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The number of student dependants granted UK visas hit another record in the last year, while student numbers contributed to immigration that is at new record levels.

The government announced new restrictions on dependants just days ago, hoping to get ahead of the release of the latest data on rising net migration, which causes political difficulties for a Conservative government that has pledged to reduce it.

Home Office statistics reveal that 478,000 sponsored study visas were granted to main applicants in the year to March, 22 per cent more than the year before and the most on record.

Of main applicants, 139,000 (29 per cent) were for Indian nationals – 63 per cent more than the year before.

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