A.Daffodil
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Hi, I have a question about the requirement for 3-year residency in the UK prior to the start of the course: does taking a gap year to go travelling in that time affect my loan eligibility?More detail on my circumstances:I moved to the UK in Sept 2008 as an EU national. I have since lived and worked in the UK. In June 2017 I got my UK citizenship, which means I am now both a UK and EU national. In August 2017 I took a year-long unpaid break from work to go travelling, both abroad and in the UK (a gap year, just later in life). After a year (in August 2018), I returned to my previous UK employer. In September 2020 I started a doctoral programme and would now like to apply for the student loan before 1 June. I consider myself to have lived in the UK continuously since Sept 2008 as during my travels the UK was my main residence and I did not work or live in another country. Could you please confirm if I'm eligible to apply for the postgraduate doctoral loan, given my gap year?
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SFE Isaac
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(Original post by A.Daffodil)
Hi, I have a question about the requirement for 3-year residency in the UK prior to the start of the course: does taking a gap year to go travelling in that time affect my loan eligibility?More detail on my circumstances:I moved to the UK in Sept 2008 as an EU national. I have since lived and worked in the UK. In June 2017 I got my UK citizenship, which means I am now both a UK and EU national. In August 2017 I took a year-long unpaid break from work to go travelling, both abroad and in the UK (a gap year, just later in life). After a year (in August 2018), I returned to my previous UK employer. In September 2020 I started a doctoral programme and would now like to apply for the student loan before 1 June. I consider myself to have lived in the UK continuously since Sept 2008 as during my travels the UK was my main residence and I did not work or live in another country. Could you please confirm if I'm eligible to apply for the postgraduate doctoral loan, given my gap year?
Hi, were you granted EU settled status or do you have UK Nationality.

When you left the Uk, what country did you go to? Was it outside the EU/EEA?
You mentioned you started your doctoral September 2020 so what course are you applying for in June? Did you mean you are starting September 2021?
Thanks, Isaac
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A.Daffodil
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Hi, thanks for the quick reply. I got UK citizenship in 2017 so I'm a dual UK and EU national. The gap year was to go travelling round the world so both EU/EEA and outside but I didn't live anywhere permanently or work anywhere, and considered myself to be away from my UK home and always intending to return to the UK (including returning to the same employer). It was like a series of mini-holidays, never staying at the same address for more than two weeks during that year.
I started the doctoral programme in Sept 2020 and would now like to apply for the student loan. I understand I need to apply before 9 months from the programme start are up to qualify for the full loan amount (which makes it 1 June deadline).
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SFE Isaac
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(Original post by A.Daffodil)
Hi, thanks for the quick reply. I got UK citizenship in 2017 so I'm a dual UK and EU national. The gap year was to go travelling round the world so both EU/EEA and outside but I didn't live anywhere permanently or work anywhere, and considered myself to be away from my UK home and always intending to return to the UK (including returning to the same employer). It was like a series of mini-holidays, never staying at the same address for more than two weeks during that year.
I started the doctoral programme in Sept 2020 and would now like to apply for the student loan. I understand I need to apply before 9 months from the programme start are up to qualify for the full loan amount (which makes it 1 June deadline).
If you are a UK National, when you apply you should submit your UK passport details online. You will need to prove your absence outside the EU/EEA was temporary. Please submit your application now and our residency team will review your account.

If you were still employed while travelling and just took a break from your employment then you could get your employer to write a letter to confirm you were still working for them. You can write a letter to explain you were travelling for a year on your gap year but always intended to return to the UK.
We can also accept temporary visas, return flight tickets and if you were still paying for mortgage/rent or bills in the UK, you can send proof you still kept ties.
Thanks, Isaac
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A.Daffodil
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Thanks, that's helpful. Just a couple of quick questions about the application:
- I've been at my current address since returning from travels in August 2018, but I need to provide my address history since Sept 2017 for the application. During my travels I used a UK address for any official mailings - is it ok to list this on the application and explain about my travelling in my answer to the "tell us why you moved here" question? Otherwise I'm not sure how and where to address the issue in the application.
- at what point should I send the documents you said you accept to confirm my intention of return? Can I upload them when I submit my online application or would I be asked for them once I submitted the application?
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SFE Isaac
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(Original post by A.Daffodil)
Thanks, that's helpful. Just a couple of quick questions about the application:
- I've been at my current address since returning from travels in August 2018, but I need to provide my address history since Sept 2017 for the application. During my travels I used a UK address for any official mailings - is it ok to list this on the application and explain about my travelling in my answer to the "tell us why you moved here" question? Otherwise I'm not sure how and where to address the issue in the application.
- at what point should I send the documents you said you accept to confirm my intention of return? Can I upload them when I submit my online application or would I be asked for them once I submitted the application?
No, as you were not residing in the UK you shouldn't state that you were. You will need to put where you were staying abroad.

