UK bans students from Nigeria and others from bringing family starting from January 2024

vincity May 24, 2023
Updated 2023/05/24 at 10:33 AM

According to a new policy announced by the British government on Tuesday to reduce migration, Nigerians and other foreign citizens with study visas to the United Kingdom would no longer be allowed to bring in their families from January 2024.

Only a small percentage of international students who come to the UK to study will still be permitted to bring their spouses or children with them starting in January of next year, according to the plans.

Prior to the announcement of new immigration statistics on Thursday, there has been a focus on international students who bring dependents to the UK.

Suella Braverman, the home secretary, had already put out a variety of initiatives for immigration students.

According to her proposals, foreign students won’t be allowed to bring their dependents to the UK unless they are enrolled in postgraduate research programs, and they won’t be able to switch from the student route to the work route before their studies are finished.

The same goes for “unscrupulous education agents who may be supporting inappropriate applications to sell immigration not education,” which will be targeted for enforcement.

Before the release of the official migration data on Thursday, some predictions projected net migration in the 12 months leading up to December of the previous year may exceed 700,000.

This would significantly surpass the previous record of 500,000 in the year leading up to June 2022, and according to one study, the number may potentially approach one million.

According to Home Office data that was already available when our correspondent viewed them on Tuesday, a record-breaking 485,758 sponsored study visas were issued in 2017.

Over the course of a year, 135,788 visas were issued to foreign students’ dependents, such as spouses or children.

It was more than eight times as many as the 16,047 dependent visas that were issued in 2019.

In 2022, Nigerian sponsored study visa holders had the most dependents (60,923), followed by Indian sponsored study visa holders (38,990).

In 2022, the United Kingdom issued more visas to Nigerians for their dependents than for students, according to an analysis of those visas.

For the academic year 2021–2022, Nigerians received 44,195 study visas, according to data from the UK’s Higher Education Statistics Agency.

This is less than the quantity of dependent visas that were granted to family members throughout this time, nevertheless.

Given the amount of dependent visas awarded, the home office figures reviewed by our reporter on Tuesday revealed that 60,923 dependents immigrated to the UK during the time under consideration.

According to the Daily Mail on Tuesday, the Home Office has claimed that an increase in older students enrolling in British universities may be the source of the rise in study-related visas issued to dependents.

According to Punch, Nigeria has been undergoing a migration wave popularly referred to as Japa. The UK, Canada, and United States are among the popular choice of destinations.

21,305 Nigerian students are enrolled at UK institutions for the 2020–21 academic year. In comparison to 2019–20, this implies an increase of over 64%.

The number for the school year 2022–2023 has not yet been disclosed, although anecdotal information suggests it may be much higher.

Only China and India were still sending more students to the UK than Nigeria as of September 2021. From 12,820 in 2016–17 to 21,305 in 2020–21 to 44,195 in 2021–2022, enrollments from Nigeria increased sharply.

The sponsored study visa approvals hit a record high of 65,929, a roughly 700% rise from 2019 and a 222.8% increase compared to the same period in 2021, with Nigerians representing the greatest relative increase among all countries.

In the meanwhile, on Tuesday, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly rejected a motion asking the United Kingdom to lift the British Government’s ban on overseas students bringing their families.

The motion, headed “Urgent Need to Urge the United Kingdom to Desist from Banning Nigerian Students Emigrants From Emigrating with their Families,” was made by House member Taiwo Oluga.

Oluga, who moved the resolution, emphasized that there has been a long history of mutually beneficial connections between Nigeria and the UK, beginning with the colonization of Nigeria in the 19th century, the awarding of independence to Nigeria in 1960, and their post-independence bilateral relationship.

Oluga added, “The educational system in Nigeria, like many other national systems, is fashioned after that of the United Kingdom. This has led many Nigerians to seek employment as well as educational opportunities in the United Kingdom.”

However, when Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House, called for a voice vote to approve the resolution, there were more “nays” than “ayes.”

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