Postgraduate government loan "ordinary living in England" Watch

anichhibb
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#1
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Hi, I am looking into applying for a masters however the only way I can afford it next year is if I take the new government loan. The only thing is for the past 2 years I have been teaching English at a university in China. I have read that the eligibility requires a person to have lived ordinarily in the UK for 3 years. Does this apply to UK nationals or prospective international students?
I am a UK national, would I still not be eligible for the loan because I was working abroad?
Thanks in advance for you help!
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999tigger
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The quick answer is I believe UK nationals have to comply with the resident test as well.
The actual postgrad loan information seems to be being updated all the time, but from the government site it send you to SFE, which sends you to its normal literature for student loans.

You will see it requires you to meet all three requirements.

Your nationality or residency status
You can apply if all of the following apply:
  • you’re a UK national or have ‘settled status’ (no restrictions on how long you can stay)
  • you normally live in England
  • you’ve been living in the UK for 3 years before starting your course
https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/who-qualifies

If you wnat me o post the ordinaruly resident test, then I am happy to, but you would be having to argue that whilst abroad you were still ordinarily resident in the UK.. I answered this question recently. By all means wait till one of the official SFE posters replies.
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999tigger
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Where you live
Normally, you must meet three requirements relating to where you live and your immigration status on the first day of the first academic year of your course. On that date, you must:• be ‘ordinarily resident’ (see note 1) in England;• have been ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom or Islands for the three years immediately before this; and• have ‘settled status’ in the UK (under the terms of the Immigration Act 1971).

Note 1:The term ‘ordinarily resident’ means where you usually live for most of your time in the three years before your course is due to start.If you were away from this country during all or part of the three-year period because either you, or a specified family member (for example, a parent or grandparent) were temporarily employed abroad, we may treat you as having lived in the UK for the entire period you or your family member were away.If you were away from the UK during all or part of the three-year period because you or a specified family member were serving abroad as a member of the regular armed forces (the British Army, the Royal Navy or the Royal Air Force), this may be treated as a temporary absence. This may not prevent you from being eligible for support towards your fees or your course costs.If you’re living in the UK mainly to receive full-time education and, if you weren’t studying you’d normally live outside of the UK, we won’t usually treat you as being ordinarily resident in the UK.
As you say you were away for 2 out of those three years and I think its hard pushed to say you were ordinarily resident here. Its down to the SFE, but if it looks like something more than temporary then really you were living elsewhere. They may accept certain forms of supporting evidence if you wnat to say you were in the UK, but its a hard sell.

See what the SFE Rep here says.
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anichhibb
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That helps a lot thank you so much. The detailed times of my absence were September 2014 - July 2015 (then I came back to England) and September 2015 to April 2016 ( and now I am back) so it's more like 17 months away. I've read ( and as you've pointed out) that temporary employment would not make you ineligible as long as you can demonstrate it. For example providing a fixed term contract. If this is the case then hopefully it will be okay as my teaching posts abroad were all fixed term contracts. But if someone could clarify this that would be great.
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999tigger
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(Original post by anichhibb)
That helps a lot thank you so much. The detailed times of my absence were September 2014 - July 2015 (then I came back to England) and September 2015 to April 2016 ( and now I am back) so it's more like 17 months away. I've read ( and as you've pointed out) that temporary employment would not make you ineligible as long as you can demonstrate it. For example providing a fixed term contract. If this is the case then hopefully it will be okay as my teaching posts abroad were all fixed term contracts. But if someone could clarify this that would be great.
Ok done some more digging for you and PQ has provided some guidance..

Its evidence based so the more you can provide evidence that it was temporary and you always intended to return , like keeping your home here etc then that will work in your favour. the rules are still being updated and written. Its definitely worth applying.

PQ posted on another thread

2. Under ordinary residence rules people have been out of the UK for decades and been classed as ordinarily resident here. There's no specific guidance about time periods for temporary or not - what matters is the evidence on an intent to return (so staying on the electoral roll at parents address, having a parental home in England as correspondence address for the SLC/SFE, driving licence address as parental address, having bank statements or other official bills sent to parental address for the purposes of the PGL). For fee status and student support UG rulings things like parents maintaining a home in the UK or paying UK tax to HMRC while being resident outside the UK is considered evidence, as is having temporary visas/employment contracts for working outside the country.
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