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UK Government Tightens Student Visa Rules, Bans Dependants

The United Kingdom’s Home Office has confirmed a new policy barring Nigerian and other international students from bringing dependents through the study visa route.

Effective immediately, this decision applies to all new overseas students, except postgraduate research or government-sponsored scholarship students who will be exempted from the restriction.

The Home Office emphasized its dedication to significantly reducing migration, citing the removal of the option for international students to switch from student routes to work routes before completing their studies to prevent misuse of the visa system.

In addition to prohibiting family members on most student routes, the UK government will review maintenance requirements for students and dependents. There will also be a crackdown on ‘unscrupulous’ education agents facilitating inappropriate applications focused on immigration rather than genuine education.

The Home Office clarified that these measures aim to substantially reduce net migration by curbing the misuse of student visas for work purposes while maintaining the integrity of the UK’s migration policies. Despite these changes, the government assured that the terms of the graduate route remain unchanged.

The government’s intention is to align international education strategies with sustainable migration levels, ensuring that migration to the UK is skill-oriented and beneficial to the country’s growth.

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