Changes to Student visa requirements from January 2024
On 17 July the UK Government published changes to the Immigration Rules which affect international students studying in the UK. From January 2024, international students in the UK will no longer be able to bring dependants on their Student visa, unless they are studying a postgraduate research programme. Also, from 17 July international students are no longer permitted to switch to work route visas unless they have completed their course.
When will the new rules come into effect?
The new rules on student dependants will apply to international students starting courses in January 2024.
The changes to the rule on switching into other visas became law from 15:00 (UK time) on 17 July 2023.
My spouse is here as my dependant. Can they switch into a Skilled Worker visa before I have completed my course?
Yes, this is permitted under the current immigration rules.
My course starts in September 2023. Can I still bring my dependants?
Yes, international students who start their course this September are permitted to bring their dependants to the UK.
My course starts in September 2023. Can I apply for my student visa now and apply for my dependants’ visas later?
The current student visa rules permit this. If you are planning to delay your dependants’ visa applications, we recommend you still apply before January 2024 when the new rules come into effect.
My course starts in September 2023, and I plan to bring my dependants with me. Will I be able to extend their dependant visas once I complete my studies and obtain a Graduate Immigration Route visa?
This is permitted under the current immigration rules.
I have an offer for a course in September 2023, but I am planning to defer to January 2024. Will I be able to bring my dependants?
No, deferring your offer means that you will start your course in January 2024, therefore the new rules will apply.
My course starts in January 2024. Will I be able to bring my dependants after I complete my studies and obtain the Graduate Immigration Route visa?
The Graduate Route requirements remain the same, which means that if you do not have dependants in the UK during the period of your studies, they will not be eligible to apply as dependants of a Graduate Route visa holder.
My course starts in January 2024. Will I be able to bring my dependants after I complete my studies successfully and I get sponsorship for a Skilled Worker visa?
The current immigrations rules permit dependants of Skilled Worker Visa holders to apply from their home country.
My course starts in January 2024. Will I still be able to work part-time while on a Student visa?
Yes, international students can work 20 hours per week during term time and unlimited hours during official vacation periods. There are no planned changes to this rule.
For more information on how to apply for a visa to study at Sheffield Hallam University, see the immigration and visa advice page.