2 May 2024
Student Migration

International Education Strategy plays an important role in supporting the economy through the economic contribution that students can bring to the UK. However, this should not be at the expense of the commitment to the public to lower overall migration and ensure that migration to the UK is highly skilled and provides the most benefit. The most recent immigration statistics highlighted an unexpected rise in the number of dependants coming to the UK alongside international students. Around 153,000 visas were granted to dependants in the year ending September 2023, a nearly ten-fold increase from 16,000 in 2019. 

As such, new measures have now come into force to reduce the number of dependants coming to the UK, while still ensuring the Government meets its International Education Strategy commitments. As of January 2024 international students no longer have the right to bring dependants unless they are on a postgraduate courses currently designated as research programmes. 

I can assure you that despite these changes the Department for Education's  offer to international students remains very competitive and the Government is committed to ensuring the UK remains a destination of choice for international students from across the globe. International students make a significant economic and cultural contribution to the UK’s higher education sector, which is good for our universities and delivers growth at home. Those affected by these changes will predominantly be dependants of international students.