In May, Nigerians were hit with a dependant visa ban as championed by Suella Braverman, UK’s minister of interior, who has now been sacked following political controversies.
Braverman was succeeded by James Spencer Cleverly on 13th November after a sack by Rishi Sunak, the UK’s Prime Minister.
Her sack is linked to her accusation of the London police of political bias in policing protests and Sunak’s attempt to reshuffle his cabinet ahead of the 2024 elections.
However, it is uncertain if migration policies will change with her removal from office.
The dependant visa ban and its implications
The British government’s migration policy restricts Nigerians and other international students in the UK from bringing their family members by 2024 to control migration.
Additionally, international students would be prevented from transitioning from the student visa route to a work visa until they finish their studies.
The visa restriction policy will primarily impact married Nigerians aiming to relocate with their families.
Also masters students are mostly affected, as PhD students and other advanced-level students focusing on research are exempted.
The home office deemed the move necessary as a means of preventing individuals from using the student visa as a loophole to secure employment in the UK. Noting that 750% since 2019, to 136,000 people.
Suella Braverman Controversies
The “bias police” comment
The ex-home secretary wrote in The Times, criticizing what she called “pro-Palestinian mobs.” She said the scenes reminded her of Northern Ireland and accused the Met Police of treating protests unfairly. Many former police officers and MPs criticized Braverman’s article. Subsequently, clashes between police and counter-protesters occurred during pro-Palestinian rallies on Armistice Day.
Suella Braverman said on a social media site that some people living on the streets chose to be homeless as a “lifestyle choice.” She suggested limiting giving tents to the homeless. Her comments were criticized by Conservatives, opposition MPs, and groups helping the homeless.
Sending Asylum seekers to Rwanda
Braverman supported a proposal to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, arguing that it would reduce “illegal migration” to the UK. When the initial flight with migrants to Rwanda was stopped by the European Court of Human Rights, she called the decision “unacceptable.” In June 2023, the Court of Appeal overturned a prior High Court decision, stating that the Rwanda plan was not lawful.