Student Fees: Home and Overseas Status and the Key Immigration Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for students who want to gain Home Fee Status is set out by the Education (Fees and Awards) (England) Regulations 2007. In order to understand the criteria, the key terms one should look out for are ‘settled’, ‘ordinarily resident’ and ‘first day of the first academic year’. However, there are also certain circumstances one can satisfy in order to change to home student fees status once their course has started.

Student Fees Status in the United Kingdom

There are two different rates of tuition fees for programmes offered at Higher Education Institutions in the UK. Students will either pay fees under the Home Fee Status if they are UK or EU nationals, or the Overseas Student Fee Status if they are international students. The difference between the two is clarified by the Education (Fees and Awards) (England) Regulations 2007 (2007 Regulations).

Student Fees Status: Home Students

There are certain conditions a student needs to satisfy in order to be considered to pay tuition fees at a Home Fees rate. There are particular categories of applicants and each applicant must satisfy the necessary criteria in order to be considered as a Home Fees student. The 2007 Regulations and the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) lists the following categories:

  • Those who are settled in the UK and meet the residence requirements;
  • Those who are settled in the UK have exercised a ‘right of residence’ in the EEA/Switzerland;
  • EU nationals and family;
  • EU nationals in the UK;
  • Those who have the right of permanent residence in the UK;
  • EEA/Swiss workers, and family;
  • Child of a Swiss National;
  • Child of a Turkish Worker;
  • Refugees and family;
  • Those granted humanitarian protection, and family; and
  • Those who have Long Residence.

The eligibility for Home Fee Status considers a person’s nationality, whether they were living in the UK on the first day of the first academic year of their programme, how long they have lived in the UK and the type and purpose of their residence. There are certain key words that can be found in the eligibility factors such as the terms below.

Key Definitions of Home Student Fees Status Eligibility Criteria

Definition of ‘Settled’

Section 33(2A) of the Immigration Act 1971 provides a definition.  A person is ‘settled’ in the UK if he is ordinarily resident there “without being subject under the Immigration Laws to any restriction on the period for which they can remain.”

Definition of ‘Ordinarily Resident’

Whilst there is no Act of Parliament to define the term, the House of Lords in the leading case R v Barnet LBC ex parte Shah [1983] 1 ALL ER 226 provided a meaning . Lord Scarman states that “… ‘ordinarily resident’ refers to a man’s right to abode in a particular place or country which he has adopted voluntarily and for settled purposes as part of the regular order of his life for the time being, whether of short or long duration.” The House of Lords therefore concluded in order to establish a person’s ordinary residence, should involve establishing both a physical element (identifying the person’s residence) and a mental element (whether the person is “ordinarily” resident at that place).

Definition of ‘First day of academic year’

The Education (Student Fees, Awards and Support) (Amendment) Regulations 2016 (2016 Regulations) states the “academic year”,  “means the period of twelve months beginning on 1st January, 1st April, 1st July or 1st September of the calendar year of the course in question begins…”. The UKCISA sets out a breakdown of the calendar periods in which an academic year starts.

Student Fees Status: Overseas Students

If a student does not meet any of the above categories and their immigration eligibility criteria as set out in the 2007 Regulations, the Higher Education Institution will charge the student the Student Overseas Fees Status rate. The Regulations list which territories are considered as overseas. In case a student cannot continue paying the fees at an Overseas rate, they will have to apply for an interruption of their study and take the time to find another source of funding.

In order study in the UK if you are an Overseas Student, you will need a Tier 4 student visa.

Securing Home Student Fee Status After Your Course has Started

It is important to note, according to the UKCISA, there is a possibility of securing a Home Fee Status if the student can satisfy certain circumstances. They may become eligible in their subsequent year of study if they become or a family member becomes a refugee, if they or their family member has been granted humanitarian protection, if they have already met the three-year residence requirement of the first day of the first academic year of their course or if in any academic year from August 2016/2017 onwards they satisfy the Long Residence category (this category was introduced in the 2016 Regulations). This category mentions the number of years a person should have lived in the UK (preceding the first day of the first academic year), whether they are under 18 or over. It also states if they have been ordinarily resident throughout the three year period (preceding the first day of the first academic year) and to confirm their purpose of residence in the UK.

Using Legal Representation to Make a Successful Tier 4 Visa Application

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully ascertain your immigration status and make sure you comply with eligibility criteria in the 2007 or 2016 Regulations. Our Solicitors and Barristers can assist you if you are a student to successfully apply for a Tier 4 visa or any other visa application if you satisfy any of the categories of applicants mentioned in the 2007 Regulations.

Successfully Apply for Tier 4 Visa or Other Immigration and Visa Applications

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you on the proper collection of your required documents and help you satisfy the eligibility criteria for a Home Fees paying status.

Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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