Postgraduate applicants can't upload evidence as you won't see any upload button. As there is only a week until the 9 month, deadline you should apply now and send as much evidence as you can think of that proves your temporary absence and if our residency team require further evidence then they will contact you.
Thanks, Isaac
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A.Daffodil
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Hi, I have a follow-up question to the above. I started populating the online application and I don't see how I can complete it given my address history. The course I'm studying started in September 2020, therefore the application asks for my permanent address on 1 September 2017. There is no option for me to say I didn't have one.
On 31 July 2017 I moved out of the flat I was renting, put my belongings in storage and until August 2018 stayed in multiple places (in UK and abroad), all on a temporary basis. The application states very explicitly that temporary addresses should not be provided. On 1 September 2017 I was actually staying at an airport hotel for one night before flying to Iceland where I stayed for 5 days before moving on. Those addresses were definitely not permanent and I'm not comfortable using them on the application.
Given the above, could you please advise how I can answer the question about my address on 1 September 2017? The only thing I can think of is that I need to complete the paper version of the application because that provides an option to explain "why you moved to the address" which would allow me to provide details of my travels? But I hoped to do the online version (and in fact have already completed it all, apart from the address).
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SFE Isaac
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(Original post by A.Daffodil)
Hi, I have a follow-up question to the above. I started populating the online application and I don't see how I can complete it given my address history. The course I'm studying started in September 2020, therefore the application asks for my permanent address on 1 September 2017. There is no option for me to say I didn't have one.
On 31 July 2017 I moved out of the flat I was renting, put my belongings in storage and until August 2018 stayed in multiple places (in UK and abroad), all on a temporary basis. The application states very explicitly that temporary addresses should not be provided. On 1 September 2017 I was actually staying at an airport hotel for one night before flying to Iceland where I stayed for 5 days before moving on. Those addresses were definitely not permanent and I'm not comfortable using them on the application.
Given the above, could you please advise how I can answer the question about my address on 1 September 2017? The only thing I can think of is that I need to complete the paper version of the application because that provides an option to explain "why you moved to the address" which would allow me to provide details of my travels? But I hoped to do the online version (and in fact have already completed it all, apart from the address).
Hi, where were letters addressed to you being sent? You should put that address down.
Thanks, Isaac
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A.Daffodil
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(Original post by SFE Isaac)
Hi, where were letters addressed to you being sent? You should put that address down.
Thanks, Isaac
I was using a friend's address in the UK but you said above I should not use that if I wasn't living there...
I think using that address is the only way I could complete the online application but I didn't feel comfortable just using that address without having a chance to explain about why I was using it, i.e. for correspondence while travelling instead of living there.
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SFE Isaac
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(Original post by A.Daffodil)
I was using a friend's address in the UK but you said above I should not use that if I wasn't living there...
I think using that address is the only way I could complete the online application but I didn't feel comfortable just using that address without having a chance to explain about why I was using it, i.e. for correspondence while travelling instead of living there.
I'd advise you to put the address which you classed as your home address/where post was sent to and the address you used when signing up to anything at the time. You must have been residing there.

If you were not residing anywhere then you can upload a cover letter to explain your situation after you apply.
Thanks, Isaac
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A.Daffodil
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Thank you for all your help. One final question: I've just submitted the application, providing the UK address I was using for correspondence as per your advice. I can't find anywhere to upload any additional documents to explain about my travels. Is it ok to just wait to hear from the team if they need more info?
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SFE Isaac
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(Original post by A.Daffodil)
Thank you for all your help. One final question: I've just submitted the application, providing the UK address I was using for correspondence as per your advice. I can't find anywhere to upload any additional documents to explain about my travels. Is it ok to just wait to hear from the team if they need more info?
You should see an upload button when you expand your application.

The team won't be contacting you since you input a UK address, so it's important you upload a cover letter to explain your circumstances so that our assessors do not think you were living in England as that would be wrong.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Teb-DaFfDRc

Please make sure you do this so that your application will be reviewed correctly.
Thanks, Isaac
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A.Daffodil
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(Original post by SFE Isaac)
You should see an upload button when you expand your application.

The team won't be contacting you since you input a UK address, so it's important you upload a cover letter to explain your circumstances so that our assessors do not think you were living in England as that would be wrong.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Teb-DaFfDRc

Please make sure you do this so that your application will be reviewed correctly.
Thanks, Isaac
Hi, I'm afraid I don't have an option to upload anything when I expand the application as advised. I don't have a "to-do" list as per the video; I have not been asked to provide any additional evidence and there's nowhere to upload a cover letter.

All I can see when I expand the application is pasted below (The only things that are clickable are the links to viewing payments and feedback on the online service). Please advise how to add the cover letter so that my application can be reviewed correctly.

"STATUS: VERIFYING PAYMENT DETAILS

What happens next
We've got everything we need from you and your payments are ready to be made – view payments.
Don't forget to register at university – we can't pay you until you do!

Help us improve our online service
Tell us what you think of this online service (opens in a new window or tab)"
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SFE Isaac
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(Original post by A.Daffodil)
Hi, I'm afraid I don't have an option to upload anything when I expand the application as advised. I don't have a "to-do" list as per the video; I have not been asked to provide any additional evidence and there's nowhere to upload a cover letter.

All I can see when I expand the application is pasted below (The only things that are clickable are the links to viewing payments and feedback on the online service). Please advise how to add the cover letter so that my application can be reviewed correctly.

"STATUS: VERIFYING PAYMENT DETAILS

What happens next
We've got everything we need from you and your payments are ready to be made – view payments.
Don't forget to register at university – we can't pay you until you do!

Help us improve our online service
Tell us what you think of this online service (opens in a new window or tab)"
When expanding your application you should see a green upload button. If you don't then you should send your cover letter in the post.
Thanks, Isaac
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