President William Ruto (Left) and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (Right)
The UK government on Tuesday, May 23, announced four new visa regulations for individuals wishing to join educational institutions in the European country.
The UK, which left the European Union in 2020, regretted that many immigrants were exploiting the student visa application process as an avenue to seize better prospects. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the country recorded a net migration of more than 500,000 from June 2021 to June 2022 due to the manipulation of the student visa system.
The British Council reported that in 2022, more than 6,000 Kenyans were enrolled in universities in the UK, with an expected rise in applicants each year. However, the new regulations will likely reduce the amount of Kenyans accepted to study in the UK and bring their families over. The UK reported that a lot of people were obtaining student visas but then switching them to work visas upon entering the country.
“The government restrictions to student visa routes will substantially cut net migration by restricting the ability for international students to bring family members on all but post-graduate research routes and banning people from using a student visa as a backdoor route to work in the UK,” the government said.
According to reports, Kenyans opt for a student visa in a bid to find better opportunities, despite not being in a position to pay the tuition fees. The new regulations make it impossible for these individuals to switch their visa status after arriving in the UK.
“The government will review the funds the student has to demonstrate they can look after themselves and their dependants in the UK,” the new regulations read in part.
The authority also reported a sharp increase in the number of fraudulent travel agents who were asking students to pay huge sums of money in exchange for prospects in the UK. As of 2024, it would be impossible for Kenyans and other citizens who go to the UK on a student visa, to take advantage of their privileges by bringing their family members along.