New Rules for International Students UK |2024 PSW Scheme|

New Rules for International Students in UK 2024

A change to New Rules for International Students in UK 2024 will affect international students beginning in January 2024. Depending on the program chosen, students studying on a student visa can no longer bring dependents. From July 17, international students will also only be able to change their visas to work visas after they finish their studies. By implementing these changes, students can better align their education goals with future work goals.

Changes to the UK student visa process

From January 1, 2024, the UK government will restrict the possibility of granting visas to dependent family members of students studying there, except for postgraduate students and students of research programs like PhDs, DEngs, etc. Students’ relatives can stay longer at student residences, and the visa application process will be simplified.

If you choose a postgraduate research program, you can bring your family members with you. This is only possible if the student has a state scholarship and the course lasts more than nine months.

If you are already in the UK with your family on a course that started before January 1, 2024, you can stay together until the end of your visa. There are, however, new restrictions on bringing family members whose courses began in January 2024 or later.

After graduation, students can apply for the right to work in the UK, and their families can stay with them as dependents. Family members must return home if they cannot obtain a work visa. Relatives must apply until January 1, 2024, if the course begins in September 2023. Remember these restrictions and adhere to the deadlines to preserve your family’s possibility of staying with you.

How long can my student-dependant visa be extended after January 2024?

Yes, so long as the main student visa holder (i.e., your partner or parent) starts their course of study before January 1, 2024, you can extend your dependent visa. New rules for student visa dependants apply only to courses starting after January 1, 2024.

Do family members of international students in the UK have the right to visit them?

New UK immigration rules may affect students’ plans to come with their families. The Standard Visitor Visa, which allows family members to stay in the UK for up to 6 months, may be useful for those looking for an alternative.

Family members who wish to support their loved ones abroad can use the standard visitor visa. If you want to spend time together, the rules allow you to stay in the country for six months. However, you must meet the established requirements, such as showing proof of cohabitation and financial stability.

The research programs also allow students to bring their families, but some restrictions exist. A spouse or civil partner, an unmarried long-term partner, or a child under 18 who is not living separately can be included in this category. This rule prohibits children who are married or living separately from their parents and are employed from traveling with them.

A student’s family needs proof of relationship and cohabitation to obtain a visa. Bank statements and utility bills play an important role in proving stability.

It is important to remember that new immigration rules can change circumstances, so you should check the current requirements in advance and compare them with your plans. When planning to study in the UK with your family, you must pay attention to detail and be willing to adapt to new rules and conditions.

Can my family apply for a dependent visa when I switch to a PSW visa?

Your partner and children can still apply for a dependent visa if you switch from a student visa to a post-study work visa (PSW), also known as a UK Graduate visa. Under Graduate visa rules, you can only do this if your partner and children lived with you while you studied in the UK.

How do I switch from a dependent visa to a work visa in the UK?

When living in the UK as a student dependent visa holder, you can still switch to a work visa (e.g., skilled worker visa), provided that you meet the criteria for that work visa. You will gain permission to remain in the UK in your own right if you switch from a student-dependent visa to a UK worker visa. The only exception is parents of children on student visas who cannot switch to a Skilled Worker visa.

A student-dependent visa can be converted to a skilled worker visa by following the following steps:

  • You must have an offer of employment from a UK-licensed employer
  • The minimum salary requirement (as of December 2023, this is currently £26,200 per year, £10.75 per hour), and
  • English language proficiency levels B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) are required.

Student visas for international students in the UK changed to family visas.

Students on student visas and their families can switch to family visas after graduating. There are some requirements to fulfill on this route. Family visas are only available to partners or children under 18 with Irish or British citizenship, protected status, or permanent residence. 

Their student visa does not allow them to sponsor your visa. A student visa does not allow indefinite stay, even after five years. After 5 years in the UK, your partner or child can sponsor your visa for settlement as a family member.

Course Level and Duration

The new rules link the ability to bring dependants and the eligibility to switch to a work visa post-study to specific course levels and durations. Students pursuing Ph.D. or research-based postgraduate programs are granted more leeway regarding dependants and work visa transitions. This factor is crucial for students who have long-term residency plans in the UK and should be a key consideration when choosing a course.

University Selection Criteria

Selecting a university recognized by the UK government and with a proven compliance record is now more important than ever. This recognition is vital for your eligibility for a Post-Study Work visa, influencing your long-term career prospects in the UK.


In conclusion, the new rules for international students in the UK mark a significant shift in the higher education landscape. Adapting to these changes is a necessity and an opportunity for students to thrive in a dynamic and enriching environment. Staying informed, embracing support systems, and actively participating in the vibrant academic community will provide a fulfilling educational experience.


  1. How do the new visa categories benefit international students?
    • The new visa categories streamline the application process and clarify eligibility criteria, making navigating easier for students.
  2. Are there resources to help improve language proficiency for non-native English speakers?
    • Universities offer language support programs and resources to help students enhance their English language skills.
  3. What financial aid options are available for international students?
    • The UK offers various scholarships and financial aid options to alleviate the financial burden on international students.
  4. How has the pandemic affected the study experience for international students?
    • Universities have implemented safety measures to ensure a secure study environment, with online and hybrid learning options available.
  5. What career services are provided to international graduates?
    • Career services include job placement assistance and resources for building a successful career path in the UK.