The UK announced a ban on international students bringing family members with them on Tuesday as part of its broader plan to reduce net migration.
In a written ministerial statement, Home Secretary Suella Braverman confirmed that the ban, which will apply to all international students except those undertaking postgraduate research courses such as PhDs, will come into effect from January 2024. .
The announcement comes as the government prepares for the latest network migration data from the Office for National Statistics, due to be released on Thursday, shows a sharp rise.
The Center for Policy Studies think tank has suggested it will rise to more than 700,000, from just over 500,000 in the year to June 2022.
The Ministry of the Interior estimates that since 2019, the number of visas granted to dependents of international students has multiplied eightfold, from 16,000 to 136,000.
Other proposals in the statement include a crackdown on “unscrupulous educational agents,” a review of support requirements for students and their dependents, and the removal of the ability to “switch from the student route to the work route.” before the studies have been completed.
The move comes after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faced harsh criticism from within his own party over the government’s handling of migration.