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The United Kingdom has reported that Nigeria holds the highest count of dependents brought in by international students over the past four years. According to a recent report from the UK government, the number of dependents from Nigeria increased to 60,506 as of September 2023, marking a significant rise from 1,427 in 2019.

Nigeria surpassed India, with the Asian country registering 43,445 dependents at the close of the third quarter this year, a notable increase from 2,127 in 2019.

“Part of the increase in dependants is linked to the increase in main applicants (see section 1) but there have also been large increases in dependants of Indian and Nigerian nationals,” UK said.

“There were 60,506 dependants of Nigerian nationals in the year ending September 2023, an increase of 59,079 compared to 2019 and 9,435 more visas issued than to main applicants in the same period.

“Indian nationals had the second highest number of dependants, increasing from 2,127 to 43,445 in the same time period.”

The UK said both the total number of dependants and the proportion of all sponsored study-related visas granted to dependants have increased since 2019.

“This may reflect a change in the composition of students coming to study in the UK with more students coming for higher education compared to before the pandemic,” the UK said.

The UK government said students coming to study at a higher level are typically older and might be more likely to have already established a family.

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