Undergraduate students are not permitted to bring their partner and children to the UK when they come to the UK to study. However, until now, all postgraduate students have had the potential to do so.


That was the case until this week, when the Home Office announced new restrictions to the student visa route. Postgraduate students will no longer be allowed to bring family members to the United Kingdom while they study unless they are on a PHD program or postgraduate research program.


The Home Office also announced that those on a student visa would no longer be able to switch to a work visa prior to their studies being completed. You can find out more about that change is our previous article here.


Rise in dependent visas


The Home Office has announced this new restriction on family members of students in light of the substantial increase in dependent visa in the UK. The new reforms will come into effect in January 2024, however the exact date is yet to be confirmed.


In the latest immigration figures announced today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), it was revealed that student visas were up by 22% in 2022 at 480,000. The figure for dependents was also relatively high at 136,000, overall double 2021’s figure of 55,000 and over seven times 2019’s figure of 19,000. This goes some way to explaining the government’s desire to heavily reduce these figures as part of their overall aim to cut migration.


Students with a visa have to provide documents proving their relationship to their dependents, who must pay £490 for a visa, and also contribute an annual surcharge of between £470 and £624 towards the NHS.  Postgraduate students also need to show that they have sufficient money to support their family in the UK.


If you are presently a postgraduate student here in the United Kingdom and wish to bring your family to the United Kingdom, contact us now as once the new rules come in next year it will be too late.


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