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UK citizen but not resident in UK

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    Hi there,

    I'm a UK citizen who grew up outside of the UK (I only have UK citizenship) and only moved there to start my studies at university. From what I understood at the time, I was not eligible for a maintenance loan as I had not been living in the UK for at least three years. Now, I'm in my 3rd year living abroad as part of Erasmus and was wondering if the situation has changed and if there is any way I could apply for that loan.
    Are there any loopholes or ways around this? I gather my case is rather unique, so I can't find much on the internet from people in a similar situation.

    Thanks for any help
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    The 3 year residency needed to have been fulfilled before the start of your course I'm afraid.

    It is always residency that matters, regardless of citizenship.
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    (Original post by Shani)
    The 3 year residency needed to have been fulfilled before the start of your course I'm afraid.

    It is always residency that matters, regardless of citizenship.
    Oh, balls
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    Hey, I'm a law student and I'm going through something similar, however im in my second year. My father was seconded out of the country for his business and because the job market centralized in asia, his career became in asia. The student finance people have been telling me to provide documents which i have, and they turn around and make some kind of excuse on why i shouldn't be able to get it. They cited the Immigration Act (when I am a british citizen), a case about a kenyan national applying for a grant (I am only applying for a loan). I am taking it one step further to legal action against them. I am eligible for all social advantages in the UK, might as well get pregnant and get money as well as a house off the government for the rest of my life. Either they would want me to become a qualified solicitor and pay taxes towards people who don't work or get pregnant when they can't afford to, or I can be one of those people in this economy where the nation is suffering from cuts off of budgets.
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    (Original post by caroline0805)
    Hey, I'm a law student and I'm going through something similar, however im in my second year. My father was seconded out of the country for his business and because the job market centralized in asia, his career became in asia. The student finance people have been telling me to provide documents which i have, and they turn around and make some kind of excuse on why i shouldn't be able to get it. They cited the Immigration Act (when I am a british citizen), a case about a kenyan national applying for a grant (I am only applying for a loan). I am taking it one step further to legal action against them. I am eligible for all social advantages in the UK, might as well get pregnant and get money as well as a house off the government for the rest of my life. Either they would want me to become a qualified solicitor and pay taxes towards people who don't work or get pregnant when they can't afford to, or I can be one of those people in this economy where the nation is suffering from cuts off of budgets.
    You won't get very far. The rules are quite simple - if you've been living outside the EEA then you don't have a leg to stand on.
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    However, they had told me I would be eligible if i proved my father was seconded out of the country through business, which I have, Ive bad a permanent address here in the UK and have documents to prove it. You are wrong stating that its a very simple rule, however if you look through relevant acts such as the immigration laws and education laws, it is very complex which is why student finance people face numerous problems.
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    Hi, this might seem redundant but are there any perks to being a UK citizen and applying to English universities if one is not a resident? Thanks
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    Heyy guyss okay so my story is something like this: My maternal grandfather has a british passport and he worked and lived in the UK. My mom spent some of her time in the UK, they even had a house there! but she married my father(who is not a british citizen) so she moved out of the UK, and since my dad does business theres no way we could have ever shifted to the UK. Iv gotten into imperial but i cant afford it! I was born in Birmingham! and I cant even get a loan. my government is saying get it from the british govt and the british govts saying get it from the country you've been resident it! HELP?
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    The key qualifier is that as a British citizen, you still need to have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years before the start of your course. There's very little leeway. I've seen Student Finance refuse funding to an army wife, whose husband had been posted overseas. They said that this meant she'd been ordinarily resident outside the UK and she couldn't apply for funding until she'd been back in the UK for three years before the start of a course. They're pretty stringent about applying the residency rule.

    Have you asked Imperial whether they know of any undergraduate scholarships or bursaries for which you can apply? Be aware that many such schemes are reaching their application deadlines around this time of year, so you need to move fast. Some are also awarded on a first come, first served basis.
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    (Original post by Shani)
    The 3 year residency needed to have been fulfilled before the start of your course I'm afraid.

    It is always residency that matters, regardless of citizenship.
    Does anybody know exactly how they determine residency? I have been told that SLC look at the electoral roll only. Is this correct?
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    (Original post by stumacd)
    Does anybody know exactly how they determine residency? I have been told that SLC look at the electoral roll only. Is this correct?
    No, it won't be. They probably start with tax/ benefit records as the family income is checked against that. There are other ways to prove residency but you will have to show more evidence e.g paying council tax and utility bills.
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    (Original post by stumacd)
    Does anybody know exactly how they determine residency? I have been told that SLC look at the electoral roll only. Is this correct?
    It's not just a matter of them checking on you. You have to provide evidence of residency to them. Things like being registered with a GP/dentist for the three year qualifying period, having a UK bank account, paying Council Tax, paying income tax, making NI contributions etc.

