Japa: Nigerian dependants in UK outnumber students – Analysis - PUNCH
By Deborah Tolu-Kolawole
An analysis of visas the United Kingdom issued to Nigerians in 2022 has revealed that more visas were granted to dependants than students.
Though the figure of visas issued from June 2022 to April 2023 would be out on Thursday, the UK, however, enacted a law that banned migrating students of some countries, including Nigeria, from bringing their family members to the country.
Data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency in the UK revealed that 44,195 study visas were issued to Nigerians for the 2021/2022 academic session.
However, this is lower than the number of dependants’ visas issued to family members, as the data accessed by our correspondent on Tuesday suggested that 60,923 dependants migrated to the UK during the period under review.
According to the Daily Mail, the home office has suggested that the growth in study-related visas granted to dependants could be because a greater number of older students are coming to Britain.
The PUNCH had reported that Nigeria had been undergoing a migration wave popularly referred to as Japa.
The UK, Canada, and the United States were said to be among the popular choices of destinations.
In the 2020-21 academic year, 21,305 Nigerian students were enrolled at UK universities. This represents an almost 64% increase from the 2019-20 figure.
Though not yet released, the figure for the 2022-23 academic year might be even higher, anecdotal evidence suggests.
As of September 2021, only two other countries, China and India, were sending more students to the UK than Nigeria.
Enrolments from Nigeria spiked from 12,820 in 2016-17 to 21,305 in 2020-21 to 44,195 in 2021/2022.
Among all nationalities, Nigerians represented the largest relative increase in sponsored study visa grants, which reached a record high of 65,929, a nearly 700% increase from 2019 and a 222.8% increase compared to the same period in 2021.