Countries That Allow Foreign Students to Bring Families | Explore Your Options

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The United Kingdom’s recent VISA restriction, which prohibits foreign students from bringing their families into the country, has prompted a closer look at other nations that welcome international students with their families. European countries, in particular, have been revising their visa and immigration policies to attract a large, young, and dynamic workforce for economic growth and development.


Toyyib Adelodun, a UK-based Immigration consultant, pointed out that Europe as a whole faces an aging population and the recent VISA restriction will draw attention to other countries actively seeking skilled workers. While language barriers may exist in some European countries, Adelodun believes that determined Nigerians can overcome this obstacle if they are committed to staying.


The British government announced that the new restriction will take effect for students starting in January 2024, providing future international students with sufficient time for planning. The tightening of this route is aimed at reducing migration numbers and fulfilling the government’s promise to cut net migration.


Prior to the restriction, the British government allowed sponsored study VISA holders, also known as student visa holders, to bring their partners and children (dependants) into the country. However, the number of Nigerians granted sponsored study visas and their dependants increased significantly in recent years, surpassing other nationalities. This surge in dependants reflects the desire of many Nigerians to emigrate due to factors such as high poverty, unemployment, inadequate human capital development, insecurity, and subpar education.

In light of the UK’s visa ban, here are seven countries that permit international students to bring their families:



Canada aims to welcome over 460,000 new immigrants annually to bolster its economy, reunite families, and assist refugees. The country’s dependent visa allows international students to bring their dependants and permits them to work or study full-time with the appropriate permits. Nigeria ranks fifth in Canada’s top 10 international students market.



Germany’s Skilled Immigration Act, implemented in 2020, facilitates migration to the country for skilled workers, particularly from non-European countries. Germany’s dependent visa, known as a family reunion visa, enables spouses, children, and other family members to join and live with their relatives residing in Germany. The country’s superior education system, diverse work opportunities, and growing economy make it an attractive destination for immigrants.



Similar to Canada and Germany, Australia has been actively attracting skilled migrants. Its dependent visa program allows international students to bring their spouses and families to the country. Australia ranks among the top study destinations for Nigerians.


New Zealand:

Immigration plays a significant role in New Zealand’s economic development. The Skilled Migrant Category is the most popular visa pathway for migrants and their families to obtain residence. The resident visa under this category allows individuals to live, work, and study in New Zealand indefinitely, including their partner and dependent children aged 24 and under. Additionally, New Zealand offers a dependent child student visa, allowing dependent children to join their parents and study at primary or secondary schools.



Finland has been consistently ranked as the happiest country in the world. It offers top-quality higher education with numerous English-taught bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. The country’s flexible and favorable immigration rules make it an attractive choice for international students and their spouses.



International students wishing to bring their families to Denmark can apply for the green card dependent visa. This visa allows Danish green card holders to bring their families while they live and work in Denmark. Denmark offers high wages for part-time jobs and provides opportunities for spouses and children to accompany the student.



Estonia is a popular destination for various professional programs, offering over 150 degrees. The country boasts stunning architecture, incredible scenery, and a high-quality educational experience. Estonia is an excellent choice for students who wish to study abroad with their spouses, as the government provides several part-time perks for students and their partners.


These seven countries, Canada, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Denmark, and Estonia, offer opportunities for international students to bring their families and enjoy a supportive environment while pursuing their education. Each country has its own unique advantages, such as favorable immigration policies, superior education systems, job opportunities, and quality of life.


It’s important for prospective students to thoroughly research and understand the specific requirements, application procedures, and conditions associated with bringing their families to these countries. Consulting with immigration consultants, university advisors, or relevant authorities in each country can provide accurate and up-to-date information.


By exploring alternative destinations, international students can find welcoming countries that cater to their educational and family needs, providing a positive and enriching experience for themselves and their loved ones.


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