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UK Stops Overseas Students Bringing Families as Migration Soars - BLOOMBERG

MAY 23, 2023

(Bloomberg) -- Rishi Sunak’s government said it will ban international students from bringing their families to the UK, ahead of data expected to show net migration has doubled since before Britain left the European Union. 

The rules will take effect for students arriving from January 2024, unless they are on postgraduate research courses. The government said 136,000 student dependents came in 2022, up from 16,000 in 2019 — though that number includes the families of undergraduate and postgraduate students.

The Office for National Statistics is poised to publish new figures Thursday expected to show net migration rose to a record last year. That’s a political problem for Sunak, who is under pressure to deliver on a long-standing Conservative Party promise to bring down numbers — a central argument among supporters of Britain’s exit from the European Union.

“The government committed to bringing net migration down in the 2019 manifesto and remains committed to doing so,” Home Secretary Suella Braverman said in a statement. “But immigration is dynamic, and we must constantly iterate our approach to take account of changing migrant flows and respond to evidence of abuse or unintended consequences.”

While migration from the continent has gone into reverse with freedom-of-movement rules ending in 2021, arrivals from elsewhere are soaring. Braverman lashed out at her own government’s performance in a speech last week widely seen as an attempt to bolster her own leadership credentials. 


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