The Student Room Group

What constitutes being "temporarily" outside the UK

I have been out of the UK for a few years, I am a British citizen, lived in the UK most of my life and have been away for the last 4-5 years. I am looking to apply for SFE when I start Initial Teacher Training and have been advised that if I can prove I was only away temporarily, and was always planning to come back to the UK I would have a good chance of qualifying for student finance. Is this true?

Some details, I went to visit a non EU/EAA country as a tourist and was offered temporary jobs all with 1 or 2 year contracts that do not automatically renew. All my Visas have been less than a year at a time, I have visited family back home several times whilst I have been away, still have my registered UK home address and bank accounts.
Original post by DME1663
I have been out of the UK for a few years, I am a British citizen, lived in the UK most of my life and have been away for the last 4-5 years. I am looking to apply for SFE when I start Initial Teacher Training and have been advised that if I can prove I was only away temporarily, and was always planning to come back to the UK I would have a good chance of qualifying for student finance. Is this true?
Some details, I went to visit a non EU/EAA country as a tourist and was offered temporary jobs all with 1 or 2 year contracts that do not automatically renew. All my Visas have been less than a year at a time, I have visited family back home several times whilst I have been away, still have my registered UK home address and bank accounts.

Hi there,

When did you return to the UK and when does your course begin?

Regarding eligibility was all your time away from the UK for temporary reasons (school, employment) and had you permanently been away for the 4-5 year period or was this periods during that time (but not the full 5 years)? Thanks, Jason
Reply 2
I return on the 1st of May, if possible, I’d consider starting Initial Teacher Training in September.

It was for employment only. Work visas and contacts were all single year contracts with no automatic renewal.

I was in China, so covid entry-exit policies meant I could only leave if I quit my job as re-entry back into China was extremely hard up until last summer when I went home to finally see family.
Hi there. Depending on the circumstances you may be eligible to apply for Student Support if you have been outside the UK/EU/EEA on a temporary break. You will be required to provide evidence of the temporary break regardless of the length of time you were temporarily absent for.

Acceptable Evidence

A letter from the employer on headed paper confirming temporary employment including dates

A contract from the employer that clearly shows the employment is of a temporary nature

Temporary visas or work permits

If evidence has been requested to show you maintained a connection to the UK, documents such as bank statements and utility bills can be reviewed


Thanks, Leah.

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