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New restrictions on overseas students bringing family to UK come into force | Politics News

The government’s new rules preventing most international students from bringing family to the UK are now in effect – but Rishi Sunak still faces a huge fight with his own party over reducing both legal and illegal migration.

Any international students starting courses from this month will not be able to bring dependants to the UK, unless they are on postgraduate research courses or courses with government-funded scholarships.

The changes were first announced last May as part of the government’s bid “to prevent misuse of the visa system”.

Ministers say it will see around 140,000 fewer people come to the UK each year.

In the year ending December 2022, 486,000 student visas were issued to applicants – up from 269,000 in 2019.

Last year, the number of student visas issued to dependants stood at 136,000 – an eight-fold increase from 2019, when 16,000 were provided.

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Foreign students abuse visa system

Welcoming the rule changes, Home Secretary James Cleverly said the government has “set out a tough plan to rapidly bring numbers down, control our borders and prevent people from manipulating our immigration system”.

“Today, a major part of that plan comes into effect, ending the unreasonable practice of overseas students bringing their family members to the UK,” he added.

“This will see migration falling rapidly by the tens of thousands and contribute to our overall strategy to prevent 300,000 people from coming to the UK.”

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said Labour supports the restrictions on dependants for overseas students on shorter courses but added “this is nothing more than a sticking plaster”.

“The Tories complete failure to tackle skills and labour market problems is undermining growth as well…

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This notice was published: 2024-01-01 09:36:00

By Sky News

Sky News is a British 24-hour information television channel, the first in Europe of its kind, launched on February 5, 1989 by the British Sky Broadcasting Company.

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