UCAS application is in at last after which universities might be asking you to fill in a Fee Status Questionnaire (FSQ). There are some of the myths that expatriate families may have about fees status. So, the universities are partly funded by the UK Government and they must undertake due diligence in identifying students who have right to UK tuition fees. Scrutiny is given to students applying for costly degrees such as lab-based courses, veterinary, dentistry and medicine. Fee status forms are sent to students who are based overseas and some who are based in the UK to establish which category of student they are and whether they are entitled to UK fees. The FSQ forms are for prospective undergraduate and postgraduate students.
Myth: we don’t need to worry about fee status until my son/daughter applies to university.
The more later you think about fees status, the worst scenario pops up. You should be planning for fees status at least 3 years before the start of the university so that you can adapt your all living and traveling plans to make sure you have a rock-solid case when you do go to apply.
Myth: a UK passport is enough to entitle my son/daughter to Home fees.
To have British passport, British citizenship is not enough, you also need to show that you maintain your ‘ordinary residence’ in your home country by visiting as a family often enough and for a long period. You don’t have to be a British citizen to be eligible for Home fees – asylum seekers, ‘Leave to Remainers’ and refugees may also be entitled to UK fees.
Myth: owning property in the UK should ensure Home fee status.
Not necessarily. It may help to own a property, but alternative homes can be used depending on a family’s circumstances. The important thing to have a ‘home base’ of some sorts.
Myth: being overseas on a visa means that I must return to my home country and therefore should be entitled to UK fee status.
Thousands of expat families are based overseas on a visa which is re-issued every two years or so. Being on a visa does not mean that your son/daughter is automatically entitled to UK fees when starting university in the UK.
Myth: visiting the UK each year for three years before university will ensure UK fee status.
Some universities ask for evidence of visits back to the UK for a longer period, totally depends upon university’s fee status policy and how strict they are.
Rarely does one element of your case, such as the ‘home base’ or visits to the UK, alone decide your case, rather it is better to think of fee status as an assessment of multiple factors that determine how you case looks overall. Establishing UK fee status is not a simple tick box exercise. It is necessary to demonstrate commitment to your home country, showing that you maintain strong family links with a clear intention to return at some point in the future.