FACT CHECK: Did the UK Really Ban Overseas Students and Health Workers from moving with their families?

This is a fact check on claims about bans on international health workers and students being banned from bringing families to UK.

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The issue of emigration to other countries continues to be a major conversation for Nigerians who seek to understand the process and rules.

Recently former Kaduna Central Senator, Shehu Sani said on X formerly known as Twitter, that the United Kingdom has banned persons on student and health worker visas from bringing their families with them.

The post has over 96,000 views and hundreds of shares so far with his followers also commenting on his assertion.

His post reads:

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“UK bans students from bringing family members.
UK bans health workers from bringing family members.
Just go alone and come back alone.”

THE CLAIM

The United Kingdom, UK, has banned overseas students and health workers from bringing their families with them.

THE FINDINGS

A search of the key phrases on google led to the multiple articles asserting similar claim on headlines but delving into the details of each story yielded more detailed results.

STUDENTS: Did the UK Ban overseas students from bringing their families along?

On May 23, 2023, the UK Home office through Home Secretary Suella Braverman, announced that government was taking away rights by international students to bring their families(dependents) to the country. The statement goes on to say that this new change applies to all except postgraduate courses currently designated as research programmes. The changes can be found on the Government’s Statement of Changes for July 17, 2023. The new policy kicked off on January 1st, 2024.

As at the time of filing this check, the official website of the UK Government now reads:

“Your partner and children (‘dependants’) may be able to apply to come to the UK or stay longer in the UK.
You must be one of the following:

  • a government-sponsored student starting a course that lasts longer than 6 months
  • a full-time student on a postgraduate level course (RQF level 7 or above) that lasts 9 months or longer
    If your postgraduate level course starts on or after 1 January 2024, it must be either:
  • a PhD or other doctorate (RQF level 8)
  • a research-based higher degree”

VERDICT: MOSTLY TRUE

The UK has banned certain students from bringing their families but exempted the above categories of students.

HEALTH AND CARE WORKERS: Did the UK Overseas Health workers from bringing their families along?

The home office on March 11, 2024 announced that care workers and senior care workers will no longer be allowed to bring their families(dependents) with them.

A check of the official website already represents the new situation.

It reads:

“You must meet all of the following requirements to be eligible for a Health and Care Worker visa:

  • you’re a qualified doctor, nurse, health professional or adult social care professional

If you’re a care worker or Senior care worker

Your partner and children cannot apply to join you or stay in the UK as your dependants unless you were employed as a care worker or senior care worker in the UK and on a Health and Care Worker visa before 11 March 2024 and one of the following is true:

  • you’re currently still on a Health and Care Worker visa
  • you’re extending your Health and Care Worker visa with your current employer
  • you’re changing to a new job within the same occupation code while on a Health and Care Worker visa”

VERDICT: MOSTLY TRUE

The ban only applies to care workers and senior care workers who make up the Health and Care category but the ban doesn’t apply to Doctors, Nurses and others indicated above.



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