Immigration Minister says we must 'tackle' student dependant immigration

4 June 2023, 11:53 | Updated: 4 June 2023, 11:58

Robert Jenrick: 'universities should be in education, not migration'

By Georgina Greer

Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick said that the Home Office's move to stop international students from bringing their dependants to the UK was the "biggest step in recent years."

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick told Andrew Castle that the move would make a "tangible difference."

The conversation comes as the Home Office moves to stop international students from bringing dependants unless they are on postgraduate courses designated as research programs.

The changes are due to come into force in January 2024 and are part of efforts to curb net migration.

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Mr. Jenrick began by saying that curbing migration is a "pledge that we intend to keep" and that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has "made it very clear he wants to see net migration fall" and that this is "for good reason."

He continued: "Large numbers of people coming into the country in an unsustainable way puts intolerable pressure on housing, public services, and our ability to integrate people successfully."

He went on to mention work visas and said that British people should be "trained and invested in by employers in the first instance."

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On students and their dependants Mr Jenrick told Andrew that there are "over one hundred thousand' dependants of students on "short masters courses" in the UK.

Andrew questioned him, asking if he thought student status was being used to "get family members in".

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Mr Jenrick replied: "I do think it's being used in that way, it's not illegal but it is an unintended consequence of our policy to encourage more international students."

"So it's right that we use the freedoms that we have today after leaving the European Union to tackle that and ensure that universities are in the education business, not the migration business," the minister concluded.