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Nigerian students’ dependants surge 146.1% in one year

UK to further raise bar for Nigerian, others bringing family to Britain

The number of the dependants of Nigerian students in the United Kingdom (UK) has more than doubled in one year, a new official immigration data show.

According to the data released by the British government on Thursday, Africa’s biggest economy had the highest number of dependants of sponsored study visa holders which rose by 146.1 percent to 66,796 in the year ending March 2023 from 27,137 in the year ending March 2022.

“Indian nationals had the second highest number of dependants, increasing from 22,598 to 42,381. In the year ending March 2023, around 73 percent of visas issued to dependants of students were issued to two nationalities (Indians and Nigerians),” it said.

Sponsored study related visas refer to visas granted to primary sponsored study visa holders and their dependants. In the UK, holders are able to bring partners and children (dependants).

The UK’s immigration data also revealed that of the top five countries granted sponsored study visas, Nigerians saw the largest percentage increase, up 83 percent to 57,636 followed by Indians which had an increase of 63 percent (138,532).

Read also: UK’s visa restriction on Nigerian students, others will worsen labour shortages – lawmaker

But the number of sponsored study visa holders and their dependants might decline next year on the back of the UK’s new visa policy restricting the number of families for international students due to an increase in net migration.

“The UK is a top destination for the brightest students to learn at some of the world’s best universities. But we have seen an unprecedented rise in the number of student dependants being brought into the country with visas,” Suella Braverman, UK’s home secretary said in a statement on Tuesday.

She said it is time for us to tighten up this route to ensure we can cut migration numbers and meet the government’s pledge to the British people to cut net migration.

“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,” she added.

@OgbeniDipo tweeted via his handle that students with family from Nigeria will most likely apply to go study in Canada, Germany, France, Finland or Australia from next year.
“Only single people will probably pick the UK as 1st choice and the student numbers coming to the UK will reduce.”