In today’s blog update we will be discussing the new restrictions on overseas students bringing family to UK which has come into force An important element of Rishi Sunak’s plan to decrease legal migration to the UK comes into this January – but he still faces fights with his backbenches to lessen both legal and illegal migration before general election which I expected this year.
Major Changes in Immigration Policy
The Government of United Kingdom has carried out noteworthy changes to its immigration policy, mainly affecting international students. As of January 2024, these new rules, because of Rishi Sunak’s plan to control legal migration, are in effect. These modifications are part of a broader strategy to control immigration, but they are not without controversy and defies within the government.
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Important Limitations for International Students
The most distinguished change is the restriction on international students bringing family members to the UK. From January 2024, only those enrolled in postgraduate research courses or courses with UK government-funded scholarships can bring dependants. This move plans to curb what the UK government perceives as abuse of the visa system. In the year 2022, there was a significant increase in student visas and visas for dependants, stressing the need for regulation, according to the UK government.
Expected Impact and Opposition
This policy is anticipated to meaningfully reduce the number of migrants coming to the UK, with estimates signifying a decrease of around 140,000 yearly. James Cleverly, the UK Home Secretary states that this is a crucial step in controlling borders and reducing immigration numbers. On the other hand, the opposition, including Yvette Cooper, the UK Shadow Home Secretary criticizes these measures as insufficient and a mere “sticking plaster” over broader issues.
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Broader Immigration Strategy and Challenges
The government’s wider strategy to reduce legal and illegal migration has had varied success. While illegal migration numbers have decreased, with a notable reduction in small boat crossings, the government faces internal opposition regarding the pace and effectiveness of its policies. A planned increase in the family visa threshold has been delayed, leading to criticism of the government’s commitment to its own targets.
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The UK’s new immigration rules pans a significant shift in policy, mainly impacting international students. While the UK government reviews these changes as vital to controlling immigration and addressing system misuse, there is internal and external opposition to the effectiveness and fairness of these measures. These developments come ahead of a general election, adding a layer of political intricacy to the issue.
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