UK Visa Rule Update: Only PhD Students Allowed to Bring Dependents, Says Envoy

UK Visa Rule Update: Only PhD Students Allowed

UK Visa Rule Update: Only PhD Students Allowed to Bring Dependents, Says Envoy

The United Kingdom (UK) has announced changes to its policy regarding the eligibility of international students to bring dependents to the country. According to Dr. Richard Montgomery, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, only international students enrolling in Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programs can bring dependents with them.

Montgomery explained that the policy change, implemented earlier this year, aimed to address the significant increase in foreign students bringing dependents, putting unsustainable pressure on universities across the UK. He highlighted challenges such as accommodation shortages, limited access to medical services, and schooling for dependents as reasons for the policy adjustment.

However, Montgomery clarified that the restrictions do not apply to all categories of students. Those enrolled in long-term research degrees, such as PhD or doctorate programs, are exempt from the new rules. He emphasized the importance of understanding the rationale behind the policy change, emphasizing that it was a sensible adjustment considering the strain on the higher education sector.

The High Commissioner cited data showing a dramatic surge in the number of dependents accompanying foreign students, with a thirty-fold increase observed in some cases. He noted that while demand for UK education remains strong, the policy aims to balance accommodating international students and managing associated challenges.

Montgomery acknowledged that it is too early to assess the full impact of the policy change on undergraduate students, as the adjustments were announced in 2023 and came into effect earlier this year. However, he emphasized the continued high demand for UK education, citing significant increases in study visa applications from Nigerian applicants.

Overall, Montgomery expressed optimism about the sustained demand for UK education while acknowledging potential factors, such as currency fluctuations, that may affect affordability for prospective students. He underscored the UK’s reputation for higher education excellence and its position as a leading destination for international students.


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