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France Joins UK, Canada To Tighten Immigration Rules On Nigerians



France has joined a list of countries that have imposed immigration restrictions on international students (including Nigerians) with new legislation that will stop them from bringing their families to the country.

The law passed by the parliament on Friday provides a new toughening immigration policy that makes it more difficult for migrants to bring family members to France and delays their access to welfare benefits.

It also banned detaining minors in detention centres while leaders of a third of French regions said they would not comply with certain measures in the law.

A controversial provision discriminates between citizens and migrants, even those living in the country legally, in determining eligibility for benefits.

United Kingdom

This new immigration policy means that just like the United Kingdom which imposed a no-dependant restriction on international students in May, Nigerian students are expected to look elsewhere for their Japa plans.

The UK government’s decision came in response to the alarming surge in net migration, which has reached a staggering one million individuals. A situation that meant Conservative MPs had to call on the Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, to address urgently and regain control over immigration figures.

Already, Nigerian students, who have been among the largest contributors to the UK’s international student community, have started to look at other alternatives in the Europe zone with France considered. But with this new development, their options are shrinking.

The other route – skilled worker visa, seen as a better option to the UK, has experienced some reshuffling as well.

Earlier in December, new Home Secretary, James Cleverly, unveiled a set of new rules that raised the minimum salary requirement for obtaining a skilled worker visa from £26,000 to £38,700.

The figure itself is more than the existing median average salary of a full-time worker in Britain.

He exempted health and social care workers but said they would be prevented from bringing family dependents.

Also, overseas care workers will no longer be allowed to bring dependents (partners and children), while migrants have to pay a 66 percent NHS surcharge increase.

According to Cleverly, all of these were done to ensure immigrants “bring dependents whom they can support financially”


Apart from France and the UK, the government of Canada in December announced that starting from January 2024, international students must show a new proof of funds, ₦16,050,000.0000 ($20,000).

The new cost is more than double the current requirement of $10,000, an amount brought in during the early 2000s that has not been adjusted since.

For 2024, a single applicant will need to show they have $20,635, representing 75% of LICO, in addition to their first year of tuition and travel costs.

The government however announced the extension of the waiver on the 20-hour per week work cap for international students until April 30, 2024.

This extension applies only to students already present in Canada and those who submitted a study permit application as of December 7th, 2023.

The measure was first introduced on November 15, 2022, and was set to last until December 31, 2023. It allows students to work more than the usual 20 hours per week while class is in session.