this week, the United Kingdom is poised to unveil measures imposing restrictions on foreign students, prohibiting them from bringing their family members along when entering the country.
This development comes in response to alarming reports revealing that net migration figures have skyrocketed to 1 million, prompting Conservative Members of Parliament to implore Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to take decisive action to curb the escalating numbers.
As per current immigration legislation in the UK, dependents are permitted to accompany their spouses or parents who hold valid student visas.
According to insider sources, government ministers are expected to make an official announcement regarding the immigration crackdown either on Tuesday or Wednesday.
The ban will encompass all master’s students and select postgraduate students, excluding highly skilled PhD students whose courses span a duration of 3 to 5 years.
Should these measures be implemented, a significant impact will be felt by Nigerian students aspiring to pursue postgraduate studies in the UK, as they constituted the largest surge in the number of dependents accompanying individuals with study visas in 2022.
In February, The Times (UK) had previously reported on the government’s contemplation of such a ban, highlighting the mounting concerns expressed by Sunak and Suella Braverman, the home secretary, in light of an almost eightfold increase in the number of family members joining foreign students.
Additionally, media reports have indicated that the home secretary has been considering reforms to the graduate visa pathway. Her proposal stipulates that foreign students would be required to secure a work visa through skilled employment or depart from the UK within six months following the completion of their studies.