The UK government on Tuesday announced a package of measures aimed at international students, including a ban on some family members, as ministers come under growing pressure to cut immigration.
After a drop during the pandemic, net migration has been steadily on the rise and is reportedly expected to hit a record high this year.
Official figures published last November estimated net migration to June 2022 at just over 500,000.
Under the new proposals, only students on postgraduate courses designated as research programmes will be able to bring dependants to the UK while they study.
Overseas students will be prevented from switching “out of the student route into work routes” before their studies have been completed.
There will also be “improved and more enforcement activity” and a clamp down on “unscrupulous agents” using education as a cover for immigration, according to a government statement.
Some 136,000 visas were issued to the dependants of international students last year — up eight-fold from the 16,000 in 2019, Home Secretary Suella Braverman said in a written statement to parliament.