– Plans to Clampdown on Agents Selling Immigration Instead of Education
The government of the United Kingdom has finally carried out its threat to ban students and other migrants from bringing in their family members into the country.
The UK Home Office made this known on Monday in a post on X.
The post stated that the government had commenced the implementation of its policy, banning students and other overseas students from bringing in dependants via the study visa route.
It hinted that only those on postgraduate research or government-sponsored scholarship students are exempted from the ban.
“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,” the Home Office said.
The United Kingdom had in May 2023 put in place a law to stop all students, and others studying in the UK from bringing family, as dependents except under specific circumstances.
This is as the UK government aims to bring down immigration into the country which stands at about one million.
Under the new rule, the UK will remove the permission for international students to switch out of the student route and into work routes before their studies have been completed to prevent misuse of the visa system.
The UK government has also promised to clampdown on agents who sell immigration instead of education.
“There will also be a review of the maintenance requirement for students and dependents and a crackdown on ‘unscrupulous’ education agents who make use of inappropriate applications to sell immigration, not education.”
A statement on the UK’s Home Office official site adds that the “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 post-graduate 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, last year almost half a million student visas were issued while the number of dependants of overseas students has increased by 750 per cent since 2019, to 136,000 people.”
The Home Office also added that the UK government made this decision in its commitment to the public to lower overall migration and ensure that migration to the UK was highly skilled and provided the most benefit.
The Home Office noted that the decisions taken is in the overall interest of all as education is being prioritised.
“The government to continue to meet its International Education Strategy commitments while making a tangible contribution to reducing net migration to sustainable levels. The government has also made clear that the terms of the graduate route remain unchanged.”