Study In UK: New student visa rules barring family members come into force

The UK govt has exempted students pursuing postgraduate research and having government-funded scholarships from new international student visa norms.

UK announces change in international student visa rules. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)UK announces change in international student visa rules. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

Vagisha Kaushik | January 2, 2024 | 02:23 PM IST

NEW DELHI: The United Kingdom (UK) government has announced that international students can no longer bring their family members to the country as part of the new UK student visa rules starting from January 1, 2024. However, students pursuing postgraduate research and those having government-funded scholarships are exempted from the changes. The announcement came on the very first day of the new year 2024 itself.

“We are fully committed to seeing a decisive cut in migration. From today, new overseas students will no longer be able to bring family members to the UK. Postgraduate research or government-funded scholarships students will be exempt,” said the home office of UK in a post on X.

Resharing the information on his social media page, UK prime minister Rishi Sunak said that the UK is already delivering for British people in 2024.

Also read UK visa grants for dependants of Indian students grew 1,900% over 2019-2023

The UK home office said that the changes are aimed at cutting down on dependents brought by overseas students, people who use the student visa as a way to work in the country. Through the new changes which were first announced by former home secretary Suella Braverman in May last year, the UK will see around 1,40,000 fewer people.

"This government is delivering on its commitment to the British public to cut migration. We have set out a tough plan to rapidly bring numbers down, control our borders and prevent people from manipulating our immigration system, which will come into force throughout this year,” home secretary James Cleverly said in a statement.

"Today, a major part of that plan comes into effect, ending the unreasonable practice of overseas students bringing their family members to the UK. This will see migration falling rapidly by the tens of thousands and contribute to our overall strategy to prevent 300,000 people from coming to the UK," he added.

1,52,980 visas were issued to dependants of students as per the data procured by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The UK home office further said that the government will work with universities to prepare an alternative approach for the bright students to bring along dependents while reducing the migration.

With inputs from PTI

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