Residency - how it affects your student finance (now closed)

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Student Money Week 2017
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Got questions about how where you live, or your residency status in the UK might affect your student finance? Ask them here.


Advisors for this Q&A

Andrea Simpson, Student Money Adviser

Andrea is a Student Money Adviser with over 10 years experience and is a member of the National Association of Student Money Advisers’ Financial Capability and Research Working Group


Hannah Bundy

Hannah is a Student Support Officer at Cardiff University. She’s currently a Vice-Chair of the National Association of Student Money Advisers.


Thomas Levin

Thomas is a Student Support Officer at Liverpool John Moores University. He’s a board member of the National Association of Student Money Advisers.
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TheGU1T4RFR3AK
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I have moved to Scotland in August 2011 to live with my Aunt and Uncle but was living in England before that. I have decided this by myself and have moved by myself, but my parents still live and work in England. I went through high school and college in Scotland and now university for the upcoming school year. My bank account, GP, dentist etc. addresses are in Scotland. I have been living here for 4 years now and I would definitely say that Scotland is my home.

I am thinking of applying to SAAS for my first uni degree. My question is am I eligible for funding from SAAS? Is there a condition that I don't meet? Would my parents living in England interfere with my eligibility, regardless of my own decision to live in Scotland?
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Andrea Simpson
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Hi this is Andrea, welcome to this Student Money Week session where we will be answering your questions regarding residency matters and how this can affect your entitlement to student finance.
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Andrea Simpson
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(Original post by TheGU1T4RFR3AK)
I have moved to Scotland in August 2011 to live with my Aunt and Uncle but was living in England before that. I have decided this by myself and have moved by myself, but my parents still live and work in England. I went through high school and college in Scotland and now university for the upcoming school year. My bank account, GP, dentist etc. addresses are in Scotland. I have been living here for 4 years now and I would definitely say that Scotland is my home.

I am thinking of applying to SAAS for my first uni degree. My question is am I eligible for funding from SAAS? Is there a condition that I don't meet? Would my parents living in England interfere with my eligibility, regardless of my own decision to live in Scotland?

Only SAAS can determine your eligibility as the decision maker.

However in general terms your question relates to being “ordinarily resident” – a student would need to be assessed as “ordinarily resident” in Scotland at the outset of their course to be eligible to receive funding from SAAS.

See this guide http://www.saas.gov.uk/_forms/sas4.pdf

SAAS include a definition in their guide

“Ordinary residence – the courts have defined ‘ordinary residence’ as ‘habitual and normal residence in one place’. It basically means that, throughout a set period, you and your parents or husband, wife, civil partner or partner live in a country year after year by choice, apart from temporary or occasional absences such as holidays or business trips. Living in a country totally or mainly for the purpose of receiving full-time education does not count as being ordinarily resident in that country.”

SAAS are likely to want to explore the circumstances around your residence in Scotland to understand if you satisfy the ordinary residence criteria. For example they are not likely to treat you as having your place of ordinary residence in Scotland if your main reason for living there was to receive full-time education and you would otherwise have been living in England with your parents.

However from your description your situation may be more complex than that.

Normally students are regarded as dependent upon their parents for the purpose of student finance assessments to the age of 25. However there are circumstances in which they can be regarded as Independent of their parents. SAAS provide and outline of the circumstances where they would consider a student Independent on page 19 of their guide http://www.saas.gov.uk/_forms/sas4.pdf

It may be that one of these circumstances applies to you? If so then your residency and not that of your parents would be what mattered.

Residence eligibility conditions are complex so if you are still unsure whether you meet the residence eligibility conditions after reading the SAAS information then contact them for advice by phoning 0300 555 0505 or email them via their website https://www.saas.gov.uk/contactUs/go.jsp

However apply to SAAS for funding if you want their formal decision on the matter.

Also you may wish to seek support and advice from a university student money adviser. They should be able to help you understand the rules in more detail as they apply in your specific circumstances and may be able to help you liaise with SAAS. You should be able to find contact details on any university website or NASMA also have a list of institutional contacts http://www.nasma.org.uk/Contacts-Lin...on-Contacts/A/
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Andrea Simpson
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UK Students normally apply for student finance in the country in which they are domiciled (basically where they live).

Student Finance England
Student Finance Wales
Students Awards Agency for Scotland
Student Finance Northern Ireland
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ThomasSy
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Hi, this is Thomas.

I just want to be sure, that there's nothing that I'm accidently missing. I applied for uni in UK but I'm living in Germany. Is there anything (e.g. apart from not receiving maintenance loan) that I have to be aware of?
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Andrea Simpson
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Hi Thomas - are you a German national? Will you be coming to the UK just before the start of your course?

If so most EU students are entitled to tuition fee loan only. However if EU students are working in the UK it may be possible for the student to be considered for funding a Migrant Worker.
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Thomas Levin
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(Original post by ThomasSy)
Hi, this is Thomas.

I just want to be sure, that there's nothing that I'm accidently missing. I applied for uni in UK but I'm living in Germany. Is there anything (e.g. apart from not receiving maintenance loan) that I have to be aware of?
It might be worth checking with the university that you are applying to to see if there is any funding that you might be eligible from them, such as scholarships.
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Hannah Bundy
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(Original post by Thomas Levin)
Hi, whether you are eligible for funding will depend on a few other eligibility criteria.

