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British Citizen Working Overseas

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 have remained here as my career had 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 3 years immediately prior to starting my course to qualify - which obviously if I am travelling / working abroad temporarily I now dont meet.

Is this a very black and white thing? is there any way for me to meet the criteria at this stage (.e.g If I come back to the UK now?)

This seems very restrictive criteria...
Answered by Alison Patterson
Hi Victoria,

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.

You can read more about financial support eligibility here:

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.

You could contact SFE:

Also look at the UKCISA website:

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 tour taxes).

Good luck,

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