Data from the Home Office of the United Kingdom on Thursday revealed that 66,796 dependant visas were issued to families of Nigerian students who obtained study visas from March 2022 to March 2023, according to a report by The PUNCH.
This is a 146.1 per cent increase from the 27,137 dependants who migrated to the UK from March 2021 to March 2022.
The data which was released on Thursday comes amidst pledges from successive Conservative governments to drastically reduce the numbers of people moving to the UK, particularly in the wake of Brexit – a rupture that was touted by its proponents as a necessary step for Britain to “take control” of its borders.
According to the Home Office, “Africa’s biggest economy had the highest number of dependants of sponsored study visa holders which rose by 146.1 per cent to 66,796 in the year ending March 2023 from 27,137 in the year.
“Indian nationals had the second highest number of dependants, increasing from 22,598 to 42,381. In the year ending March 2023, around 73 per cent of visas issued to dependants of students were issued to two nationalities (Indians and Nigerians),” it said.
Foreign tertiary institutions and respective countries have continued to benefit from the migration of Nigerian students to oversea institutions.
For instance, in 2021, Nigerian students and their dependants in the United Kingdom contributed an estimated £1.9bn to the economy of the UK according to a report by SBM intelligence.