UK Stops Nigerian Students, Others From Bringing Dependents as 1 Nigerian Brought 10 Family Members

UK Stops Nigerian Students, Others From Bringing Dependents as 1 Nigerian Brought 10 Family Members

  • The United Kingdom government has begun the implementation of a law barring international students from bringing family members
  • The new law, which came into effect on January 1, 2024, prohibits students from using the route to bring dependents
  • The government said it intends to cut down on net migration into the country and also check abuse

Pascal Oparada has over a decade of experience covering Tech, Energy, Stocks, Investments, and Economy.

The United Kingdom Home Office announced on Monday, January 1, 2024, that it had commenced the implementation of its policy barring Nigerian students and other international students from bringing dependents via its study route.

In a post on social media, the Home Office repeated that only those on postgraduate research or government-sponsored scholarship students would be allowed to bring dependents.

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United Kingdom, Nigerian Students
The UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak announces the implementation of a law banning Nigerians from bringing dependents Credit: Bloomberg/Contributor
Source: Getty Images

The new law moves to check abuses

The Home Office said:

“We are fully committed to seeing a decisive cut in migration. From today, new overseas students will no longer be able to bring family members to the UK. Postgraduate research or government-funded scholarships students will be exempt.”

In May 2023, the UK put in place a law stopping international students in the country from bringing family as dependents except under certain circumstances.

This comes as the country said it aims to cut down immigration into the land, which is about 10 million.

The new regulation means the country will remove the permission for international students to switch out of their student route and into their work route to prevent abuse of the visa system.

According to a Skye News report, there will also be a review of the maintenance requirements for students and dependents and a clampdown on unscrupulous education agents who use inappropriate applications to sell immigration, not education.

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The statement said:

“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 postgraduate 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, almost half a million student visas were issued last year. In contrast, the number of dependants of overseas students has increased by 750 percent since 2019, to 136,000 people.”

Also, the home office stated that the new rule was not at the expense of the government’s commitment to the public to lower overall immigration and ensure that migration to the country was highly skilled and provided the most benefits.

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UK moves to curtail net migration

The government stated that the proposal aimed to allow it to continue to meet its International Education Strategy plans while making concrete contributions to reducing net migration to sustainable levels.

Chinedu Vicent, a Nigerian who moved into the country two years ago told that Nigerians have abused the system, hence the crackdown.

“I can tell you that Nigerians, and maybe Indians, are why the law was implemented. These are two overpopulated countries with shambolic education systems and have the highest number of immigrants in the UK.
“In this Woolwich, I know a guy who brought 10 of his family members. It is people like these who necessitated the law,” he said.

Canada announces changes to temporary foreign workers scheme, Nigerian students affected reported that Canada’s Immigration Minister, Marc Miller, has disclosed that the country may impose restrictions on temporary foreign workers beginning in January 2024 to manage population growth and the housing crisis in the country.

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The reforms would affect international students, including Nigerians and other foreign workers.

Miller announced this during a press briefing as he unveiled plans to limit the entry of temporary foreign workers into the country.


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Pascal Oparada (Business editor) Pascal Oparada is a Mass Communications Graduate from Yaba College of Technology with over 10 years of experience in journalism. He has worked in reputable media organizations such as Daily Independent, TheNiche newspaper, and the Nigerian Xpress. He is a 2018 PwC Media Excellence Award winner.

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