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The number of student dependants applying for visas plummeted by 79 per cent after the route was limited in January to only include families of research postgraduates.

Following the major cuts by the government, a number of key visa applications have dropped.

The overall number of migrants and their dependants who applied for three main types of visa decreased by nearly a third year-on-year, according to the Home Office.

Around 46,700 student dependants applied to come to the UK in the first five months of 2023, compared to just 9,700 in the same period of this year.

Similarly, the number of foreign care workers who applied to bring family members to Britain also dropped from 78,600 in the first five months of last year to 61,600.

The Conservative Party promised further restrictions in their manifesto plan - including a migration cap which would slash numbers each year.

Home Secretary James Cleverly said: "We have been clear that immigration has been too high.

"That’s why we’ve taken bold action to bring numbers down and today’s statistics show the plan is working."

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He added: "Keir Starmer has no plan to reduce immigration.

"He only dreams of a sweetheart deal with the EU which would see us take more, not fewer, migrants.

"He cannot be trusted to control our borders and would take us back to square one."

In the first five months of this year, there were 207,900 applications across the three reformed visa routes - a drop from 304,700 in the same period last year.

According to estimates by the Office for National Statistics, net migration was 685,000 in 2023.

The restrictions implemented by the Conservatives could have a "fighting chance" of slashing net migration to as low as 150,000 a year, an expert has suggested.

Chairman of the Migration Advisory Committee Professor Brian Bell said the reforms could cause an "enormous" decrease in people coming to Britain, particularly among students.

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