The rush to bring in student visa immigration rule changes!!Please visit OM INTERNATIONAL to get more information on this.


The rush to bring in student visa immigration rule changes!!

Students on courses at degree level or above will be able to apply before their course completion to switch to sponsored work routes, provided their employment start date is not before their course completion. Students on PhD courses can apply to switch to a work visa after 24 months of study.

The changes to the student visa came into effect at 3 o’clock on 17 July 2023. The UK government did not follow the usual convention that changes to the immigration rules would take effect at least 21 days after coming before Parliament.

The government has said it made the changes without giving the usual 21-day notice period to avoid a flurry of dependent visa applications made by family members of student visa holders and to reduce the number of student visa switch applications being made before a cut-off date. The rationale behind this decision was that international student visa applicants had notice of the proposed changes in late May 2023.

The government has announced planned changes to the UK student visa prompted by ‘migrant flows’. The November 2022 Office for National Statistics (ONS) data estimated that UK net migration in the year June 2021 to June 2022 was 504,000. This figure amounted to a significant rise from the 2020-2021 figures. The net migration figure for 2022-2023 will be higher still.


The figures can be explained in part by the post-Covid surge in immigration applications, specialist visas to accommodate Ukrainian nationals fleeing the war in Ukraine, and those with British national (overseas) status applying for the Hong Kong visa. However, the UK government has identified a rise in student visa applicants being accompanied to the UK by dependant family members who have qualified for a dependent visa. The rise is said to be an 8-fold increase to 136,000 dependent visas granted to the dependent of international students studying in the UK on student visas.


 The May 2023 government announcement emphasises the need to reduce net migration to the UK whilst not highlighting what issues an increase in the grant of dependant visas relating to student visas has created within the context of the importance of international students to the UK economy.

 Immigration solicitors and higher education institutes may question the relevance of increased numbers of dependant visa applications given the importance of education and the international student programme to the UK economy, especially as each dependant visa application was vetted by a Home Office official and met the dependant visa criteria.



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