A United Kingdom-based immigration lawyer, Femi Aina, has revealed how Nigerians can travel to the UK with their family members.
This is coming as the UK Home Office announced on 1st of January that it had commenced the implementation of its policy banning Nigerian students and other overseas students from bringing in dependants via the study visa route.
Punchng reported earlier that, in a post on X, the Home Office reiterated that only those on postgraduate research or government-sponsored scholarship students will be exempted from the development.
“We are fully committed to seeing a decisive cut in migration. From today, new overseas students will no longer be able to bring family members to the UK.
“Postgraduate research or government-funded scholarships students will be exempt,” the Home Office said.
Speaking in an interview, the immigration lawyer disclosed that Nigerians could consider alternative routes if they desire to travel to the UK with their families.
According to Aina, applicants should consider other routes to migrate than going as a student or skilled worker.
He said some Nigerians could consider the investor route as an alternative means of traveling with dependants.
Aina added that those who have family members who are European Economic Area (EEA) nationals may consider a family permit to relocate to the UK with their loved ones.
“Applicants should consider an alternative route to migrate than going as a student or skilled worker. Those planning to go need to consider how long they want to be separated from their family.
“Some can consider the investor route as an alternative, some may consider a family permit if they have a family member who is an EEA national,” he said.
Aina disagreed with claims that the ban might be targeted at Nigerians who have been deserting the nation in droves because of the japa syndrome, saying it was for political reasons aimed at keeping the Conservatives in power.
“I won’t say it was targeted at Nigerians because, under the Equality Act 2010, it is against the law to discriminate against people on the basis of nationality. I will say it was done for political reasons so that the Conservatives will remain in power.
“Because the indigenous population is concerned about migrants influx, which is having a negative effect on resources. So, if action is not taken, the Conservative will lose the next election,” he stated.
Aina expressed concern that many Nigerians would be affected by the policy “because they will not be able to bring in their dependants,” saying the worst was that families would be separated.
“For instance, a wife in the UK, husband and children in Nigeria. If care is not taken, allegations of infidelity will surface, which will lead to family separation.
“Under international law, nations are under obligation to promote family life. The UK government’s new immigration law has an implication on family life. The UK government is aware; that is why they said that they will consider exceptional circumstances on a case-by-case basis,” he said.