UK’s New Immigration Policy| Its Effect on Nigerian Students

The UK’s new policy restricts foreign students, excluding those in postgraduate research programmes, from bringing their dependents from 2024. This change, aimed at reducing net migration, will notably affect Nigerian postgraduate students, who accounted for a significant rise in dependents in 2022.

In a radical new policy move, the UK has decided to ban international students from bringing their family members to the country. The surprising development was announced by Home Secretary Suella Braverman as part of a broader initiative to curb net migration.

From January 2024, all international students – except those enrolled in postgraduate studies – are prohibited from accompanying their dependents. This is a significant change as the UK previously allowed family members to accompany their spouse or parents who held a valid student visa. Braverman justified the decision by citing an “unexpected” increase in the number of family members coming with students. He argued that while the economic benefits that international students bring to the UK should be recognised, these should not come at the expense of their efforts to limit immigration. This policy change is expected to affect a significant number of international students, including Nigerian students who make up a significant proportion of the international student body in the UK.The changes apply to all master’s students and other non-scientific graduates of a university degree. However, the restriction does not affect doctoral students classified as highly qualified, whose studies usually last between 3 and 5 years. The new rules, if implemented, could significantly change the dynamics of higher education performance by Nigerian students in the UK. Those intending to pursue postgraduate studies will be particularly affected, as they will be responsible for the largest increase in the number of family members accompanying study visa holders in 2022. educational opportunities around the world.It remains to be seen how the policy will evolve in response to the inevitable feedback from students, academic institutions and other stakeholders around the world. As always, we encourage students and families affected by these changes to seek professional advice before making any important decisions regarding their study abroad plans.

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