The UK government prohibits international students from bringing their family members with them

The United Kingdom announced on Tuesday that it will ban international students from bringing family members with them as part of a wider plan to reduce net migration.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman confirmed in a written statement that the ban – which applies to all international students except those on postgraduate research courses such as PhDs – will take effect from January 2024.

The announcement was made because the government is preparing for the latest net migration data from the National Statistics Office, to be published on Thursday, to indicate a sharp increase.

That will jump to more than 700,000 from more than 500,000 by June 2022, according to the Center for Policy Studies think tank.

The Home Office estimates that the number of visas issued to dependents of international students has increased eightfold since 2019, from 16,000 to 136,000.

Other proposals in the statement include cracking down on “unscrupulous education agents”, revising the maintenance requirements for students and their dependents, and ending the possibility of “switching from student to work” before completing studies.

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The move comes after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak faced sharp criticism from within his own party over the government’s handling of migration.