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Big News for UK Internationanl Students ~ Study in UK 2024

UK Student Visa: New Policy Changes Will Hardly Affect International Students, British Council Explains Why

The new visa rules launched by the UK limit the entry of dependents for international students, specifically those in postgraduate research programmes. According to British Council experts, because of the short tenure of programmes and the availability of alternative visa routes, the impact is minimal.

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The introduction of substantial changes in the visa rules, including student visas, left everyone predicting the impacts on immigrants. While people are considering it a wait-and-watch situation, the British Council estimates the impact to be comparatively low.

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What Are The Changes In The Student Visa Rule In The UK?

According to the new rule, effective January 2024, international students studying in postgraduate research programmes will no longer be allowed to bring their dependents and family to the country. However, Master of Research (MRes) and Doctorate students are exempt from this rule.

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How Can It Affect International Students?

The Director of Education India, British Council, Rittika Chanda Parruck, MBE, suggests the impacts be minimal.

According to her statement, due to the short-term duration of postgraduate programs, lasting a year, it would have a lower impact as compared to other major international education destinations. Therefore, there is no vital change in the educational experience or opportunities in the UK altogether.

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Moreover, she said that this policy ensures students have other routes available, as this change will not impact alternative visa routes like the Graduate Route, Young Professionals Scheme, visit visas, or Skilled Work visas, provided that undergraduate students are not allowed to bring dependents.

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She further added that this change in the dependent visa policy targets a specific portion of international students and programmes with exemptions for certain student categories, which is widely misinterpreted.


Driven by top-ranking universities and top-notch research facilities, the UK enjoys a top position as an education destination. There is a continuous upward trend in the number of Indian students studying in the UK, and they are counted among one of the most common nationalities, with 133,237 study visas issued in 2023.

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