• Saturday, June 22, 2024
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UK’s new visa policy on students’ dependents sparks ‘japa’ debate

Emdee Tiamiyu arrested in the UK over fraud charges

The United Kingdom’s new visa policy limiting the number of dependents that international students can bring into the country has sparked debates around migration, codenamed japa – a Yoruba slang that roughly means ‘escape’.

In an interview with BBC which went viral recently, Emdee Tiamiyu, Nigerian Youtuber who specialises in helping Nigerians relocates to the United Kingdom, revealed that Nigerians migrating to the UK use schooling as a ploy to gain entry into the country.

“The student thing is not real. It is not like they need the degrees. They need the degree as an access road to come into the country, so a lot of these people’s priorities shifted real fast,” he said.

The video went viral after the UK enacted a law that will prevent Nigerian students, and others studying in the UK, from bringing their family as dependents except under specific circumstances.

Tiamiyu’s video has caused a lot of controversy on social media with many severely criticizing him.

“His submission in that BBC interview is why sometimes I think stupidity and foolishness are as dangerous as wickedness, and you should be extremely careful around stupid people because it has the potential to kill everyone including the actor of the foolishness,” @IAmContentKing tweeted via his handle.

Read also: UK stops Nigerian students, others from coming over with families

@fisayosoyombo tweeted that his opinion is the very antithesis of the Nigerian can-do spirit. “I personally know numerous Nigerians who are interested in nothing but British education and the opportunity it affords them to advance their education and careers, effectively bolstering the UK’s skilled workforce while very painfully draining Nigerians.”

Tiamiyu has a dubious network if he hasn’t been encountering such Nigerians, according to Fisayo.

“On the other hand, the grouping of all Nigerians as a corner-cutting, disingenuous lot by Tiamiyu, coupled with the UK’s ban on dependent visas for international students, is yet another reminder that there is nothing better than building our own country,” he tweeted.

The British government said in a statement that the new restriction will come into effect for students starting in January 2024 in order to allow future international students time to plan ahead.

“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 dependents being brought into the country with visas,” Suella Braverman, UK’s home secretary said in the statement.

She said it is time for them 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.

Before the restriction, the British government allowed sponsored study visa holders also known as student visa holders to bring their partners and children (dependants) into the country.

The number of Nigerians granted sponsored study visas increased by 768.7 percent to 59,053 in 2022, the highest in four year from 6,798 in 2019. Their dependents rose by 3,741.3 percent to 60,923 in 2022, the highest in the UK from 1,586 in 2019.

“The BBC needed Emdee Tiamiyu to provide content to support a certain narrative that will be ‘sold’ to the British public. Nothing he said is new to the home office,” @OgbeniDipo tweeted.

He said no one in Nigeria should be worried about how this will affect them. “It won’t affect you. They needed this narrative for the British public. Period!.”

@awofoduoluwaseu added that the educational pathway is a way Nigerians actively (with dependents), seek to transfer their skills and experience to integrate into a more secure and opportunity- viable environment. “Though many eventually have to then settle for lesser skilled jobs, just to remain in the UK.”