Number of dependants foreign students can bring may be capped: Universities UK CEO warns govt – UKMALAYALEE

Number of dependants foreign students can bring may be capped: Universities UK CEO warns govt

Monday 10 October 2022 7:54 AM UTC

LONDON Oct 10: UK government ministers are mulling several options to stop the tide of international students bringing in spouses and their children.

Reports said that international students from Nigeria and India brought the most dependants to the UK with 34,000 Nigerian students bringing 31,898 dependants and 93,100 Indian students bringing 24,916 dependants.

Cabinet minister Nadhim Zahawi, along with Home Secretary Suella Braverman, had recently expressed concern about the number of dependents — as many as six — foreign students were bringing into the country.

Nadhim Zahawi said that although foreign students were welcome in the UK, it was wrong that some brought as many as six family members with them, The Times reported.

When a reporter told Nadhim Zahawi that the Home Secretary would not agree with him, he said she attended his weekly meetings on legal and illegal migration.

“She would agree with me when I say to you, we have to bear down on the bad migration and make sure that the economy and the big projects are delivered”, he said.

Last week Suella Braverman told the Tory conference that her long term aim was to reduce net migration to the “tens of thousands,” a target ditched by Boris Johnson. She indicated that she would be targeting foreign students on “sub-standard” courses in “inadequate” universities, their dependents and “low-skilled” workers in, for example, agriculture where farmers should be turning to automation and local UK employees.

Meanwhile, Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper is among those claiming Ms Truss and Ms Braverman are “at loggerheads” over immigration policy and “much more”. The split is “adding to the impossible chaos & confusion at the heart of this Tory Govt”, she tweeted.

Speaking to Evening Standard, Vivienne Stern, the chief executive of Universities UK, said those able to bring dependants with them tend to be older and therefore more likely to have families.

“So putting up barriers to them bringing those loved ones with them is simply going to drive them to study elsewhere,” she said.

“We risk losing their huge contribution to research and the skilled economy, at a time when we need it most.

“Far from being a free pass, dependants are subject to the same vigorous visa checks, including proof of funds to support themselves – and they all pay the NHS health surcharge up front.”

Home Office says that “the government will set out a plan in the coming weeks to ensure the immigration system supports growth whilst maintaining control”

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