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Topic: University on a Spouse Visa  (Read 322 times)

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University on a Spouse Visa
« on: October 13, 2019, 08:29:20 PM »
Hi all! It’s been a while since I’ve been on the site. I’ve been living in the UK now for 3 months. I’ve got a job and I’ve been adjusting. However my job is just a job and not really a career for me. I have a dream career in mind that would mean attending university. I’ve tried to research how I could go about attending as I’m 22 and I’d like to get the ball rolling, especially seeing my husband In university now. I’ve gotten a bit lost in what is possible as a non-eu citizen. I’ve read that you must wait until you’ve lived in the UK for three years and have become a resident. However I’ve also read that you have to wait until you’ve been here for five years and have received ILR. I’m hoping someone can just lay out the facts for me. Are those time frames just based around when you aren’t considered an international student and can pay the home student fees? Would I then be Eligible for financial aid? Or would it be possible for me to attend at any point but just have to pay international fees and without any aid? Can someone just tell me what my options are? The sooner I can start the better, but I know I have to be realistic.


Thank you for taking the time to read my rambles and answering me in advance! This forum has helped make this adjustment so much easier!
Married: 28/09/2018
Submitted online application: 16/04/2019
Biometrics: 29/04/2019
Documents sent to NY:30/04/2019
"Prepared for consideration by ECO" email received: 02/05/2019
Documents arrived in NY, refused and returned: 02/05/2019
Documents resent: 06/05/2019
Documents successfully delivered in NY: 07/05/2019
Requests for January payslip “due to scanning error” email: 03/06/2019
Payslip emailed: 03/06/2019
Decision made email: 05/06/2019
Passport received: TBD


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Re: University on a Spouse Visa
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2019, 08:38:21 PM »
As long as your visa allows studying - which a spousal visa does - you can start university in the UK at any time.

However, you will NOT be eligible for home fees or UK student loans, so you will have to pay international fees. That's what the whole 3 years/5 years thing is about....you will not be eligible for home fees or loans unless:
a) you have lived in the UK/EU for at least 3 years prior to starting your course
AND
b) I believe you must also hold ILR... which you won't be eligible for until you have been in the UK for 5 years.

In regards to grants or scholarships, you likely wouldn't be eligible for those either, but it would depend on the individual requirements for them.

So, most people on spousal visas DON'T attend UK universities, purely because they cannot afford it!


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Re: University on a Spouse Visa
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2019, 08:42:52 PM »
You'll want to contact the international student office at any school you're considering attending, because requirements for admissions are also different here. In most cases it seems as long as you're self funding on international tuition you should be able to attend (pending admissions). Once you have ILR you qualify for home student fees.

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Re: University on a Spouse Visa
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2019, 08:35:56 AM »
Hi all! It’s been a while since I’ve been on the site. I’ve been living in the UK now for 3 months. I’ve got a job and I’ve been adjusting. However my job is just a job and not really a career for me. I have a dream career in mind that would mean attending university. I’ve tried to research how I could go about attending as I’m 22 and I’d like to get the ball rolling, especially seeing my husband In university now. I’ve gotten a bit lost in what is possible as a non-eu citizen. I’ve read that you must wait until you’ve lived in the UK for three years and have become a resident. However I’ve also read that you have to wait until you’ve been here for five years and have received ILR. I’m hoping someone can just lay out the facts for me. Are those time frames just based around when you aren’t considered an international student and can pay the home student fees? Would I then be Eligible for financial aid? Or would it be possible for me to attend at any point but just have to pay international fees and without any aid? Can someone just tell me what my options are? The sooner I can start the better, but I know I have to be realistic.


Thank you for taking the time to read my rambles and answering me in advance! This forum has helped make this adjustment so much easier!

Hi.  I'm in Scotland, and the funding rules are different here than in England/NI/Wales, so you/d want to check.  My inclination is to tell you that if you're going to be self-paying, you should be able to go as the Unis love that high "foreign" tuition you'll be paying.

But my understanding of your issues is: The three years is for EU citizens and their dependents, or English moving to Scotland, etc. Five years/settled status is for non-EU non UK. Until then, I believe the only financial aid you can get is a US student loan, if the institution is certified by the US Dept of Ed as eligible for one, and any special scholarships that the uni might offer - some offer help to foreign students.  Here's the link for Scotland, which has links to the other countries' information at the bottom of the page. Hope it helps!

https://www.mygov.scot/tuition-fees/
« Last Edit: October 14, 2019, 08:38:09 AM by Nan D. »


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Re: University on a Spouse Visa
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2019, 11:14:47 AM »
Hi all! It’s been a while since I’ve been on the site. I’ve been living in the UK now for 3 months. I’ve got a job and I’ve been adjusting. However my job is just a job and not really a career for me. I have a dream career in mind that would mean attending university. I’ve tried to research how I could go about attending as I’m 22 and I’d like to get the ball rolling, especially seeing my husband In university now. I’ve gotten a bit lost in what is possible as a non-eu citizen. I’ve read that you must wait until you’ve lived in the UK for three years and have become a resident. However I’ve also read that you have to wait until you’ve been here for five years and have received ILR. I’m hoping someone can just lay out the facts for me. Are those time frames just based around when you aren’t considered an international student and can pay the home student fees? Would I then be Eligible for financial aid? Or would it be possible for me to attend at any point but just have to pay international fees and without any aid? Can someone just tell me what my options are? The sooner I can start the better, but I know I have to be realistic.


