Bluesky Immigration

2024 Policy Shifts Impacting International Students: Visas, Work & More!

Several notable government policy shifts are expected to impact international students in 2024. These changes vary by country and could affect visa processing times, post-study work opportunities, and the ability to bring dependents.

Here are some of the most significant policy shifts to be aware of:

United Kingdom:

  • Removal of the ability for most international students to bring dependents: In a controversial move, the UK government announced that, starting January 2024, only dependents of research postgraduate students will be eligible to accompany international students to the UK. This change has been met with criticism from universities, student groups, and immigration experts, who argue that it will deter families from pursuing studies in the UK. It is also unclear how this policy will be implemented and enforced.
  • Priority visa processing for “recognized” institutions: A new framework coming into effect in fall 2024 will reward institutions recognized for providing excellent services and outcomes to international students with priority visa processing. This aims to incentivize universities to improve the student experience and attract more international students.


  • Streamlined visa application process: Canada is introducing a streamlined visa application process for international students, which is expected to be in place by early 2024. This will make it easier and faster for students to apply for study permits.
  • Increased post-study work permit duration: Canada has increased the maximum length of post-study work permits for certain international students. This change will benefit students who want to gain work experience in Canada after completing their studies.


  • New points system for skilled migration: Australia is introducing a new points system for skilled migration, which will come into effect in July 2024. This system will give more points to international students who have studied in Australia and have relevant work experience.
  • Increased focus on vocational education: The Australian government is increasing its focus on vocational education and training (VET) as a pathway to skilled migration. This is likely to benefit international students who are interested in pursuing careers in trades and other skilled occupations.


  • New labor force integration initiatives: Germany has announced new initiatives to help foreign students and graduates integrate into the German labor force. These initiatives include career counseling, language training, and internships.
  • Increased funding for international student support: The German government has increased funding for support services for international students. This includes services such as academic advising, cultural orientation, and mental health support.


  • Potential changes to OPT program: The US government is considering changes to the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program, which allows international students to work in the US after graduation. These changes could include reducing the length of the program or making it more difficult to qualify.
  • Increased focus on STEM fields: The US government is increasing its focus on attracting international students in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). This is due to the growing demand for workers in these fields.

It is important for international students to stay up-to-date on these policy changes, as they can significantly impact their study abroad plans. Students should consult with their universities or immigration advisors for the latest information.


The information contained on this blog post is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. And the information provided on this blog should not be construed as professional advice.

While I strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, I cannot guarantee that all information is complete or error-free. You should always consult with a qualified professional before making any decisions based on the information contained on this blog post.

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