U.K. Announces Restrictions on Bringing Family Members to Join Foreign Students
In what seems like a shocking immigration crackdown, the United Kingdom is set to announce new immigration restrictions on foreign students, banning them from bringing family over to Britain.
The United Kingdom is poised to unveil a series of stringent restrictions aimed at preventing foreign students from bringing their families into the country. This measure, which is expected to be announced soon, underscores the British government's commitment to reevaluating its immigration policies in light of evolving priorities.
According to Business Insider Africa, the restrictions will primarily affect master's students and a substantial portion of post-graduate students, who will face a ban on their ability to sponsor family members to join them in Britain. The policy will not affect PhD students, though, because their courses typically span three to five years and are distinguished by their high level of specialization.
The decision to curb family visas for select student categories follows a surge in net migration into the U.K. From June 2021 to June 2022, net migration in the U.K. hit a record 504,000 according to data from the U.K. Office of National Statistics. Early estimates for the 2022 - 2023 year put net migration numbers even higher, at around 700,000.
The Conservative Party in the U.K. has urged Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to find ways to cut down on the surge. According to reports, the growing influx of immigrants has also spurred widespread calls for tighter controls and stricter oversight to address the soaring migration rates.
This has prompted the British government to take steps to control the rising numbers. Historically, the U.K. has had less stringent immigration rules, compared to countries like the United States.
While critics argue that these restrictions will take away the appeal of the U.K. as a top destination for education, others argue that it is necessary to safeguard the nation’s resources and infrastructure in the face of increasing demands on public services.
According to Business Africa, the impact of this policy will especially affect Nigerian students, who have been among the largest contributors to the U.K.'s international student community through the years. Last year alone, 59,053 Nigerian students brought over 60,923 relatives to the country. This new move could significantly hamper that.
This is a developing story.