    It's doable but needs organisation. A friend of mine managed to maintain the UK as his 'ordinary residence' whilst living and working in the Far East for a total of fifteen years.
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    Paying council tax, paying income tax, making NI contributions - not been doing that....
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    (Original post by stumacd)
    Paying council tax, paying income tax, making NI contributions - not been doing that....
    You need some kind of documentary proof of UK residence from a third party. Have you been claiming benefits in the UK? Getting official correspondence forwarded to a UK address? If you've been living abroad, have you been on some kind of limited visa, like a tourist visa or employment-only visa? That might demonstrate that you were overseas on a temporary basis.

    Another crimp, is that you can't come back to the UK just for education, and use that to build up qualifying years of residence. if you come back to the UK just to go to school or uni, then you will automatically be disqualified from receiving any Student Finance at any time in the future. You could move to the UK e.g. for a job, or if you were following family, and then go to school/college/uni as an unrelated decision.

    It really depends on your circumstances. Basically, the UK Student Finance system is biased towards those who have (or whose parents have) recently contributed to the tax system which pays for it. Even to the point of excluding ex-pat Brits in many cases. The principle is that British citizens who decide to cut residency ties with the UK and not pay into State coffers, can't then turn round and expect to take advantage of a support system that they didn't/don't help to fund.
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    No-one here can say for sure what attitude Student Finance would take but I'm afraid that if I was judging I would say your daughter is returning for educational reasons (to study and aiming to get student finance) especially when it was obvious her parents income was earned abroad. Students who travel abroad on a gap year usually have parents, and a home, in the UK, rejoining you for that year just makes it even more obvious that this is for educational reasons. Your choices are to return to live here, for her to support herself for 3 years in the UK and then go to university or to go to university elsewhere, Maastricht teach in English, for example.
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    (Original post by stumacd)
    We are considering sending our daughter back to the UK to do her A Levels so that she can build her own proof of residency, and the point you highlight is critical. As our daughter would be returning to live with family e.g. not attending a boarding school, I cannot see how it would be possible to judge this as only coming back to study, and this would not be true as we see other benefits in her going back, reaquainting with family and friends for example. Can you shed any more light on this? How would this be judged?
    This is something that I think only Student Finance would be able to tell you. Your first sentence is certainly something you should never ever say to SF, as that statement would automatically disqualify her from funding for life. Whether or not she goes to boarding school would be irrelevant.

    You could spin it to say that you've just realised that your stay abroad was going to last longer than expected, that your daughter was growing up fast not knowing her UK relatives, and that you want her to spend quality time e,g, with elderly grandparents, while she still can. However, even that would be open to interpretation by SF. It's still a major gamble which you/she could end up losing, but probably the only one available if your daughter is dead set on going to uni in the UK immediately after school.

    We plan to fly her back out during holidays and plan for her to return in her year out (giving her 3 years) before going to University. I assume a student who travels abroad during a 'year out' does not lose their residency status, if they did this would be a much bigger issue for thousands...
    If she comes back to you on a temporary visa - like a tourist visa - then she might be fine. It depends where you are in the world, as to whether she will be allowed a temporary visa which allows her to spend that much time back at your current location. It also again depends how SF choose to interpret that time. Going back to live with immediate family for a year, isn't going to look the same as taking a gap year out to travel the world.

    It must be terribly worrying, trying to predict a future away from you a different country, for a 15 year old. I do sympathise.

    An alternative could be that she delays going to uni and doesn't go immediately after she finishes school. If she works in the UK for two or three years after doing her her A Levels here, this would really drive home the point that she hasn't come back to the UK just to build up qualifying residence for SF. It might be worth her building up some savings anyway. Up to the age of 25, her SF entitlement will automatically be based on your income. Forgive me if this is an incorrect assumption, but I would assume that working abroad gives you a pretty substantial wage. Living on the minimum SF funding is never a comfortable experience (it's always intended as a contribution towards uni costs, and never guarantees to cover all of them) and she might find her student life easier if she could call on savings to top up her finances, rather than getting a part-time job. Many students have to these days. This scenario would see her leaving uni with both a degree and some kind of work experience on her CV, which will give her an advantage over fellow graduates. Even experience in something like a retail job will give her a professional reference and show prospective employers that she is trustworthy, reliable etc.

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