UK Sees Lesser Student Dependents After Latest Visa Changes

Written by

Inayat Sharma

Fact check by

Divyansh Chaudhari

Updated on

Jul 25,2024

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The United Kingdom is one of the most popular study destinations around the world. The UK government recently imposed some restrictions on student visa rules, which has led to a significant reduction in the number of student dependents in the country. These student dependents, which mostly include family members like a spouse and children, have been reduced by almost 80 percent. Incidentally, even the number of students who move to the UK for education has fallen, with the difference between the last two academic years being more than 26000 fewer applications. 

What Changes Did The UK Introduce?

These changes in the number of student dependents and student visa applications have been caused by changes in the UK government's visa policy. Their new changes have made certain restrictions that forbid most international students from bringing their family members along to the UK. Only students enrolled in research courses can bring their family members with them. 

Another significant change made by the UK government in the area of student visas is that students can no longer change their visa status before they complete their courses. You can only make changes to your student visa if your course is completed. This change prevents any misuse by immigrants who aim to use the student visa. 

The UK Home Office also extended the restrictions on dependents to foreign care workers. Foreign care workers are no longer allowed to bring their dependents to the UK, except doctors and nurses. Doctors and nurses are still allowed to bring their family members. This change has been mandated because the government found many care workers on visas under false information and pretenses. Thus, this visa aims to curb the exploitation of the UK's social care system. 

The UK government is also expected to impose restrictions on the post-study Graduate Route, which allows international students to work in the UK for up to 2 years after graduation and completion of their degree. 

Impact On Indian Students Studying In The UK

Indians constitute one of the largest international student body in the world. Naturally, they have been impacted the most by this change. Many Indians go to the UK with their spouses to continue their higher education. 

Official data from the government indicated that between 2019 to 2023, the number of Indians who were granted study visas in the UK increased by a whopping 85,849. This data makes them the largest international student group in the UK. However, in 2023, there were only 120,110 approved study visa grants to Indian nationals. 

This was a 14 percent decrease from the number of students who applied in 2022. Hence, the decrease in the number of students comes at the same time as the tightened visa restrictions, and the two can be correlated as well. 


The UK Government, led by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, has laid intense emphasis on reducing legal and illegal immigration to the United Kingdom. They are actively trying to curb the number of immigrants coming to the UK annually. These changes related to visa-related restrictions reflect the immigration policy the UK is heading for and are a part of the different measures the government is taking to control the number of immigrants in the country. 

The UK government has also claimed that the number of immigrants arriving in the UK now will be 300,000 people less than in previous years. This statistic is predicted based on the final figures for the general salary threshold for the people holding the Skilled Worker Visa. Thus, we can expect an immigration policy to curb international students and migrants in the UK in the upcoming years. 

To know more about the student-dependant visa in the UK and want to move to study in the UK, then TerraTern is your place to make the journey easier for you.

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