UK Government Limits Dependents of International Students to Prevent Visa Abuse

According to the provided information, the UK government, led by Rishi Sunak, plans to impose restrictions on the ability of international students to bring dependents into the country starting from January 2024. These restrictions will apply to all students except those enrolled in postgraduate research courses. The objective of these types of measures is to prevent people from using a student visa as a means to find employment in the UK.

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The UK government, led by Rishi Sunak, will impose restrictions on international students bringing dependents into the country from January 2024. The new rules aim to prevent the misuse of student visas as a pathway to work in the UK. Except for postgraduate research students, all others will be affected by the restrictions. Students will have to prove (or show) their ability to support themselves and their dependents. 
Additionally, there are concerns about limitations on switching to a sponsored work route without completing studies. However, certain research program students will still be allowed to bring family members. The changes also target immigration agents supporting inappropriate applications and crack down on fake marriages for dependent visas granting working rights.

Under the new rules, international students will be prohibited from switching from the student visa route to work rules until they have completed their studies. Additionally, students will need to demonstrate their ability to support themselves and their dependents financially.

However, some aspects of the rule changes have raised surprises among experts. For instance, the restriction on changing to a sponsored work route without completing studies is seen as unexpected, as individuals could potentially return to their home country and apply through that route.

The UK Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, announced that certain international students, such as those enrolled in research programs like research-led masters courses and Ph.D. programs, will still be allowed to bring their family members, including children and elderly parents, as dependents.

The current visa rules allow postgraduate students in courses lasting nine months or more to bring their partners and children to the UK. The new rules aim to lower net migration numbers while still supporting the economy by attracting students who make key contributions to the country. 

The government also intends to crack down on immigration agents who support inappropriate visa applications, particularly those involving fake marriages used as a backdoor entry via the dependent visa route, which grants full working rights in the UK to the spouse.

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