Net migration must be managed, according to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, or it could put “unmanageable pressures on housing, schools, and hospitals in many of our communities.”
We cannot have unchecked legal immigration, Mr. Sunak said in the Telegraph. Communities may find it challenging to assimilate newcomers when it is too high and too fast.
“We cannot allow people to come here illegally at the whim of criminal gangs. It’s not fair on those who have played by the rules.
“It’s not fair on those who desperately need our help but can’t get it because our asylum system is overwhelmed by people travelling here through safe countries.”
Mr. Sunak claimed that he is not “anti-immigrant,” but rather is acting in a way that is “fair and right.”
It follows the government’s announcement on Tuesday that dependents from other countries will no longer be allowed to attend foreign students.
In 2022, around 136,000 dependent visas were issued, up from 16,000 in 2019, according to Mr. Sunak, who also informed his cabinet of this fact.
In the Telegraph, Mr Sunak said: “That’s why we set a target to host 600,000 international students here and we’ve met it almost a decade early.
“But this cannot come at the expense of our commitment to lower net migration.
“We will remove the right to bring dependents on the student visa route unless you are on a postgraduate research programme. The numbers suggest this might be being used by some as a loophole so we will close it.”
Mr. Sunak stated that he will look into various solutions for student eligibility, such as a mechanism that might distinguish between different types of universities.
He said: “In time we could still allow our very best and brightest students to bring some dependents when studying at our universities while preventing institutions from selling immigration rather than education.”
Mr. Sunak stated that the Government will end the option to change from a study visa to a work visa until studies are finished as part of this drive on net immigration.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman told MPs on Tuesday : “This package strikes the right balance between acting decisively on tackling net migration and protecting the economic benefits that students can bring to the UK.
“Now is the time for us to make these changes to ensure an impact on net migration as soon as possible. We expect this package to have a tangible impact on net migration.
“Taken together with the easing of temporary factors, we expect net migration to fall to pre-pandemic levels in the medium term.”