Welfare and immigration funding advice by NASMA Watch

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Student Money Week 2017
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Are you a student from overseas needing advice about welfare and immigration? Gillian is here to help.

Gillian works for the Welfare Immigration and Funding Team at Northumbria University. She helps students discuss any confidential financial problems they might have, as well as helping with budgeting and financial management. Her team is also responsible for providing immigration advice and helping with visa applications.

Please be aware all answers will be posted on Thursday 9 February.
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CJ
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Posting on behalf of George7602:

I arrived in UK in 1996 and could not get student finance due to immigration status as an asylum seeker. In 2011 i got DLR ,and in August 2016 spotted new law introduced : You may also be eligible if you’re not a UK national, 18 or over and have lived in the UK for at least 20 years . I thought to my self:"At last!"

In the previous year i finished GCSE's and am doing Access to Higher Education course at the moment.
It's been 6 month of sending documents back and forth to SFE,numerous calls,useless conversations with SFE staff,complaints,MPs involved,kilos of documents sent.Lots of mess , to cut the story short.
Eventually SFE made a decision recently : "You are not eligible" as we need evidence you have been here for 20 years.
When you ask them questions , they lie to you about letters and documents lost in post,system is down,manager is absent,they sent you letter and you will receive it soon,take your application off the website,then put it back again after few weeks, say they have everything they need , then after a month start the game all over again, total mess.

My question is? Who can i complain to?How can i solve the problem?
I sent official complaint to SFE, they drugging the case,sent request to MP - he's been promising to help for a few month, sent letters to House of Lords,they don't bother to reply.
Appreciate if anybody would advise on the matter
George
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virin96
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So I have applied for student finance but they sent me a letter saying I am not eligible because I have not been here for 3 years prior to the start of my course. I am a full British Citizen that has been living in the USA for 16 years. We were in the USA on a TEMPORARY NON-IMMIGRANT E-2 investor visa(that means we had an intent to return to the UK after our stay in the USA). I am getting charged home fees at my selected university so cant I get student finance if I have settled status? My parents have paid taxes to the UK government before we left the UK for USA and now they are paying taxes to the UK government since we left the USA. I am a full UK citizen with settled status. I am getting charged home fees, but cannot receive student finance. Does not make sense. Any suggestions on what to do?
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Sachith96
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Hi, I arrived in the UK on the 20th of May 2005 when I was 8 and a half years old and I am currently 20 years old , I was wondering if I will be eligible for student finance through the long residency eligibility criteria that has newly been introduced in 2016 . I only received my discretionary leave to remain in February 2016 but has lived over half of my life in the UK and will start university in September for Management BA at University of Leicester, so I was wondering will I be eligible for student finance ?
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Gillian Hurst
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(Original post by CJ)
Posting on behalf of George7602:

I arrived in UK in 1996 and could not get student finance due to immigration status as an asylum seeker. In 2011 i got DLR ,and in August 2016 spotted new law introduced : You may also be eligible if you’re not a UK national, 18 or over and have lived in the UK for at least 20 years . I thought to my self:"At last!"

In the previous year i finished GCSE's and am doing Access to Higher Education course at the moment.
It's been 6 month of sending documents back and forth to SFE,numerous calls,useless conversations with SFE staff,complaints,MPs involved,kilos of documents sent.Lots of mess , to cut the story short.
Eventually SFE made a decision recently : "You are not eligible" as we need evidence you have been here for 20 years.
When you ask them questions , they lie to you about letters and documents lost in post,system is down,manager is absent,they sent you letter and you will receive it soon,take your application off the website,then put it back again after few weeks, say they have everything they need , then after a month start the game all over again, total mess.

