The latest data shows a 38% drop in visas granted to Nigerians between March 2023 and 2024. This isn’t the only red flag – overall study visa issuances in the UK dipped by 6% year-over-year.

So, what’s causing this visa chill? Experts point to a perfect storm:

  • Policy Shift: Remember that January 2024 rule change restricting student dependents? This seems to be a major factor. Many Nigerian students likely opted for destinations where they can bring their families.

  • Post-Pandemic Rebound: The UK saw a surge in study visas after the pandemic slump, peaking in June 2023. This decline could be a natural correction.

  • Global Uncertainty: Broader economic and political factors might also be playing a role in student mobility choices.

Here’s a deeper dive:

  • Dependents Drag Down Numbers: The number of student dependents receiving visas actually grew steadily in recent years, even surpassing main applicants. However, the new policy led to a sharper decline in dependent visas compared to main applicants.

  • Nigerians See a Shift: While overall numbers are down, the data paints a more nuanced picture for Nigerians. There was a significant fivefold increase in visas issued to Nigerians from 2019 to 2023. This recent dip might be a temporary blip.

The Takeaway:

Nigerian students considering the UK should be aware of this trend. While the full impact remains to be seen, it’s wise to explore all visa options and factor in the new dependent restrictions.

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