Student finance for refugees and asylum seekers

Student finance for refugees and asylum seekers

If you’re a refugee or asylum seeker applying to higher education, there may be support available to help you with finance and your studies.

Refugee and asylum seeker status

In the UK, a refugee is a person who has fled their country, and is seeking protection because of a fear of being persecuted due to their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion. An asylum seeker is someone who has applied for refugee status and is waiting to find out if it has been granted.

Refugee – you have been given permission to stay in the UK, and granted official ‘refugee’ status. You have a letter from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to confirm this. 

Humanitarian protection – you have permission to stay in the UK for humanitarian reasons. You have a letter from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to confirm this.

Asylum seeker – you are applying for asylum, or you are waiting for a decision. 

Limited leave to remain (LLR) or discretionary leave to remain (DLR) – you have been given permission to stay temporarily in the UK. You have a letter from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) to confirm this.

Where you live and plan to study in the UK can affect your eligibility for student finance. Full details can be found on the UKCISA website by following the links below:

https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/Information–Advice/Fees-and-Money/Government-Student-Support#layer-6193
England – tuition fees and student finance
https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/Information–Advice/Fees-and-Money/England-fee-status#layer-6082

If you are an asylum seeker

Asylum seekers are not usually eligible for either the ‘home’ rate of tuition fees or student finance. However, there are some organisations who may be able to help. Please see the information below about scholarships for asylum seekers.

If you have Humanitarian Protection

The Government’s regulations about who pays ‘home’ fees and who pays ‘overseas’ fees are changing. If you plan to start an undergraduate course in England on, or after, 1 August 2019, you will need to have been resident in the UK for the three years leading up to the start of your course. For the rest of the UK, there is no change.

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