The United Kingdom: Changes to Immigration Law and Restrictions for Student Visa Holders

Key Points 

  • The United Kingdom introduced changes to several visa routes and implemented new restrictions for student visa holders  


The government of the United Kingdom (UK) introduced a number of changes under its immigration rules, including implementing certain restrictions for student visa holders that were not originally slated to take effect until January 2024.  

The following measures have become effective or will become effective in the near future: 

  • Restrictions to the Graduate Route: As of 17 July 2023, the government will no longer permit student visa holders to switch to a work visa route while still undergoing their studies.  
  • Sponsorship for Dependents Reduced: Effective 1 January 2023, student visa holders will no longer be permitted to sponsor dependent family members under their student visa application. Exemptions will apply to foreign nationals completing a postgraduate research program 
  • Protection of residence rights under the EUSS: The government will continue to protect the residence rights of nationals who have failed to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).  
  • Changes to the Shortage Occupation List (SOL): The government introduced new occupations under the SOL. These new occupations include construction-related roles, such as bricklayers and masons, roof tilers and slaters, carpenters and more. 

What are the Changes?   

The UK government introduced new limitations for student visa holders among other changes. Originally, changes to the student visa were scheduled for 1 January 2024. According to the government, these new measures are part of the government’s effort to cap new migration to the country. 

Looking Ahead  

Continue to check the government of the UK’s website and Envoy’s website for the latest updates and information. 

Subscribe to Immigration News Alerts from Envoy

Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an attorney at one of the two U.S. Law Firms working with the Envoy Platform or another qualified professional. On non-U.S. immigration issues, consult an Envoy global immigration service provider or another qualified representative.

OISC registration number F202000157