I am an Italian student and two years ago I did an exchange year in the USA, I had a J1 visa (only allowed to study) and I maintened my residence in Italy. This year I applied for student finance, since I'm starting university in the UK this October, and today I received a letter from the student finance service saying that "From the information provided you do not appear to have been ordinarily resident within the EEA or Switzerland for the three year period. If the relevant periods of absence were temporary or occasional, you may still be eligible for tuition fee support. It is up to you to prove to us that the absence was due to employment outside the EEA/Switzerland and that this employment is or was, temporary. We would need to be satisfied that you would have been ordinarily resident in the EEA or Switzerland if it were not for the period of temporary employment."There was also a temporary absence questionnaire all about employment but during my exchange year I've never worked so I have no idea if should fill in the questionnaire anyway or just send the residential status paper printed by my city showing that my residential status has never changed. I really hope you can help me!
We would require evidence that your break in residency was temporary. You can send the residential status paper and the visa showing it was for study purposes. You should send any other evidence that would proof the break in residency was temporary along with a cover letter explaining what you where doing during this time and that you always intended on returning. You do not need to fill out the questionnaire if it does not relate to you.