But who you should apply for for funding from SAAS as from the information that you have put in your post I believe this is where you are ordinary resident.
Just to add to Tom's advice, please find here a link to SAAS' residency criteria: http://www.saas.gov.uk/full_time/ug/..._residence.htm
If you meet these conditions, because you are ordinarily resident in Scotland, then you are eligible to apply to SAAS for student funding. From the information you have provided you may need to explain to SAAS why you moved to Scotland and whether it was wholly or mainly for the purpose of education.
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ThomasSy
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Hi Andrea - yes, I'm a German national and I will be coming to the UK just before the start of the course.
Hi Thomas - Thanks, I already considered doing that, crossing fingers.
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Andrea Simpson
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The legislation governing student finance entitlement in England is The Education (Student Support) Regulations 2011 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2.../contents/made

The categories of student entitled to student finance are laid out in Schedule 1 Part 2
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@teamba
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Hi this is Lorina

I have a deferred application for uni which will commence on September 2016 as what I was informed I would be ineligible to get a student loan because I haven't completed the 3 years living requirement within the country.
I have been living here in UK since January 2013, within I spent 3 month holidays outside the country, will these holidays affect my 3 year completion?

thanks
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Andrea Simpson
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(Original post by ThomasSy)
Hi Andrea - yes, I'm a German national and I will be coming to the UK just before the start of the course.
Hi Thomas - Thanks, I already considered doing that, crossing fingers.
You should be entitled to fee support if you have lived in the EEA for 3 years before the course begins. Eligibility for living cost support is more complex for an EU student. Students who work alongside their courses may be regarded as Migrant Workers - you may want to seek some advice about this if you work once you arrive in the UK.
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Hannah Bundy
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(Original post by ThomasSy)
Hi Andrea - yes, I'm a German national and I will be coming to the UK just before the start of the course.
Hi Thomas - Thanks, I already considered doing that, crossing fingers.
Hi Thomas,

If you are classed as an EU student then only tuition fee funding may be available to you. The tuition fee funding available to EU students depends on which country within the UK you will be studying in. Therefore, in addition to contacting them about any bursaries or scholarships you may be eligible for, also check directly with the University you intend to go to regarding what funding is available to EU students who attend their university.

If you have more questions about this then there is a web chat here at the same time tomorrow which will focus on this information and which will also cover information about being classed as a migrant worker.

Hope this helps!
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ThomasSy
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Thanks! I will check with my uni and definitely attend to the web chat, tomorrow!
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Andrea Simpson
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Hi

Students generally need to have been ordinarily resident for 3 years before a course began. In addition they need to be "Settled" in the UK and have not restrictions on their right to live in the UK.

Does this fit your circumstances?

Temporary absences such as holidays generally won't affect eligibility so long as Student Finance England are satisfied they were temporary.
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Andrea Simpson
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The charity UKCISA (UK Counsel For International Student Affairs) has some helpful resources.

http://www.ukcisa.org.uk/


Definitions pages on UKCISA may help with some of the terms we are using today

http://www.ukcisa.org.uk/Internation...rt-assessment/
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Thomas Levin
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(Original post by @teamba)
Hi this is Lorina

I have a deferred application for uni which will commence on September 2016 as what I was informed I would be illegible to get a student loan because I haven't completed the 3 years living requirement within the country.
I have been living here in UK since January 2013, within I spent 3 month holidays outside the country, will these holidays affect my 3 year completion?

thanks
Hi Lorina, Holiday's are not a break in residency. But what Student Finance will ask you to do is provide information regarding this holiday and why the break. I have had similar student myself who has lived in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the course, but had gone on holiday for a few months to visit family etc... We sent them a covering letter along with evidence of the flights in and out of the country explaining that this was a holiday.

This should all be sent along with documents that demonstrate that you have been resident in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of your course.

EDIT: This is what the guidance chapters from Student Finance England say about temporary absences

When considering whether an applicant for support has beenordinarily resident throughout the prescribed three-year periodpreceding the start of the first academic year of a course, temporaryor occasional absences may have to be considered. SFE shouldmake decisions on whether an absence affects a person’s ordinaryresidence on a case by case basis. However, the Department is ofthe view that each absence should be considered in the context ofthe person's period of residence, rather than simply on the basis ofthe duration of the absence itself. Place of birth or nationality shouldplay no part in this consideration. The Department is of the view thatrules of thumb or specified periods of time should not be applied inorder to determine what constitutes a temporary or occasionalabsence. In making a decision, SFE will wish to consider whether itwould be confident that their decision would be upheld if it werechallenged in Court.
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ThomasSy
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I've lived in Germany since I was born here.
I plan on going to the UK a few weeks before the study course starts. Could there be any issues? (I have been to the UK a few times, just as a visitor though).
Do I have to take any tests to be considered "settled", or what does it take to have this status?
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Andrea Simpson
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Please remember to checkout the Student Finance England tools and guidance at www.studentroom.co.uk/studentfinance
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