British ministers are considering limiting the number of dependents for foreign students.

The UK’s recently revamped government is reportedly looking at ways to tighten the immigration rules to limit the number of dependants international students can bring to the UK.

The idea is being considered by ministers as part of a wider plan to tackle so-called “bad migration”, and to ensure the immigration system supports growth whilst maintaining control.

Newly appointed Home Secretary Suella Braverman told the Tory party conference that her long term aim was to reduce net migration to the “tens of thousands,” an old government target previously axed by Boris Johnson.

International students have been identified by ministers as an area of concern, as Home Office data shows the number of dependents of foreign students granted visas has increased five-fold in just three years, from 13,664 in 2019 to 81,089 in the year ending June 2022.

However, this increase goes hand-in-hand with a rise in the number of sponsored study visas being granted, with recent figures revealing the highest annual number of study visas granted on record, at over five times the number granted in 2019.

Cabinet Office minister Nadhim Zahawi told that whilst he recognises that international students are “a really positive thing for our universities, for our communities”, he believes it is not right for them to bring along five or six dependants because “we have to make sure that they’re coming to legitimately study here.”

The Home Secretary also hit out at international students, accusing the group of abusing the Student route as a means to bring relatives to the UK and that too many take “substandard courses in inadequate institutions”.

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