David Dalby

Residency Eligibility


I'm hoping experts out there can advise on residency eligibility for 16-19 funding, as it rarely comes up with learners applying to us. Young person with an EHCP, born in India, moved to Canada for several years, them family moved to UK in 2015. My understanding is having been here 3 years is eligible for ESFA funding. I'm aware of recent audits where auditors said EHCP itself was not sufficient evidence. 2 questions: With more than 3 years in UK can someone confirm eligibility, and should I ask for more evidence/self declaration over and above ECHP states family moved to UK in 2015, and if so what? Thanks to anyone who can help! 


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Martin West

The guidance requires:

  1. In line with the GDPR, we advise institutions to record documentation, rather than take copies to prove eligibility. This includes relevant documentary evidence to support individual student eligibility granted for students who have not been ordinarily resident for 3 years. When institutions record that they have seen documentation, they must be fully aware of the implications of the documents they are approving. In particular, ESFA advises institutions that they do not need to copy passports and should record passport numbers or references only where necessary.
  2. 78. Foreign nationals will have Home Office documentation that outlines their status, for example, refugee status, humanitarian protection, discretionary leave or ELE/ELR in the UK. Asylum seekers will be able to produce an application registration card (ARC) which is issued on or close to the date of their asylum claim. The date of issue will be recorded on the ARC. EU, EEA or Swiss students can use an online service to prove their immigration status. Institutions can continue to accept EU citizens’ passports and identity cards as evidence of their immigration status until 30 June 2021.
  3. Institution management must check enrolment forms to see if evidence has been gathered on the residency status and eligibility of the student.


  1. The following persons will be eligible for funding (these groups correspond to some of the groups in Schedule 1 to the Education (Fees and Awards)(England) Regulations 2007 (these are expected to be updated later in 2021):
  2. a person on the ‘relevant date’1 who is ‘settled’ in the UK, and who has been ordinarily resident in the UK and Islands (that is including the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) for the 3 years preceding the ‘relevant date’. ‘Settled’ means having either indefinite leave to enter or remain (ILE/ILR) or having the right of abode in the UK. British citizens and certain other people have the right of abode in the UK as follows:
  3. British nationals who hold a United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland passport
  4. Irish nationals
  5. European Union nationals or family members of EEA and Swiss workers (resident in the UK before 1 January 2021) with settled or pre-settled status
  6. students who are children of Turkish workers where the Turkish worker has been lawfully employed and resident in the UK before 1 January 2021
  7. British Dependent Territory Citizens (now known as British Overseas Territory Citizens)
  8. those whose passports have been endorsed to show they have right of abode in the UK
  9. those who have a certificate of naturalisation or registration as a British Citizen
  10. those with Hong Kong British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) visa who have been given Home Office permission to reside in the UK



Hi Dave

Effectively any 16-19 year old who is legally in the country will be fundable, it's just about finding the right bit (usually of para 40) that applies to them!

So, in this situation, I'd want to see their visa, assuming they don't have a UK passport. I'd guess it's a dependant leave to remain (if they're with their family), although if they've been here 7 years, it could be all sorts of things (up to and including Indefinite Leave to Remain or Citizenship)...

Depending on what that tells you will tell you which of the categories they fall into.

Ruth Canham-James

"Effectively any 16-19 year old who is legally in the country will be fundable, it's just about finding the right bit (usually of para 40) that applies to them!"

Unless they came to the UK specifically to study, without accompanying family, and they'll likely be on a student visa. But yes, 16-18 year olds are almost always very straightforward to assess.


Sorry Martin, which version of the guidance is that? Doesn't look like Study Prog where P40 is all of the exceptions...

And thanks for the clarification Ruth!

Martin West

Sorry, this was from version 1 but ver. 2 has updated student eligibility advice for EU and EEA students in paragraphs 30 to 31 and in paragraphs 38 to 40 excepting for this the guidance is the same for Foreign nationals in that you will need evidence of immigration status.


Clare Hancock

Good Afternoon All, following on from this ... I have been asked about a 16-18 year old Ukrainian refugee for September 23 start (they will not have been in the UK for the past 3 years).  Do I have it correct they can be funded on a study programme, we would just need to see their Home Office documentation that outlines their status (refugee status)? 



They won't have Refugee status by then (none of the Afghans who arrived a year ago have Refugee status yet), HOWEVER they are definitely fundable, see slide 42 on the Student Eligibility and Funding Advice slide set here (only added yesterday!):


And, yes, you'll just need to see their Home Office paperwork.

Lisa Margach

Hi All,

Do you know where we stand with anyone 19+, would the same apply, as long as they could provide documentation they could bypass the 3 year rule?

Many Thanks