In a move that has left families torn apart, the British government, led by Home Secretary Suella Braverman, has announced a crackdown on overseas students, preventing them from bringing their loved ones to the UK.
The decision comes as part of a larger effort to reduce net migration, but it has sparked outrage and heartbreak among affected families.
Under the new rules, all foreign students, except those on postgraduate research programs, will be banned from bringing their dependents starting from January 2024. The government argues that the economic benefits brought by students should not come at the expense of the Tory promise to cut immigration.
Ms. Braverman expressed concern about the unexpected rise in the number of dependents and stressed the need to prioritize immigration reduction. She stated:
“The economic benefits that students can bring should not overshadow our commitment to controlling net migration.”
Additionally, the government is halting international students from switching from the student visa route to work routes before completing their studies.
Maintenance requirements for students and their dependents will also be removed, and measures will be taken to address the issue of unscrupulous education agents supporting inappropriate immigration applications.
According to government data, there has been a significant increase in the number of visas granted to dependents of sponsored students, reaching 136,000 in the year ending December 2022, compared to 16,000 in 2019.