Britain to Limit Migration by Family of Overseas Students

London (Reuters) —
FILE – Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak prepares to take a sip of water during a press conference following the launch of new legislation on migrant channel crossings at Downing Street, London, Tuesday, March 7, 2023. (Leon Neal/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Britain said on Tuesday it would remove the right of some international students to bring family members into the country, part of measures to bring down annual net migration which reached a record last year.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has pledged to bring down legal migration and said last week that he was considering a range of options to reduce the high levels of arrivals, part of his promises before an election expected next year.

The Interior Ministry said the new measures, which target post-graduate students (except those on research programs), will help cut migration “substantially” and stop people from using student visas as a backdoor route to find work in Britain.

“We have seen an unprecedented rise in the number of student dependents being brought into the country with visas,” Interior Minister Suella Braverman said in a statement.

“This is the fair thing to do to allow us to better protect our public services while supporting the economy by allowing the students who contribute the most to keep coming here.”

Current rules allow postgraduate students studying courses lasting nine months or longer to bring partners and children to Britain, but the government said the number of dependants had jumped eightfold since 2019, to 136,000 people last year.

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