Starting Jan 2024, foreign postgraduate students enrolled in non-research courses will no longer be able to bring family members to the UK.

Previously, under the umbrella of the dependant visa, international students were allowed to bring their family members, including spouses and children, to the UK. These new restrictions only impact international students at the postgraduate level. Undergraduate students in the UK were already prohibited from bringing dependants with them.

This policy change will impact the decision-making process for prospective students from India as well. Being unable to bring dependants could dissuade students from considering the UK as a study destination.

How will this new policy that comes into effect in January 2024 impact the choice of students who wish to go abroad for higher studies?

This policy change may influence the decision-making process for prospective students from India. Being unable to bring dependants could dissuade students from considering the UK as a study destination.

However, UK postgraduate programs only take about a year to complete, which is short compared to other destination markets. With these changes in place, it depends on the students and their individual preferences on how important it is for them to bring their families with them to the destination country.

Who is considered a dependant?

The definition of a dependant' can vary from one country to another, and it is typically determined by immigration and visa regulations.

In the UK, a dependant is generally defined as a family member who relies on the primary visa holder for their financial support and is allowed to join them in the UK. This can include a spouse or civil partner, unmarried partner, and children under the age of 18. In some cases, dependant visas can also be issued to other family members, such as children over 18, parents, or grandparents, but this depends on the specific visa category.

What rights/benefits will the dependants have under the amended rule in the UK?

The rights and benefits for dependants under the amended rules in the UK vary based on the specific visa category, but they generally include legal residence, work rights for adult dependants, access to healthcare through the National Health Service (NHS), access to education for dependant children, and the ability to travel in and out of the UK while the primary visa holders visa is valid.The duration of the dependants visa typically aligns with that of the primary visa holder. The amended policy rules may have introduced changes, so it is advisable to refer to the UK Home Office or the specific visa programs official guidelines for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding dependants rights and benefits.

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