Indian Students Face Setback as UK Pushes Down Bringing Dependents

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Aarushi Jain
Updated on May 24, 2023 01:05 PM IST

Indian students have recently experienced a major setback as the UK pushes down on bringing dependents. Only international students enrolled in postgraduate courses that are now classed as research programmes will be permitted to bring family members as dependents.

Indian Students Face Setback as UK Pushes Down Bringing Dependents

On May 23, 2023, the UK government announced a new immigration crackdown aimed at foreign students, notably Indians, and their entitlement to enter the country with dependent family members while enrolled at a British university.

UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman stated that only foreign students enrolled in postgraduate studies that are now categorised as research programmes would be permitted to bring in their family members, including young children and ageing parents, as their dependents.

The new regulations, according to the minister of Indian descent, were deemed essential when it was discovered that dependents of sponsored students received almost 136,000 visas in the year ending December 2022, an increase of more than eight times from 16,000 in 2019.

Also Read: New Record: Indian Students Surpass the Number of Chinese Students in UK

The new regulations include removing international students' ability to enrol dependents unless they are enrolled in postgraduate studies that are currently categorised as research programmes.

Other additional measures include examining the maintenance requirements for students and dependents and eliminating the option for international students to transition from the student path into the job route before their studies are finished.

The minister also committed to taking action against dishonest education brokers who would encourage false applications to promote immigration rather than education. However, the graduate route's conditions are unchanging. The nation is dedicated to luring the smartest and brightest students to study at UK universities. To ensure that the best and the brightest students may bring dependents to the world of prestigious colleges while continuing to minimise net migration, their objective is to collaborate with universities over the upcoming year to develop a different strategy.

Following discussions with the educational sector and other partners, the new restrictions are likely to be implemented as soon as feasible. The crackdown was widely anticipated, with sources indicating that the UK's latest net migration data, due out later this week, will show a large increase from 504,000 between June 2021 and 2022, despite a Conservative Party-led government commitment to reduce immigration in the aftermath of Brexit.

Also Read: Leading UK University Official Talks About Possible Cutbacks on Post-Study Work Visa

The majority of students will not be impacted by proposals that restrict the ability to be accompanied by dependents, according to Jamie Arrowsmith, Director of Universities UK International (UUKi), the organisation that represents 140 UK universities. Therefore, more information on the programmes that are in scope is required before a proper assessment of the impact can be made.

The UUKi was pleased to learn that the new Graduate Route Visa, which permits students to stay on and gain job experience for up to three years after receiving their degree, will continue to be available and competitive. The biggest number of dependents accompanying these students are from Nigeria, followed by India.

Source: NDTV News

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