UK govt to place restrictions on dependents of international students from January 2024

Rishi Sunak-led UK government will place restrictions on the ability for international students to bring dependents into the country from January 2024. The government further said these restrictions apply to all students except students in post-graduate research courses. It further said this is aimed at banning people from using a student visa as a backdoor route to find work in the UK.   

A British government official said the overseas students “will be stopped from switching from the student visa route to work rules until their studies have been completed,” India Today reported. As per the new UK visa rules, students will have to prove they can look after themselves and their dependents.   

UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman said in the House of Commons that some international students will be allowed to bring their dependents into the country, as per the new visa rules. Students on research programmes like research-led masters courses and PhD students will be allowed to bring family members including children and elderly parents as dependents.   

Current visa rules allow postgraduate students in courses that last 9 months or more to bring their partners and children into the country. Braverman said while announcing the new UK visa rules that the UK government must ensure to lower net migration numbers. She added these rules have been made “to better protect our public services, while supporting the economy by allowing the students who contribute the most by coming here”.   

The government is also looking to clamp down on immigration agents who might be supporting inappropriate applications.   

These rules are also being seen as an attempt to crack down on those conducting fake marriages to get a backdoor entry via dependent visa route. The dependent visa allows full working rights in the UK for the spouse.   

Image courtesy of thesatimes

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