Home Office Bans Foreign Students from Bringing Family to the UK

Starting from January 2024, international students will no longer have the option to bring their dependants with them, except for those enrolled in postgraduate courses categorised as research programs. The government’s rationale behind these new measures is to prevent the misuse of the visa system by international students who switch from the student route to work routes without completing their studies.

Alongside the removal of this specific right, there will be a review of the maintenance requirement for students and their dependants. Additionally, the government plans to crack down on “unscrupulous” education agents who exploit inappropriate applications with the intention of selling immigration rather than promoting education.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman, in a ministerial statement released recently, drew attention to an “unexpected rise” in the number of dependants accompanying international students, as revealed by recent immigration data. This surge occurred following the government’s commitment to reduce net migration.

Ms Braverman said that while the government’s strategy around international education “plays an important part in supporting the economy”, it should “not be at the expense of our commitment to the public to lower overall migration”.

“This package strikes the right balance between acting decisively on tackling net migration and protecting the economic benefits that students can bring to the UK,” she said.

“Now is the time for us to make these changes to ensure an impact on net migration as soon as possible. We expect this package to have a tangible impact on net migration. Taken together with the easing of temporary factors, we expect net migration to fall to pre-pandemic levels in the medium term.”


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