Recently, the UK government announced some changes based on immigration rules and regulations. The changes came into effect on 17 July 2023. These include restrictions on Student Visas– their dependents and student work-route visas.
This type of visa was seen as an easy target for dependents of students to come into the country. It was increasing as the dependents of students were also not economically active in the country.
To help you understand these changes better, below are the brief details give on each of the changes:
New Rules for dependents on student visa in UK
According to this change, international students cannot bring any dependents to the UK with effect from July 2023 unless their course is one of the following:
- A PhD course;
- A doctoral qualification; or
- A research-based higher degree
Many immigration solicitors, UK colleges and universities condemned this change. They stated that if their dependents could not accompany international students, they would choose to study in another country.
Changes to Student Route to Work Route
Regarding work visas, students will lose the ability to switch from a student route to a work route before completing their studies. They will be able to apply for work before completing their course, and the employment start date should be after completion of the course.
When students switch to a work route, they commonly enter the Skilled Worker Route. Under this, the student will be allowed a Certificate of Sponsorship for three months before their proposed start date in the UK.
Students can start working once the application is approved, even before the start date of Certificate of Sponsorship. As for PhD students, they can switch after they complete 24 months of study. This change will also affect students who applied from 17 July 2023.
However, this will not affect students who applied for courses starting in Autumn 2023.
What about the dependents who are in the UK?
As for dependents already in the UK, they can extend their visa if the student holds a valid visa to remain in the UK.
This change has been implemented to reduce the influx of applications for dependents.
Why did the government take such a decision?
The UK brought change into effect without following the unusual convention to the immigration rules that would come into effect at least 21 days after coming before the Parliament.
The government said it decided without any prior notice to avoid more incoming dependents and reduce the switch route applications made by students before a cut-off date.
They also added that the international students had noticed the changes made in May 2023 earlier.