The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has reacted to the United Kingdom’s new immigration rules.
NANS described the new rules that have its sole aim of separating couples and intentionally keeping partners away from each other as inhumane.
The Nigerian Students’ body which opposed this in a statement sent to SaharaReporters on Friday, said such a policy should "never be allowed to stand let alone hold waters".
The new immigration policy introduced by the Home Office of the United Kingdom bans individuals on study visas (excluding those on research) from bringing in dependants. It’s implementation will commence by January 2024.
Reacting to the new immigration rules, NANS in the statement signed by its Vice President (External Affairs),
Comr. Akinteye Babatunde Afeez, said "despicable amongst these changes is the change to relationship requirements for partners under the Student, Graduate, and Skilled Worker routes".
He said, “About 30,000 Nigerian students are enrolled in United Kingdom universities and in the 2021/2022 session alone, the government of the UK accrued about £2 billion from fees paid by the Nigerian Students alone."
NANS, however, noted that stopping spouses from travelling together, especially when it has to do with studying abroad would only cause "emotional trauma and the purpose of going to study" might even be truncated as there would be no focus "as the minds of these students will be divided".
The students canvassed that there should be some differences that should be taken into consideration while implementing the new policy "so that the relationship between the UK and Nigerians wishing to study in the UK would not be short-lived."
It added, "Create rules that would solidify relationships and build families, not the ones that will break families and set them apart simply because you want to satisfy an egoistical side of your clime based on an interview.
"I enjoin the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, NIDCOM and other stakeholders to call the government of the United Kingdom to order to rescind these arbitrary rules.
"The 686% increase in the influx of Nigerian students in the UK is not unconnected to the accessibility and acceptability it has shown to us from time immemorial.
"We even cared less despite the exploitation and intimidation. This new immigration rule has broken the camel's back and we will fight tooth and nail to make sure it does not stand.
"Allow every student the ability to travel will their spouse."