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British citizen working overseas

Jan 2019

I have lived in the UK all my life (born in 1990). In 2016, I decided to travel the world and ended up in New Zealand and by chance found a good temporary job in research management at a university. I remained here as my career has progressed and I enjoyed being here. However, it was always and still is my intention to go back to the UK to live, and I wanted to do my PhD once I had been travelling for a while. I now learn that this could mean I'm not eligible for home fees for a PhD. My parents both live in the UK and I still have bank accounts and mail going to my mother's address whilst I'm away? I note that my searches on the internet and the UKCISA appear to suggest I must have been in the UK three years immediately prior to starting my course to qualify – which obviously if I am travelling/working abroad temporarily I now don't meet. Is there any way for me to meet the criteria at this stage (e.g. if I come back to the UK now?)


If you can prove you were travelling for a temporary period with the intention of returning to the UK, your residence may be considered as UK. You would need to show return flight tickets or similar evidence. Universities decide fee status on a case by case basis with reference to the guidelines, case law and detailed information provided by the applicant. Generally, a university will not make a determination until after an application has been received and the offer of a place on academic grounds has been made. The rules are that you should have been resident in the UK for the three years immediately prior to starting university to qualify for home fees. Fees status is based on residence not citizenship (it is to do with where you pay your taxes). Find out more about financial support on our guide to eligibility.

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