Baffled by UK university fee status and not sure how it applies to you? Get to grips with the basics with our two-part blog on fee status.
This blog post answers the question:
- Who is eligible for Home fees?
See our blog UK University Fee Status – A Guide for Expats (Part 1), to answer the questions:
- What is a fee status assessment?
- What are the different fee statuses?
- What are the tuition fee and funding options for the different fee statuses?
Who is eligible for Home fees?
Being a British citizen or holding a British passport is not enough to qualify you for Home fee status. Nor does owning property in the UK or having lived there previously. If you have left the UK and now live abroad or have recently returned to the UK after a period away, you may have lost your eligibility. Too many people take it for granted that when they return to the UK, they will automatically get Home fees but the reality is, it’s very easy to lose your Home status. Therefore, you have to pay much higher Overseas tuition fees for your UK university degree.
If you want to fully understand the rules and regulations around fee status, then we recommend that you visit UKCISA. UKCISA publish them in full detail. They are quite dense and complicated, so here we give you a brief overview.
Firstly, to be eligible for Home fees, you must meet the necessary immigration criteria by having ONE of the following statuses (this is a bare minimum of what is required):
- A British citizen,
- Indefinite Leave to Enter/Remain in the UK,
- A Certificate of Entitlement to the Right of Abode in the UK,
- Right of permanent Residence in the UK,
- Republic of Ireland citizen.
Secondly, you need to demonstrate that you have been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for at least three years prior to starting university. This means having a “regular and habitual mode of life in a particular place, the continuity of which has persisted despite temporary absence” (UKCISA). For example, maintaining strong connections that demonstrate that the UK country is your permanent home country even if you don’t currently live there. This can be demonstrated through a number of ways including, having a UK home and regularly visiting the UK, among others.
Thirdly, if it’s not clear whether someone has ordinary residence in the UK, then universities will look to see that any absence from the UK is of a temporary nature and that it is your (or your family’s) intention to return to the UK at some point. For this, universities will look at the parents’ current and previous employment, property ownership, rental agreements etc. There is no concrete rule about how long ‘temporary’ is. Universities will take a different stance on this some will have a strict cut off period and others will be flexible based on the student’s circumstances.
Generally, if a student fulfils the criteria for ordinary residence and temporary absence and is able to provide solid evidence for this. Then they will be perceived as Home. Although there are always anomalies due to the interpretable nature of fee status assessment. Completing university applications and forms correctly and presenting the right evidence is vital for a successful outcome. Whether you have Home fee eligibility is dependent on your specific background and living and working circumstances. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that if your friend got home status, so will you. Every family’s circumstances are unique and fee status assessments are made on individual, case-by-case bases.
UKSO are the leading experts in UK University Fee Status. We have been advising schools, families and students around the world on this complex topic for 11 years. We have helped over 1,000 expat families with their fee status queries. Get in touch for a personalised Fee Status Appraisal.