UK: New Visa Rule To Restrict Masters Students From Bringing Dependents

The UK government is taking new measures to ensure that postgraduate students do not misuse the system and just focus on their academics. The new regulations will go effective starting January 2024.

As a part of it, the new visa reforms restrict postgraduate students from bringing dependents or using academic status as a conduit to employment. This removes the right for international students to bring dependents unless they are on postgraduate courses currently designated as research programs.

This rule is expected to reduce the number of Masters students who can bring their spouses or children to the UK. The student dependents jumped eightfold to 136,000 in the year ending December 2022, up from 16,000 in 2019.

In another update, the UK’s new visa also prevents international students from switching to work visas before completing their studies and reviewing the financial requirements for students and their dependents.

The UK government is also planning to curb the education agents who are suspected of aiding in the submission of inappropriate applications. Indians surpassed the number of Chinese as the leading nationality granted study visas to the UK. Nigerians are the highest number of students who bring dependents followed by Indians.