The secretary said that there were too many students coming into the UK and need to be cut down.
The UK’s Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, has expressed her office’s intentions to cut immigration numbers, potentially affecting a path for many Nigerians seeking a new life in another country.
In an interview with The Telegraph, she said it is her “unfiltered, unvanished, unapologetic view” to cut net migration.
Ms Braverman noted that the influx of immigrants into the UK puts pressure on the country, towing the same line as her predecessor Priti Patel.
“There are structural pressures that mass and rapid migration pose to our country,” she said. “We are dealing with more and more people and I think it is fair and reasonable, in fact, incumbent on a government to take a rational and pragmatic view on the numbers of people coming into this country.”
In addition, Ms Braverman said that there were too many students coming into the UK and need to be cut down, threatening to limit the path for many Nigerians seeking a new life in the European country.
“We definitely have to reduce the number of work visas, students and dependents,” she said.
According to her, there is no justification for students or low-skilled workers coming to the UK to study for a short time to bring along family members.
“If you are coming here for an undergraduate degree, is it justifiable that you bring your family members? No; if you are coming here on low-skilled work or a temporary visa, is it justified that you bring your family members in? No,” she asked rhetorically.
Nigerians may be the worst hit by the new Home Secretary’s desire to cut immigration.
According to Home Office data quoted by UK DailyMail, Nigerians accounted for 40 per cent of dependents who accompanied foreign students in the 12 months to June despite Nigerian students making up only 7 per cent of foreign students in the period under review.
“Some 34,000 Nigerians were given study visas in the UK, bringing with them a total of 31,898 dependents. A similar ratio was recorded for work visas, with 8,972 Nigerians issued with one in the 12 months to June bringing with them 8,576 dependents,” DailyMail reported.
The UK had in May opened new migration routes, inviting people from all over the world to immigrate to the UK through applications to work, live and study.
Immigrants are allowed to travel with family members with no cap placed on the number.
Migration to the UK costs thousands of pounds for principal migrants and their families. The system requires that migrants have “enough money” to cater for their needs.
For instance, the High Potential Individual scheme costs £715 and is open to people who graduated from top non-UK universities in the past five years.
It allows graduates to bring their families, although they must also have maintenance funds of at least £1,270.
Others who may also be affected by Ms Braverman’s move include Indian nationals who received 117,965 study visas in the same period and Chinese nationals who were the second most common nationality granted study visas in the year ending June 2022, with 115,056 visas granted.
Nigeria comes third after both countries with 65,929 visas granted.
Chiamaka Okafor is a reporter at Premium Times in partnership with Report for the World, which matches local newsrooms with talented emerging journalists to report on under-covered issues around the globe.