Student visa in the UK: new rules from January 2024
Starting January 1, 2024, the UK government will introduce restrictions on issuing visas to dependent family members of students, except for those studying at the Post Graduate level. If you have a student visa or are applying to a UK university, it is important to obtain visas for family members before January 1, 2024. Learn more about the important innovations in the UK student visa procedure
Changes to UK immigration rules that will come into effect in January 2024 will affect international students. From now on, students studying on a student visa will not be able to bring dependents, except for those who have chosen a postgraduate research program. Also, starting from July 17 this year, foreign students are prohibited from switching to work visas before completing their studies. These changes introduce restrictions aimed at ensuring that students are more in line with their educational goals before entering the work stage in the country.
New changes to the UK student visa procedure
Starting from January 1, 2024, the UK government will introduce restrictions on the possibility of issuing visas to dependent family members of students studying in the country, except for postgraduate students and students of research programs such as PhD, DEng, etc. This initiative is aimed at regulating the stay of students' relatives and streamlining the visa application process.
Students who have chosen a postgraduate research program will be able to bring their family members with them. For this to happen, the course must be more than 9 months long and the student must have a state scholarship.
Those who are already in the UK with their family on a course that started before January 1, 2024, can continue to live together until their visa expires. However, for those whose courses started in January 2024 or later and want to bring their family, new restrictions must be taken into account.
After graduation, students can apply for the right to work in the UK, and their family can stay with them by applying as dependents. In case of failure to obtain a work visa, the family will have to return to their home country. If the course started in September 2023, relatives have until January 1, 2024, to apply. It is important to take these restrictions into account and adhere to the deadlines to preserve the possibility of staying with your family during this period of study.
When do the new rules for student visas in the UK come into force?
The new rules on student dependents will apply to international students who start their studies in January 2024.
The changes to the visa switching rule came into force at 15:00 (UK time) on July 17, 2023.
Can family members visit an international student in the UK?
The new UK immigration rules may make some adjustments to the plans of students who are considering coming with their families. For those who have been looking for alternative options, the Standard Visitor Visa may prove to be a useful alternative, allowing family members to stay in the UK for up to 6 months at a time.
The standard visitor visa becomes an ideal solution for family members who are looking to support their loved ones while studying abroad. The rules allow you to stay in the country for 6 months, which can be important for spending time together. However, it is important to comply with the established conditions by showing proof of cohabitation and financial stability.
Students who choose research programs can also bring family members, but there are restrictions. Only a spouse or civil partner, an unmarried long-term partner, or a child under the age of 18 who is not living separately can be included in this category. A married or separately living child who is employed cannot travel with his/her parents under these rules.
In order to obtain a visa for a student's family members, proof of relationship and cohabitation is key. Joint financial obligations and official documents, such as bank statements or utility bills, play an important role in proving stability.
It is important to keep in mind that new immigration rules can change circumstances, and it is better to check the current requirements in advance and compare them with your own plans. Planning to study in the UK with your family requires attention to detail and a willingness to adapt to new rules and conditions.
Changing a student visa to a family visa for international students in the UK
To ensure that student visa holders and their families can stay in the UK after graduation, one of the options is to switch to a family visa. However, this route includes requirements that can be difficult to fulfill. To be eligible for a family visa, your partner or child under the age of 18 must have Irish or British citizenship, protected status or permanent residence.
If they are in the UK on a student visa, they cannot sponsor your visa. It is also important to note that indefinite leave to remain cannot be obtained on a student visa, even after 5 years of stay. Your partner or child must obtain a graduate visa or work permit, live in the UK for 5 years, and only then can they sponsor your visa for settlement on a family visa.
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