Thank you for taking the time to read my rambles and answering me in advance! This forum has helped make this adjustment so much easier!

You're married and slightly older than a typical incoming freshman... are you interested in a non-traditional course?  The Open University are fully accredited and offer a wide range of degree programs.  You won't get that same going-to-university feel, as it's done online, but it's still structured with assignments, due dates, and assessments.  Since you want to start as soon as possible, this might be the option for you.
9/1/2013 - "fiancée" (marriage) visa issued
4/6/2013 - married (certificate issued same-day)
5/6/2013 - FLR(M)#1 in person -- approved!
8/1/2016 - FLR(M)#2 by post -- approved!
8/5/2018 - ILR in person -- approved!
22/11/2018 - Citizenship (online, with NDRS+JCAP) -- approved!
14/12/2018 - I became a British citizen.  :)


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Re: University on a Spouse Visa
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2019, 11:32:38 AM »
What  is the field  you want to get in to?
March 28th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).March 7th 2018 ILR. YAY! March 21st NCS&JCAP appointment.


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Re: University on a Spouse Visa
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2019, 10:23:31 PM »
Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond! :D
It's a pain as I was meant to go to university in the US, but due to health had to put it off. When I met the husband and we decided on the UK I just kind of assumed when I got here I would be able to find a way to go. I didn't look into it, the main focus was just making sure our visa was approved at the time.

I want to study Psychology and go into counseling.

I did look into using FAFSA, as the University is part of the program where US students can use it. From what I've found it seems like they at most offer $9,500 for the first year which if I was even able to receive that much would only put a dent in the £16,000 international student rate for the course I was interested in.

I haven't looked into the Open University but I have heard many good things. I will have a browse! Maybe that will be the solution!  I would prefer to have the typical class experience rather than online, but if it means I can get started now then I'm sure I can make that sacrifice.

I suppose that is my answer. I will reach out to the university to see if they have any other options but I think I should just box that idea up and put it away for the next five years. :\\\'(
I'm okay with going to University when I am a bit older, I don't mind what I'm doing now as long as I don't get stuck. Just always had those go to University, get a degree, get a nice job, buy a nice house before you have kids idea. And also the have kids before you get too old idea. But I need to remember that life doesn't go to plan hahah.

Married: 28/09/2018
Submitted online application: 16/04/2019
Biometrics: 29/04/2019
Documents sent to NY:30/04/2019
"Prepared for consideration by ECO" email received: 02/05/2019
Documents arrived in NY, refused and returned: 02/05/2019
Documents resent: 06/05/2019
Documents successfully delivered in NY: 07/05/2019
Requests for January payslip “due to scanning error” email: 03/06/2019
Payslip emailed: 03/06/2019
Decision made email: 05/06/2019
Passport received: TBD


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Re: University on a Spouse Visa
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2019, 10:43:43 PM »


Just always had those go to University, get a degree, get a nice job, buy a nice house before you have kids idea. And also the have kids before you get too old idea. But I need to remember that life doesn't go to plan hahah.

I think nearly everyone has that plan when they're younger! I'm sorry to hear health is what got in the way of your university plans back in the US, but you're honestly never to old to start or go back. You could try to find a back office job with the NHS or related industry to help get the foot in the door for when you have the qualifications too. :)

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Re: University on a Spouse Visa
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2019, 11:01:35 PM »
Don't let your age put you off. My daughter lost almost a decade due to serious illness, and so started her university career much later than normal. She's doing quite well - better, I think, than she would have if she'd have started at age 18.  And don't let children stop you. I went to Uni after the birth of my daughter. My days were amazingly busy, but I made it through two degrees and well into a PhD program before I ran out of energy (and money) to continue. As you would, I assume, have a spouse helping with the child-duties, you would be that much better able to cope. I just wouldn't recommend trying to do it in the first year after your kiddo is born - "mommy-brain" is still in effect at that point, and you'd possibly end up with a massive case of exhaustion.

There is something to be said for going to Uni as an older student, too. You do have the advantage of being more mature and are less likely to "party hearty" than a younger student would be.  ;)

You can, you know, go to some of the major university sites in the USA and they have "open" classes online - you can get the reading lists for them and start reading. My experience is that undergraduate programs are pretty much the professors (or their assistants) reading you the book anyway. So you can get that much of a head start for when you do get into a program. It never hurts to be well-read in the literature of your chosen field.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2019, 11:05:37 PM by Nan D. »


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