Richard Heath

AEB eligibility - Gurkha spouses


We need to establish the eligibility of spouses of serving soldiers in the Gurkha regiment stationed in the UK, where the spouse and serving soldier do not meet the three-year residency requirement. The relevant section of the funding rules (paragraphs 55-57) doesn't provide a clear answer: para 57 relates to "other nations' armed forces", while para 55 is silent on the question of residency length and also whether spouses are covered.

Any thoughts?


No one has replied to this post.

Kelly Knights

I believe there is something in the rules that makes reference to if a learner normally lives in England but doesnt because of their job they still meet the rules . I'll leave this for Steve or Martin to advise as they probably no more.

Martin West

For more than 200 years, Gurkhas have been an integral part of the British Armed Forces and as such are covered by the Armed forces: exempt from immigration control legislation (Immigration Rules and Immigration (Exemption from Control) Order 1972) which gives them and their direct dependants indefinite leave to enter/remain.

This legislation includes the following definition:

Definition of HM Forces

The law defining whether someone is a member of HM Forces is set out in the Armed

Forces Act 2006. To be a member of HM Forces they need to be a member of the Royal

Navy (including Royal Marines), British Army (including Brigade of Gurkhas) or Royal Air

Force. All members of HM Forces must have enlisted in the UK.

British armed forces personnel are covered by Par.55 while their spouse would be covered by 41.4/41.8

This is covered in the funding rules as below:

  1. Any individual with any of the statuses listed below is eligible to receive funding and are exempt from the 3-year residency requirement rule:

41.1. Refugee status

41.2. Discretionary leave to enter or remain

41.3. Exceptional leave to enter or remain

41.4. Indefinite leave to enter or remain

41.5. Humanitarian protection

41.6. Leave outside the rules

41.7. Afghan Locally Engaged Staff under the intimidation policy

41.8. The husband, wife, civil partner or child of any of the above in paragraphs 41.1 to 41.7

41.9. Section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016 leave

41.10. Calais leave to remain





Kelly Knights

Hi Martin, I can see in the funding rules it says Uk members of the armed forces are classed as ordinary resident jn the UK but it does say must meet conditions elsewhere. Where have you picked up that they are exempt from the 3 year rule?

Martin West

The answer is regarding the spouse of a Gurkha, where do I say UK members of the armed forces are exempt from the residency rule.?

Kelly Knights

Okay where does it state that they are exempt from the rules? That is what I'm struggling to find in the recent funding rules.

Martin West

For Learners in the armed forces you will note that both Par.55 and 56 only say they are eligible for ESFA funded AEB but there is no residency requirement as in Par.57.

It is thought that this is due to their residency being interrupted when they serve outside of the UK.