Nigerian StudentsCredit: Tribune Online

Japa: UK prevents Nigerian students, others from bringing dependants

On Monday, the United Kingdom’s Home Office announced the initiation of its policy enforcing the prohibition of Nigerian students and other international students from bringing dependants through the study visa route.

The Home Office emphasized through a post on X (formerly Twitter) that only postgraduate research students or those on government-sponsored scholarships would be exempt from this directive.

The Home Office expressed a firm commitment to significantly reduce migration, stating that as of that day, new overseas students would no longer have the option to bring family members to the UK, with exemptions granted to postgraduate research and government-funded scholarship students.

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This policy, implemented in May 2023, is part of the UK government’s broader strategy to decrease immigration, which currently stands at around one million people.

Under the new regulations, the UK will eliminate the permission for international students to switch from the student route to work routes before completing their studies to prevent misuse of the visa system.

Sky News highlighted additional measures, including a review of maintenance requirements for students and dependents, along with a crackdown on “unscrupulous” education agents engaging in inappropriate applications to exploit immigration rather than promoting education.

The official statement on the UK’s Home Office site outlined that the new restrictions on student visa routes aim to significantly reduce net migration.

These restrictions primarily limit the ability of international students to bring family members, except on postgraduate research routes, and prevent people from using a student visa as a loophole for employment in the UK.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), net migration exceeded 500,000 from June 2021 to June 2022, partly attributed to temporary factors such as the Ukraine and Hong Kong schemes.

In the previous year, almost half a million student visas were issued, with the number of dependants of overseas students experiencing a 750 percent increase since 2019, reaching 136,000 people.

The Home Office emphasized that these new measures align with the government’s commitment to lower overall migration while ensuring that migration to the UK remains highly skilled and provides the most benefit.

They stated that the proposal allows the government to uphold its International Education Strategy commitments while actively contributing to the reduction of net migration to sustainable levels.

The government clarified that the terms of the graduate route would remain unchanged.


Peter Ritdung Wakkias is a Nigerian blogger and programmer, known for being the CEO of and He holds a Higher National Diploma in Computer Science from Isa Mustapha Agwai 1 Polytechnic Lafia. Based in Lafia, Nasarawa State.

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