How much does the international student dependent visa contribute to the UK’s souring Immigration?.
Recently around early May 2023, a BBC news interview with one Nigerian student Emdee Tiamiyu who is also a YouTuber sparked a big conversation amongst the Nigerian community worldwide. Nigerians were concerned about Emdee’s response to the one-million-dollar question posed to him by the interviewer concerning the real intentions of Nigerians coming into the UK for study. His response seems to be perceived as misrepresentation of Nigerians intentions.
Days after this interview, UK officially released the breaking news report that international students is banned from bringing in their dependents into the UK effective January 2024 except those on a specialized study type of visa. Clips of this report can be found in this video. https://youtu.be/ff–dSMz1LQ
The question now is, was this decision made as a result of the interview conducted with Emdee Tiamiyu from Nigeria and was this decision taking solely because of Nigerians? Let’s get into the data and happenings in the UK to find out why and also delve into the consequences of this action if there will be any and my suggestions.
Why the UK banned international students from bringing in their dependents.
The souring number of immigrants in the UK and the pressure on the home secretary to bring down the number of immigrants resulted in a drastic measure to looking for change to resolve the nations imminent need. This was the first cause of action. Though the action taking by home secretary was termed as breaking of ministerial code but she maintained that this is the best decision.
Note that after the COVOD-19 lockdown, UK was already facing economic challenges apart from the fact that BREXIT happened. There was a looming fear of recession coming over the country. Food prices went-up, housing price went up, NHS issues was there, Gas price hike was there. All of these was causing strikes and protests here and there.
The opening of various immigration schemes including international students coming in with their dependents was a way to boost the economy to normalize life but it seems to have quickly become exhausting to the economy due to over saturation or will I say lack of proper plans. Here is the figure of student’s immigration between 2022 and 2023.
In the year ending March 2023, there were 477,931 sponsored study visas issued to main applicants, 22% more than in the year ending March 2022.
There were 138,532 grants to Indian nationals, an increase of 53,429 (+63%) compared to year ending March 2022 (85,103). Chinese nationals were the second most common nationality granted sponsored study visas in the year ending March 2023, with 100,397 visas granted.
The vast majority of Certificate of Acceptance (CAS) used (91%) were for sponsored study at higher education (university) institutions, with the total divided between:
- higher education (91%)
- further education (4%)
- independent schools (3%)
- English language schools (2%)
- other (1%)
Almost a quarter (24%) of all sponsored study related visas granted were to dependants of students (149,400), compared to 15% (72,062) in the year ending March 2022.
For further detailed data of other type of immigration including visitors, Click Here.
With the above data, I will conclude that Emdee Tiamiyu’s interview is an icing on the cake to a decision already agreed upon and not the real cause of action. Also, following the data, Indians and the Chinese outnumbered Nigerians in this category and also in the other categories too. More details can be found in this YouTube review video. Click Here.
Now let’s look into the potential effects of UK banning international students’ dependents on the economy.
All around you, I am sure you have noticed increase in population in the UK, ranging from your place of work, Worship centres, Schools, etc. Mine is enormous. This means increased government revenue such as in taxes, transportation, healthcare etc. This means that the dependents of international students in the UK have truly brought growth in the economy as expected. Therefore, when their arrival is removed it will bring some negative impact as well which includes the following: –
Reduced Financial contributions – Do you know how much rent and food stuff has risen in the past 2years? yet demands are not met. Lots of stores especially Asian and African stores has opened around my neighbourhood. Some old shops have to expand and my church is fuller than ever with more increase in communal spirit. I am sure it’s the same around you. This means that truly immigration is huge. But the truth is as huge as they were, they contributes to the economy through spending on Food, housing, transportation and other daily needs and necessities. That will drastically decline with time as soon as we hit 2024.
School enrolment decline – Since the major population of international students is from Asia and Africa. These two are powerful family-oriented sects. They love to move and be around their families. If these ties are cut-off, they sure will find an alternative location that will accommodate them and their family members like Canada, Sweden, America etc. Leaving the schools in shortage of applicants. Remember the contribution of these international students moving in with their family members brings in huge chunk of money to the economy in fact the estimation of income between 2018/2019 was estimated to be £28.8billion pounds. As at then, there was no dependency visa. Imagine with the increased population in this scheme plus their family members, The contribution is sure huge. All that will now be lost or drastically decline impacting the universities direct and the wider education sector.
Local Housing Market decline – Remember I mentioned in the first point that population increased in my area, meaning high demand for housing. Outside London locations that barely have capacity has become full yet demands weren’t met, benefiting rental market and the construction industry. In fact, there is announcements that London is expanding, notifying people that you might see changes. If you are very observant, you will be seeing these posts when you hop on the trains and at the stations. This growth will decline or halt, potentially affecting property prices because there will be increase in vacant properties.
Here is a more balanced strategy that maybe more beneficial
Weighing the above options which considering the countries current standpoint of potentially dangling between deep shit recession and lack of immigrants. The following maybe considered: –
Economic Impact Assessment – The first step is measuring the economic impact assessment before implementing any policy, ensuring its pros and cons to be able to have a comprehensive understanding of the potential consequences. This would help policy makers consider alternative approaches that balances security concerns with economic benefits and make informed decision.
Employment opportunities for Dependents – Currently in the UK, the dependents contribute a lot to the economy not only via the expenses for migrating into the UK but general living expenses both medicals and education yet there is no reliable employment opportunity for them in varied sectors rather than care giving, no matter your level of education. Creating an employment opportunity can help them integrate into the local community and continue contributing positively to the economy. Rather than subjecting them to certain kind of employment that seems like marginalization. The opportunities can be spread out. You never know how far they can take the country with their knowledge and skills.
Clear guidelines and regulations – This will help address concerns about potential misuse of the dependent visa. These guidelines will also ensure that employers do not segregate against these immigrants based on frivolous demand like no in-country work experiences and all that they demand from immigrants which is not attainable if opportunity is not given but rather provide support and guidance to help guide them into their career path and system to contribute to the economy and benefit them as well.
Proper monitoring should also be put in place to prevent abuse of the system both in the student visa issuance process and support services like the employment services while still allowing genuine dependents to join students in the UK.
Generally, the UK international student dependents visa contributed hugely to the UK’s souring immigration but they also contributed hugely to the UK’S souring economy. it is very important to find a balance between immigration policies and the economic advantages that dependents of international students bring. This balance can help maintain UK’s attractiveness as a study destination while mitigating any potential negative impacts on the economy.
Is it true that Rishi Sunak is set to pay British citizens £75000.00 to leave UK?. Well, this is following a post made by a gentleman on TikTok, You know TikTok story but you know we don’t take information for granted anymore these days. Hit me up at the comment section, if you have heard about this. Maybe it will a topic of my next write up if its true.
Enjoy the read.
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