Have you been wondering why the UK government banned international students from bringing their family members and how it can affect your decision to study and move to the UK? Then, this article is a must to read.
The UK study visa, known as the Tier 4 (General) student visa, allows international students to study in the UK, with dependents such as spouses, civil partners, and children under 18 allowed to accompany them. The primary visa holder must demonstrate sufficient funds to support themselves and their dependents, as well as cover living expenses before their families are granted dependent visas.
Advantages of a dependent visa include the ability to work and study, free education for children up to the secondary school level, and the opportunity to apply for permanent residency. However, starting in January 2024, the UK Home Office announced that international students will no longer be able to bring their family members as dependents on study visas.
This decision aims to prevent misuse of the student visa for work purposes. Nigerian students, who had a significant number of dependents accompanying them, will be particularly affected by this change.
In this article, we will present five key points for you to note with the new UK restriction on dependent visas for Nigerian students.
1. The restriction takes effect from January 2024.
Those who have already obtained admission to a UK university and are starting their academic session this year still have the opportunity to bring their family members, as the restriction will come into effect from January 2024. However, it is important to speed up the process of obtaining a dependent visa to meet the deadline.
2. No more switching from Study Visa to Work Visa
To stop the misuse of the visa system and maintain the integrity of the immigration process, the UK government has decided to implement measures that will prevent overseas students from transitioning directly from the student visa route to work routes before completing their studies.
This change aims to ensure that individuals entering the country on student visas are genuinely pursuing educational opportunities and not exploiting the system as a backdoor route to work in the UK.
3. PhD applicants are excluded.
According to the United Kingdom’s Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, only students enrolled in postgraduate courses currently classified as research programs, including PhD students, will be allowed to bring dependents under the new regulations.
Therefore, if you aspire to study in the UK with your family, it is advisable to pursue admission to a PhD program. For those who lack the financial means, our website scholarshipregion.com provides updates on fully-funded PhD scholarships and application procedures.
4. A thorough review of Financial Capacity
There will be a thorough review of the financial requirements for students applying for visas to study in the UK. By conducting a thorough evaluation of the current funds requirements, the government seeks to strike a balance between ensuring that students have sufficient financial means to support themselves and their dependents, while also preventing potential abuse or exploitation of the system.
5. Tackling Unethical Student Agents
Furthermore, The government is actively addressing the issue of unscrupulous international student agents who may be involved in supporting inappropriate visa applications. These agents, driven by personal gain, exploit vulnerable individuals by providing false information, fraudulent documentation, or encouraging applications that do not align with the genuine intentions of the student.
Such practices not only undermine the integrity of the immigration system but also place the reputation of international students and legitimate agents at risk.