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Home Office to stop students from bringing family to UK in bid to curb migration | Politics News

International students who come to the UK will no longer be able to bring family with them except under specific circumstances in a government bid to bring immigration down.

International students will no longer be able to bring dependants with them unless they are on postgraduate courses that are currently designated as research programmes.

The package will also remove the ability for international students to switch out of the student route and into work routes before their studies have been completed “to prevent misuse of the visa system”, the government said.

As well as removing this right, there will also be a review of the maintenance requirement for students and dependents and a crackdown on “unscrupulous” education agents “who make use of inappropriate applications to sell immigration, not education”.

The changes will come into effect for students starting their courses from January 2024 in order to allow future international students time to plan ahead.

‘How many strikes before she is out?’ – pressure mounts on PM to launch Braverman probe – politics latest

In a written ministerial statement published today, Home Secretary Suella Braverman said recent immigration figures had shown an “unexpected rise” in the number of dependants coming to the UK alongside international students.

Ms Braverman said the increase was made after the government made its commitment to lower net migration.

The 2019, when net migration stood at 226,000, the Conservative manifesto committed to making sure “overall numbers come down”.

Ms Braverman said that while the government’s strategy around international education “plays an important part in supporting the economy”, it should “not be at the expense of our commitment to the public to lower overall migration”.

“This package strikes the right balance between acting decisively on tackling net migration and protecting the economic benefits that students can bring to the UK,” she said.

“Now is the time for us to make these changes to ensure an impact on net migration as soon as possible. We expect this package to have a tangible impact on net migration. Taken together with the easing of temporary factors, we expect net migration to fall to pre-pandemic levels in the medium term.”

The announcement comes as government comes under mounting pressure over migration figures – an issue that has reportedly caused splits in the cabinet.

Read more:
Net migration: The history of turmoil within the Tories since Cameron’s ‘tens of thousands’ pledge
Suella Braverman insists ‘nothing untoward’ over speeding awareness course

Official statistics due to be published later this week are expected to show that net migration has increased from 504,000 in the 12 months to June 2022 to more than 700,000 in the year to December.

The home secretary is also coming under increasing pressure over claims she asked civil servants to arrange a private awareness course after she was caught speeding last year – a move critics claim could amount to a breach of the ministerial code.

Raising an urgent question in the House of Commons, Labour’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner said there were “serious questions to answer” regarding Ms Braverman, adding: “How many strikes before she’s out?”

Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office Jeremy Quin said the prime minister was the “ultimate judge” of the standards expected of a minister – and the “appropriate consequences of a breach of those standards”.

He said Mr Sunak “made clear to the House yesterday that he is receiving information on the issues raised” in regards to Ms Braverman.

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