Close

EU Student in England - Fee Determination

Hi All,

I have recently come to a crossroads and was hoping for some advice!

I am a dual Australian/Hungarian citizen. For the most part of the last three years (Since December 2014) I was living in London, England. I had to move back to Australia in August 2017 as my visa [Tier 5 Youth Mobility] expired, and I had to apply for my Hungarian passport.

Here's where it gets tricky... I recently applied for university in London (commencing this September 2018). I was accepted into my first preference course (yay!) however there has been an issue with distinguishing which fees I will be expected to pay (UK/EU fees, or International fees). When I was living in London I was on my Australian passport, HOWEVER, I was then (& now) a dual citizen.

So... I still have been an 'ordinarily resident', which is one of the factors of determination (see below - according to Student Finance UK):
"The main purpose for the three years' residence in the UK and Islands must not have been to receive full-time education during any part of it, unless the student is a European Union citizen (but not a British citizen) and immediately prior to the three-year period was ordinarily resident in the European Economic Area, Switzerland or qualifying overseas territories (see below)."


When I reached out to Student Finance UK, they mistakenly judged me for having previously being on a Tier 2 Visa which is a work sponsorship visa. The response I received was "No, you will not be eligible as you were living on your Australian passport, not EU citizenship."... But this is where I am confused - I was still a dual citizen? Does this mean that the passport you travel on is the only recognised citizenship you are?

I still have the same name. I just find it quite unfair that in spite of being an EU citizen, and in spite of having lived in England for THREE years prior to my course starting, I won't be acknowledged for Student Finance.



**I won't be leaving after my studies, I intend to permanently reside in England for the rest of my life after once graduating.

Hi and welcome to the Forum.

If I've understood you correctly, what they are telling you is that for the qualifying period for which you are claiming to have been an EU citizen, you were, in fact, living in the UK under a Tier 5 (Australian citizen) visa; Hungarian (EU) citizens are not entitled to the Tier 5 visa under which you entered the UK.  It wasn't until you left the UK to return to Australia that you applied for your Hungarian passport and gained your Hungarian (EU) citizenship.

I can see where they are coming from.  However, if you think they have misunderstood your circumstances, then you can appeal; the Student Finance UK website has the details on how to do this; this link will take you there.

Hope this helps.

Cynic
Expat Team

Cynic :

Hi and welcome to the Forum.

If I've understood you correctly, what they are telling you is that for the qualifying period for which you are claiming to have been an EU citizen, you were, in fact, living in the UK under a Tier 5 (Australian citizen) visa; Hungarian (EU) citizens are not entitled to the Tier 5 visa under which you entered the UK.  It wasn't until you left the UK to return to Australia that you applied for your Hungarian passport and gained your Hungarian (EU) citizenship.

I can see where they are coming from.  However, if you think they have misunderstood your circumstances, then you can appeal; the Student Finance UK website has the details on how to do this; this link will take you there.

Hope this helps.

Cynic
Expat Team

Hi there Cynic,

Thank you for your prompt response. For the most part, that is correct. However, when obtaining/recognising Hungarian Citizenship, once deemed a citizen (when doing it through By Descent) - you are actually recognised a citizen since birth.

Therefore technically, I am a recognised dual citizen since my birth, as I have a Hungarian Birth Certificate to show for it.

So again, rather confusing situation I’m in!

Yeah - I can sympathise; I'm a dual US/UK citizen; I learnt many years ago that apart from possible country living and working rights, there is no advantage to be gained from jumping from one to another, it almost cost me my job and residency once; my sister was deported from the UK back to the US when they found out about her.

Blimey, and I thought Australia was tough on immigration laws...

Well, I will just have to persist and continue trying my luck. Have wanted this for many years now, so would be devastated if it failed to work out after this amount of time (especially just before Brexit is put into place from March ‘19)!

britja :

Blimey, and I thought Australia was tough on immigration laws...

For the last few years, the UK has become increasingly tough on immigration. So it means you have to make sure you do have all paperwork correct.

One last comment from me regarding the above.  You may well be a victim of what I describe as "computer says no"; what this means is that there is no longer any human input to the process, it's a series of questions which will develop depending on the answer you've given to the previous question; ultimately, whether you qualify will depend on those answers.

It's only in the appeal process that any human interaction will occur, which is why it's important to appeal the process if you think it's wrong.

Best of luck in your journey.

Cynic
Expat Team

New topic