The Student Room Group

EU national - Eligibility for Doctoral loan

Hello,

My name is Rodrigo Costa and I am considering applying for a SFE Doctoral loan somewhere in 2024 or 2025.

I am an EU national and I currently have a pre-settled status because I completed a postgraduate master’s degree in 2020. However, I left the UK in June/July 2020 and my pre-settled status expires in December 2024. I have not lived in the UK ever since I left (in June/July 2020).

This being said, is there any way in which I will be eligible to apply for a doctoral loan in either 2024 or 2025? More specifically:

1) Will I be able to apply for settled status before my pre-settled status expires (I think it’s a very clear “no” since I have not been living in the UK since June/July 2020, but I just want to make sure)?

2) Would it be possible to apply for a doctoral loan BEFORE my pre-settled status expires (in other words, somewhere in early-mid 2024?) and start the doctoral programme in 2024 or 2025? Is it possible, for example, to apply for the loan in early-mid 2024 and start the programme in 2025?

3) If I am not able to apply for the loan with a pre-settled or a settled status, would I be eligible to apply for the loan after receiving a student visa (which I do not have at the moment but I’d be willing to apply for if necessary)?

Thank you so much for your kind attention in advance and my apologies for such a long message. I look forward to having my queries answered because it is my wish to complete a doctoral degree in the UK, sometime in the future.

Kind regards,
Rodrigo Costa
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by rodrypsy
Hello,

My name is Rodrigo Costa and I am considering applying for a SFE Doctoral loan somewhere in 2024 or 2025.

I am an EU national and I currently have a pre-settled status because I completed a postgraduate master’s degree in 2020. However, I left the UK in June/July 2020 and my pre-settled status expires in December 2024. I have not lived in the UK ever since I left (in June/July 2020).

This being said, is there any way in which I will be eligible to apply for a doctoral loan in either 2024 or 2025? More specifically:

1) Will I be able to apply for settled status before my pre-settled status expires (I think it’s a very clear “no” since I have not been living in the UK since June/July 2020, but I just want to make sure)?

2) Would it be possible to apply for a doctoral loan BEFORE my pre-settled status expires (in other words, somewhere in early-mid 2024?) and start the doctoral programme in 2024 or 2025? Is it possible, for example, to apply for the loan in early-mid 2024 and start the programme in 2025?

3) If I am not able to apply for the loan with a pre-settled or a settled status, would I be eligible to apply for the loan after receiving a student visa (which I do not have at the moment but I’d be willing to apply for if necessary)?

Thank you so much for your kind attention in advance and my apologies for such a long message. I look forward to having my queries answered because it is my wish to complete a doctoral degree in the UK, sometime in the future.

Kind regards,
Rodrigo Costa


Hi Rodrigo,

In regards to applying for settled status, you would need to speak with the Home Office directly to discuss your eligibility. Unfortunately Student Finance England are unable to advise on this.

Students are unable to apply for funding years in advance of the course. Applications open yearly for each academic year, so for example, for courses starting in September 2023, applications will open in around June 2023. So you can only apply a few months in advance.

The current eligibility criteria for EU students is as follows:

Students who hold Settled status (EUSSILR) awarded under the EU Settlement Scheme
To be eligible for PGD students who hold EUSSILR must;

-Have been granted Settled Status awarded under the EU Settlement Scheme prior to the first day of the first AY of the course
-Be ordinarily resident in England on the first day of the first academic year of their course
-Have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the first day of the first academic year of the course
-Be studying a course anywhere in the UK

Students who hold Pre Settled status (EUSSLLR) awarded under the EU Settlement Scheme
To be eligible for PGD students who hold EUSSLLR must;

-Have been awarded Pre Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
-Be ordinarily resident in the UK, Gibraltar, EEA and Switzerland for the three years immediately before the first day of the first academic year of their course
-Be studying a course in England

Thanks,
Tina
Reply 2
Thank you for the information.

I have contacted the Home Office and I came to know that I will not be able to apply for pre-settled or settled status after my current pre-settled status expires in December 2024. I will have to receive a student visa in order to study in the UK (after this date).

From what I understand, I would be able to apply for a doctoral loan for the first year of my programme (because I will still have pre-settled status); however, I will not be able to apply for the loan in further years (considering I will not have pre-settled or settled status).

Under these very specific circumstances, is it possible for the doctoral loan to cover (or be renewed) for the following years of my programme, considering I will still be enrolled in a doctoral programme (with a visa and not a pre-settled or settled status)?

Thank you once again for your kind attention.

Kind regards,
Rodrigo Costa
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 3
Original post by Tina Oliver SLC
Hi Rodrigo,

In regards to applying for settled status, you would need to speak with the Home Office directly to discuss your eligibility. Unfortunately Student Finance England are unable to advise on this.

Students are unable to apply for funding years in advance of the course. Applications open yearly for each academic year, so for example, for courses starting in September 2023, applications will open in around June 2023. So you can only apply a few months in advance.

