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France Joins UK, Canada to Tighten Immigration Rules on Nigerians

France has introduced new legislation that will prevent international students—including Nigerians—from bringing their families into the nation, joining the list of nations that have already placed immigration restrictions on them.

The parliament enacted a measure on Friday that establishes a new, more stringent immigration policy, delaying the access of migrants to welfare benefits and making it more difficult for them to bring family members to France.

It also outlawed the incarceration of juveniles in detention facilities, despite the declarations of noncompliance by the chief executives of one-third of the French regions.

Regarding eligibility for benefits, a contentious clause separates citizens from immigrants—even those who are legally residing in the nation.

United Kingdom

Due to this new immigration regulation, Nigerian students are anticipated to search elsewhere for their Japa plans, similar to how the United Kingdom, which introduced a no-dependant limit on international students in May, did.

The decision was made by the UK government in reaction to the concerning increase in net migration, which has already reached an astounding one million people. As a result, Conservative MPs had to urge Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to take immediate action to resolve the issue and restore authority over immigration statistics.

Nigerian students, who have made up a significant portion of the international student population in the UK, have already begun to investigate other options in the European continent, including France. But their options are getting less in light of this recent development.

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

The new Home Secretary, James Cleverly, announced new regulations earlier in December that increased the minimum salary threshold from £26,000 to £38,700 in order to get a skilled worker visa.

The amount alone exceeds the median average pay that a full-time worker in Britain currently makes.

Health and social care workers were excluded, but he warned they would not be allowed to bring dependents.

Furthermore, dependents (partners and kids) of foreign care workers will no longer be permitted to accompany them, and migrants will now be required to pay an increased NHS surcharge of 66%.

Cleverly claims that all of these actions were taken to guarantee that immigrants “bring dependents whom they can support financially.”

Canada

The Canadian government declared in December that, in addition to France and the UK, overseas students will need to provide fresh proof of money totaling ₦16,050,000.0000 ($20,000) as of January 2024.

The present minimum, which is $10,000, was introduced in the early 2000s and has not been changed since. The new cost is more than twice that amount.

In addition to their first year’s tuition and travel expenses, a single applicant for 2024 must demonstrate that they have $20,635, or 75% of LICO.

However, the government said that the exemption from the 20-hour weekly work cap for overseas students would now last until April 30, 2024.

Only students who have already arrived in Canada and who applied for a study permit by December 7th, 2023 are eligible for this extension.

First proposed on November 15, 2022, the bill was supposed to be in effect until December 31, 2023. When classes are in session, it permits students to work longer than the typical 20 hours per week.

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