My question is? Who can i complain to?How can i solve the problem?
I sent official complaint to SFE, they drugging the case,sent request to MP - he's been promising to help for a few month, sent letters to House of Lords,they don't bother to reply.
Appreciate if anybody would advise on the matter
George
Hi

I'm sorry but I'm not able to comment on your individual case as I don't have access to your information file . Which university /college were you applying for it sounds as if you need to provide further evidence of your 20 year residency , I'm not sure what evidence you have already submitted but you could ask to speak to one of the funding advisers at your university of college , they will be able to offer you further advice .
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Yochanan7
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Good day, I arrived with my family in the UK in July 2014 from Southern Africa. My mother is British but my siblings and I are currently here on ancestry visas. We do however have a protracted application for citizenship due to the fact that my mother was born stateless to British parents that should confer British nationality to us as well. Our application is not standard but we believe accurate. Having received conditional acceptance from three universities I am very excited but also carrying a weight without the certainty of knowing what my future holds. In addition, I am told that children of EU nationals receive finance yet a child of a British citizen may not. Could you please help me in any way possible. It should be said that my family has never abused any country where we have resided but contributed as we look forward to doing here. I thank you in anticipation. Yochanan
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Gillian Hurst
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(Original post by virin96)
So I have applied for student finance but they sent me a letter saying I am not eligible because I have not been here for 3 years prior to the start of my course. I am a full British Citizen that has been living in the USA for 16 years. We were in the USA on a TEMPORARY NON-IMMIGRANT E-2 investor visa(that means we had an intent to return to the UK after our stay in the USA). I am getting charged home fees at my selected university so cant I get student finance if I have settled status? My parents have paid taxes to the UK government before we left the UK for USA and now they are paying taxes to the UK government since we left the USA. I am a full UK citizen with settled status. I am getting charged home fees, but cannot receive student finance. Does not make sense. Any suggestions on what to do?
Hi
I don't have access to your personal file but generally when considering whether an applicant has been ordinary resident throughout the previous three years SFE would make a decision on a case by case basis. You should contact an adviser at your university ad they can contact SFE on your behalf they can also advise you on submitting an appeal if this is appropriate in your case
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Yochanan7
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(Original post by Gillian Hurst)
Hi
I don't have access to your personal file but generally when considering whether an applicant has been ordinary resident throughout the previous three years SFE would make a decision on a case by case basis. You should contact an adviser at your university ad they can contact SFE on your behalf they can also advise you on submitting an appeal if this is appropriate in your case
Thank you for your quick reply
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Gillian Hurst
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(Original post by Sachith96)
Hi, I arrived in the UK on the 20th of May 2005 when I was 8 and a half years old and I am currently 20 years old , I was wondering if I will be eligible for student finance through the long residency eligibility criteria that has newly been introduced in 2016 . I only received my discretionary leave to remain in February 2016 but has lived over half of my life in the UK and will start university in September for Management BA at University of Leicester, so I was wondering will I be eligible for student finance ?
Hi

In 2016 a new eligibility category for those with 'long residence' was introduced . If you are aged 18 years old or above and, prior to the first day of the first academic year of your course you have lived in the United Kingdom for half of your life than you would qualify for full student funding for your tuition fees and for your living costs.
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Gillian Hurst
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(Original post by Yochanan7)
Good day, I arrived with my family in the UK in July 2014 from Southern Africa. My mother is British but my siblings and I are currently here on ancestry visas. We do however have a protracted application for citizenship due to the fact that my mother was born stateless to British parents that should confer British nationality to us as well. Our application is not standard but we believe accurate. Having received conditional acceptance from three universities I am very excited but also carrying a weight without the certainty of knowing what my future holds. In addition, I am told that children of EU nationals receive finance yet a child of a British citizen may not. Could you please help me in any way possible. It should be said that my family has never abused any country where we have resided but contributed as we look forward to doing here. I thank you in anticipation. Yochanan
Hi With the United Kingdom Ancestry Visa, you are initially given 5 years to live and work or study in the UK . After 5 years in the UK you can apply for permanent residence (Indefinite Leave to Remain), provided you meet the necessary requirements. I order to qualify for student funding you would need to for your fees and your living costs you would need to meet the residency requirement . in order to qualify for funding you would need to meet the following y:
  • 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

Non-UK nationals must have settled status on the first day of the first academic year of the course
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Sachith96
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Many Thanks for your help !
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Sarah SFE
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