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Friday, May 24, 2024
Friday May 24, 2024
Friday May 24, 2024

Home Secretary James Cleverly halts unfair policy: Foreign students can now reunite with families in the UK

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Ending injustice: Cleverly puts an end to the unreasonable bar on foreign students bringing loved ones to the UK


The UK government, under the leadership of Home Secretary James Cleverly, has recently implemented a controversial policy terminating the practice of allowing foreign students to bring family members to the country. This decision, initially announced by Cleverly’s predecessor Suella Braverman in May, is part of a broader strategy to curb migration, with Cleverly asserting that it will result in a reduction of tens of thousands in the total number of immigrants.

Effective this week, international students are no longer eligible to obtain visas for their spouses and relatives, except for those enrolled in postgraduate research programs or specific scholarships. Cleverly emphasized the necessity of ending what he termed as the “unreasonable practice” of allowing overseas students to bring their family members to the UK, aligning with the government’s goal to prevent around 300,000 people from entering the country.

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Immigration Minister Tom Pursglove underscored a surge in dependents accompanying students as a contributing factor to unsustainable migration levels. While the move addresses immigration concerns, it has raised apprehensions about its potential impact on universities, which heavily rely on the income generated from fees paid by foreign students.

In November, Conservative MPs called for further immigration cuts as the annual net migration reached a record 745,000. Cleverly responded in December with additional restrictions, including raising the salary threshold for Britons bringing foreign spouses to £38,700, later adjusted to £29,000 with incremental increases until 2025.

The Home Office has defended these changes as a “tough but fair” approach, claiming it allows institutions to attract the brightest minds while preventing the exploitation of immigration as a means of selling education rather than providing it. However, critics argue that these restrictions might divert international students towards competitor nations for their studies.

The Labour party supports restrictions on shorter courses but deems them insufficient to address the broader issues in the labor market and the UK economy. Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper has labeled these measures as a mere “sticking plaster,” criticizing the Tories for their failure to address skill and labor market problems.

Amidst this policy controversy, Cleverly has faced calls to resign over a Christmas joke about spiking his wife’s drink, adding an additional layer of scrutiny. Chancellor Rishi Sunak, on the other hand, has boasted about decisive action against illegal migrant boats. Rebel MPs are pressing for amendments to the Rwanda Bill, threatening to kill it if their concerns are not addressed. Legal adviser David Pannick has warned that the bill may not facilitate deportation flights due to potential individual legal appeals.

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