The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has strongly condemned the United Kingdom’s inhumane immigration rules, which aim to separate couples and keep partners apart intentionally.
In a statement issued on Friday, NANS expressed its opposition to this policy and emphasized that it should not be allowed to stand.
The UK’s Home Office has introduced a new immigration policy that prohibits individuals on study visas (excluding research visas) from bringing their dependants. The implementation of this policy is set to begin in January 2024.
NANS Vice President (External Affairs), Comr. Akinteye Babatunde Afeez, highlighted the most concerning aspect of these changes as the alteration of relationship requirements for partners under the Student, Graduate, and Skilled Worker routes.
With approximately 30,000 Nigerian students currently enrolled in UK universities, the UK government generated £2 billion in fees from Nigerian students alone during the 2021/2022 academic session.
NANS emphasized that preventing spouses from traveling together, particularly for the purpose of studying abroad, will only cause emotional trauma and hinder the students’ academic pursuits. Their focus will be divided, jeopardizing the purpose of their study.
The students urged for consideration of certain differences in implementing the new policy to ensure the longevity of the relationship between the UK and Nigerians aspiring to study there.
NANS stated, “Create rules that foster solid relationships and build families, rather than breaking them apart to satisfy an egotistical agenda during an interview.”
The association called upon the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NIDCOM, and other stakeholders to intervene and urge the UK government to rescind these arbitrary rules.