The current eligibility criteria for EU students is as follows:

Students who hold Settled status (EUSSILR) awarded under the EU Settlement Scheme
To be eligible for PGD students who hold EUSSILR must;

-Have been granted Settled Status awarded under the EU Settlement Scheme prior to the first day of the first AY of the course
-Be ordinarily resident in England on the first day of the first academic year of their course
-Have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the first day of the first academic year of the course
-Be studying a course anywhere in the UK

Students who hold Pre Settled status (EUSSLLR) awarded under the EU Settlement Scheme
To be eligible for PGD students who hold EUSSLLR must;

-Have been awarded Pre Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
-Be ordinarily resident in the UK, Gibraltar, EEA and Switzerland for the three years immediately before the first day of the first academic year of their course
-Be studying a course in England

Thanks,
Tina


I have just read the last criterion regarding applications for EU nationals who currently have pre-settled status: "Be studying a course in England".

Does this mean that, prior to applying to a doctoral loan, I have to be studying a course in England? i.e., If I am applying because I want to study a course in England, and considering the fact that I have not been living in the UK ever since I left (June/July 2020), I am not eligible?

Thank you again.
Original post by rodrypsy
I have just read the last criterion regarding applications for EU nationals who currently have pre-settled status: "Be studying a course in England".

Does this mean that, prior to applying to a doctoral loan, I have to be studying a course in England? i.e., If I am applying because I want to study a course in England, and considering the fact that I have not been living in the UK ever since I left (June/July 2020), I am not eligible?

Thank you again.

Hi there,

Studying a course in England means that you are applying for a postgraduate doctoral course at a University in England.

Postgraduate loans do not need to be renewed each year, the application is submitted in year 1 of the course and will cover the duration.

Thanks,
Tina
Reply 5
Original post by Tina Oliver SLC
Hi there,

Studying a course in England means that you are applying for a postgraduate doctoral course at a University in England.

Postgraduate loans do not need to be renewed each year, the application is submitted in year 1 of the course and will cover the duration.

Thanks,
Tina

Hi, Tina,

Thank you for your response. However, I just called Student Finance and I was informed that I would not be eligible for the loan for the whole course because eligibility is still assessed over the course. From what I understood, all criteria should still be met in years 2, 3, etc. of the course - so this means that I would only be eligible if I had pre-settled or settled status then, which I would not, just a student visa. In other words, I would only be eligible to apply for the loan in year 1, not in the following years.

Can someone please confirm this? This is a bit confusing to me because it seems like inconsistent information to me.

Thank you once again.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by rodrypsy
Hi, Tina,

Thank you for your response. However, I just called Student Finance and I was informed that I would not be eligible for the loan for the whole course because eligibility is still assessed over the course. From what I understood, all criteria should still be met in years 2, 3, etc. of the course - so this means that I would only be eligible if I had pre-settled or settled status then, which I would not, just a student visa. In other words, I would only be eligible to apply for the loan in year 1, not in the following years.

Can someone please confirm this? This is a bit confusing to me because it seems like inconsistent information to me.

Thank you once again.

Hi Rodrigo,

That's correct - to be entitled to the loan in every year of your course you need to have either Pre-Settled or Settled Status in every year.

However, although we can't guarantee this, it sounds like you'll be fine.

For example, so long as you have Pre-Settled or Settled Status when you apply you'll likely be awarded the loan. So long as you re-apply to the Home Office for a status as soon as yours expires then this should be fine.

Thanks, Graeme
Reply 7
Original post by Graeme SFE
Hi Rodrigo,

That's correct - to be entitled to the loan in every year of your course you need to have either Pre-Settled or Settled Status in every year.

However, although we can't guarantee this, it sounds like you'll be fine.

For example, so long as you have Pre-Settled or Settled Status when you apply you'll likely be awarded the loan. So long as you re-apply to the Home Office for a status as soon as yours expires then this should be fine.

Thanks, Graeme


I will not be able to have pre-settled or settled status in every year of applying for the loan because I would have to show proof of continuous residence (5 years) in the UK for settled status or have returned to the UK by 31 December 2020 for pre-settled status. I have continuously lived in my home country, Portugal, ever since I left the UK in mid-2020. So all I have is a pre-settled status (even I have not returned to the UK) until December 2024. And I am not willing to take the risk of only being eligible for the loan during the first year of the course.

Thank you for your reply though.
Original post by rodrypsy
I will not be able to have pre-settled or settled status in every year of applying for the loan because I would have to show proof of continuous residence (5 years) in the UK for settled status or have returned to the UK by 31 December 2020 for pre-settled status. I have continuously lived in my home country, Portugal, ever since I left the UK in mid-2020. So all I have is a pre-settled status (even I have not returned to the UK) until December 2024. And I am not willing to take the risk of only being eligible for the loan during the first year of the course.

Thank you for your reply though.

That's understandable. It's possible that the Home Office will have changed or updated these rules by the time your course starts. We'd recommend contacting us again in a year or so and we can check this again.

Thanks, Graeme

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