UK Ministers Consider Plans to Limit Number of Dependents International Students Can Bring to Country

United Kingdom Europe International Studies Higher Education News by Erudera News Oct 13, 2022

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Ministers in the United Kingdom are considering plans to restrict the number of dependents that international students bring with them into the country.

The Home Secretary Suella Braverman expressed worries over the number of dependents coming to the UK, which reaches up to six. Braverman told the Tory party conference that the long-term goal was to reduce net migration to “tens of thousands,” a target Boris Johnson previously canceled.

According to the UK government website, students can bring dependent partners or children who may be eligible to apply to stay longer in the UK, Erudera.com reports.

As The Telegraph reports, the Cabinet Office minister, Nadhim Zahawi, is also concerned about the same issue. Speaking to Sky News, Zahawi highlighted the importance of international students for communities and universities across the United Kingdom; however, he said it is not right to bring 5 to 6 dependents to the UK.

“But if you look at the number of dependents that come with international students, you’d expect most international students may bring one dependent, or if they are doing a PhD they might bring their wife and maybe a child. There are some people who are coming to study in the UK who are bringing five, six more people with them. Is that right? No,” Zahawi told the British news service platform.

Home Office data indicate that the number of dependents of international students who have been given visas to the UK rose from 13,664 in 2019 to 81,089 in June 2022.

In order to be permitted to bring dependents into the country, students should be pursuing full-time studies or a postgraduate level course that lasts nine months or more or be Doctorate Extension Scheme students. A dependent partner or child includes a husband, wife or civil partner, unmarried partner, and child under 18 years.

Data from HESA, UCAS, the Home Office and ONS show that a total of 605,130 international students were studying in the United Kingdom in the academic year 2020/21; of them, 52,905 were from the EU and 452,225 non-EU.

>> the UK Meets Target of 600,000 International Students Ten Years Earlier Than Planned

Most students in the UK during 2020/21 came from China (143,820), India (84,555) and Nigeria (21,305). Italian and French students accounted for the largest group of students from the EU, 14,605 and 14,090 students, respectively.

486,868 Sponsored study visas were granted to international students in the year ending June 2022 (including dependents), according to figures published by Universities UK.

Photo by Anthony DELANOIX | Unsplash

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