UK Incumbency bars dependent to escort International Students following January 2024

Starting from January, 2024, students pursuing courses other than research in post-graduation programs would not be able to take their dependents.  Aimed towards holding in the ever increasing net immigration. Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, has described this new move as the biggest tightening measure the government has ever executed. The Home Secretary said the new move is upright as it allows the government to protect the public service simultaneously.

In the past few years, the UK Isles have witnessed an exponential rise in the immigration rate, with net migration running over 500,000 between the periods June 2021- June 2022 – twice more than that recorded in the year 2019. It may be noted that “Net immigration” is nothing but the difference between the number of people entering the UK with the purpose of staying 12 months or more in a particular time frame and the number of people exiting during the identical time period.

This blog is dedicated to discussing this new move by the government with respect to the international students and their dependents. 

Tragic increase in the number of dependent accompanying international students & its repercussions

Since 2019, the UK has witnessed a tragic 750 % increase in the number of dependents of international students, taking the number to 136,000 people.  Therefore, to curb this net migration, the UK government from January 2024 onwards has declared to prevent international students from bringing their dependants with them while pursuing their studies in the UK. These dependents include children below the age of 18, spouses, civil partners, and old parents in need of long-term care. Some of the important repercussions of this new policy include:

  1. International students will now not be allowed to switch over to the Skilled Worker Route until they complete their education.
  2. Those students coming to the UK to pursue their one-year Master’s course would also face the same fate as their undergraduate counterparts.
  3. International students will, however, be able to stay in the UK for two years through the Graduate Route, while it is three years for Doctoral/PhD students.
  4. Putting end on the agents endorsing inappropriate applications.

Major Repercussions Explained:

  • Students will not be allowed to switch to the Skilled Worker Route until completion of their education

Pursuing any course in the UK Isles requires a huge sum of money and-therefore, more students opt for the Skilled Worker route, since the same proposes an economical and time-bound pathway to full-time employment in the UK. However, this new policy aimed towards clamping down upon the non-genuine students using the Skilled Worker Route as backdoor.

  • Effect on the one year Master’s course

Students pursuing a graduation course have been prevented from bringing their dependents to the UK. However, they are not the only individuals to face this fate. Students pursuing a one-year Master’s course would also face an impact. And this course is quite popular among students from India and Nigeria. This decision will be a boon to the major global economies who now have a chance to welcome pioneering individuals forsaken by the UK.

  • Crackdown on agents

Cracking down upon fake and unscrupulous agents would help other genuine agents to obtain proper professional certification and establish a firm record of ethical conduct.


Can we expect the policy to alleviate? 

It is highly uncertain to expect any flexibility in the new policy. However, the incumbency in its statement has talked about its plan on working closely with UK universities to prepare an alternative procedure so as to ensure that pioneering students can bring their dependents into the UK Isles. This would be simultaneously done with reducing the net migration rate. And will be executed after proper consultation with different key stakeholders. 

 How useful can be “Irish Expert”?

Our Team at Irish Expert possess high experience in advising clients upon immigration matters, including student and work visa. If any question strikes your mind from this blog, kindly do not hesitate to contact us for advice and assistance, or, send us an email, or, simply follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn to remain in touch with the recent updates.


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