New UK Restrictions: Impact on International Students Bringing Families
The United Kingdom is preparing to implement stricter regulations that could potentially prevent Nigerian students, as well as students from other nationalities, studying in the UK from bringing their families with them. This move aims to address the significant increase in net migration into the country, which has reached 1 million individuals. British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, and his government are expected to announce these immigration restrictions in the coming days. The new rules will primarily affect master’s students and several other postgraduate students, but will not apply to PhD students, who are generally highly skilled and pursue longer courses lasting between 3 and 5 years.
The decision to impose restrictions on family members accompanying international students is a response to the mounting concern among Tory MPs and the government regarding the surging numbers of migrants entering the UK. The situation has prompted calls for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to take decisive action to address this issue.
According to The Sun UK, an explosion in the number of individuals entering the UK by relying on their relatives’ student visas has driven the government to take action. Last year alone, students brought a staggering 135,788 family members to the country, a ninefold increase compared to 2019. Specifically, Nigerian students accounted for 59,053 individuals who brought over 60,923 relatives during the same period.
Implications for International Students:
The imminent immigration clampdown will primarily impact master’s students and various other postgraduate students. These individuals will no longer have the option to bring their families over during their studies in the UK. The British government hopes that by implementing this restriction, it can better control the escalating migration figures and address the concerns raised by lawmakers.
Exemption for PhD Students:
While the new regulations will affect a significant number of international students, PhD students will be exempted from the ban. The exemption is justified by the extended duration of PhD courses, which typically last between 3 and 5 years, and the high level of expertise associated with these programs. PhD students are generally regarded as highly skilled individuals, and their exclusion from the restrictions acknowledges their unique circumstances and contribution to the academic and research communities in the UK.
As the United Kingdom prepares to announce new immigration restrictions, international students, including Nigerian students, may face challenges in bringing their families to accompany them during their studies. While the ban will primarily affect master’s students and other postgraduates, PhD students will be exempted due to the longer duration of their courses and their high level of skills. These measures aim to address the significant increase in net migration numbers, which has become a pressing concern for the government. It remains to be seen how these new regulations will shape the landscape for international students in the UK in the future.