Government set to stop student visa holders bringing family members to UK

student dependent visa uk


The UK Government has announced visa changes that will prevent most international students from being able to bring family members with them to the UK as dependants.

A joint statement issued by the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, and Education Secretary, Michelle Keegan, on 23 May 2023 stated that the UK’s student dependent visa is to be restricted to close family members of those on research postgraduate programmes only. The statement said the new government restrictions “will cut net migration while protecting the economic benefits students bring to the UK.

The announcement comes as part of a range of changes the government has made to reduce migration to the UK, while still remaining committed to its target to host 600,000 international students studying in the UK per year by 2030.

According to statistics from the Home Office, about 136,000 visas were granted to dependants of sponsored students in the year ending December 2022. This is an eightfold increase on the 16,000 visas issued in 2019.

The Home Office has also said it is looking to bring to an end the option for student visa holders to switch to a UK work visa before they have completed their studies.

New visa guidance on international students and their dependants is expected to be announced later this year to take effect from January 2024.



Government set to stop student visa holders bringing family members to UK 1

Gill Laing is a qualified Legal Researcher & Analyst with niche specialisms in Law, Tax, Human Resources, Immigration & Employment Law.

Gill is a Multiple Business Owner and the Managing Director of Prof Services - a Marketing Agency for the Professional Services Sector.

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