UK bans Nigerian students, others from bringing family members from January 2024

The United Kingdom has officially banned Nigerian and other international students from bringing in dependants into the UK.

The ban which is aimed at reducing migration into the UK will take effect from January 2024, Home Secretary Suella Braverman disclosed in a statement on Tuesday.

With this move the UK hopes to crack down on “unscrupulous education agents who make use of inappropriate applications to sell immigration, not education”, while blocking international students from “misuse of visa system” – switching from student route to work routes.

Only international students on postgraduate courses regarded as research programmes will be allowed to bring in their dependants.

Ms Braverman said, “this package strikes the right balance between acting decisively on tackling net migration and protecting the economic benefits that students can bring to the UK.”

“Now is the time for us to make these changes to ensure an impact on net migration as soon as possible. We expect this package to have a tangible impact on net migration. Taken together with the easing of temporary factors, we expect net migration to fall to pre-pandemic levels in the medium term.”

Foreign students brought 135,788 relatives to the UK in 2022, nine times as many as in 2019. More than 59,000 Nigerian students arrived in 2022 with about 61,000 family members.