Student visa route changes examined

26th June 2023

Planned changes to the student visa route for those wanting to study in the UK were announced on 23 May 2023. The changes will come into effect in January 2024.

This is part of the Government’s plans to try and reduce net migration as Government figures are expected to confirm that net legal migration rose to 700,000 in December 2022. According to Government figures, almost half a million student visas were issued while the number of dependants of overseas students has increased by 750% since 2019 to 136,000 people.

Under the current rules, postgraduate students can bring their children under 18 and partner to the UK. Students are also able to switch into work routes from inside the UK.

Under the new rules from January 2024:

  • 1) Postgraduate students will no longer be able to bring family members to the UK, except for postgraduate research students.
  • 2) Students will be prevented from switching into work categories until their studies have been completed.

The Government will also be looking at the level of funds that students and their dependants have to demonstrate they have available when making their visa applications. It is unclear whether the Government will make any changes to the level of funds that students and dependants are required to have in order to meet the maintenance requirement.

The Graduate route which gives students a further two years to live and work in the UK after successfully completing their course will remain unchanged, which is good news for employers.

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