Not from UK: education

Can I go to school?

From the ages of 5 to 18 you can go to school in the UK wherever you are from and whatever your immigration status.

You may have to wait a little bit of time before you start school if there are no places left in the school at the start of the school year, or if the school year has already begun when you arrive, but you must get a place without a long delay. Your parents, carer or social worker should help you to find a school place.

For more information, see: Education

Can I study at sixth form or college?

You can apply to study at a sixth form or college wherever you are from and whatever your immigration status. However, you will need to meet the entry requirements. These will be different depending on where you choose to study but you will need to be able to speak a good level of English and have the right skills and qualifications to complete the course.

If you are aged 16 to 18 and you have refugee status, humanitarian protection, limited leave to remain, discretionary leave to remain, UASC leave or you are an asylum-seeker, you will be able to study at a sixth form or college for free. If you are being looked after by Children’s Services they will be able to help you with any additional educational costs.

For more information, see: Education

Can I study at university?

You can attend university whatever your immigration status. However, you will need to meet the entry requirements for the course. These will be different depending on where you choose to study but you will need to be able to speak a good level of English and have the right skills and qualifications to complete the course.

You will also need to be able to pay the course fees. The amount of money you will have to pay and the amount of help you can get will depend on your immigration status.

I am an Asylum-seeker

If you are an asylum-seeker in full-time university education you may have to pay overseas fees, which are a lot more than home fees. However, it is the decision of the University and they may agree to charge you home fees instead. You should ask them to consider charging you home fees.

You will not be able to get any student support, such as a student loan, unless your immigration status changes whilst you are studying.

I have refugee status, humanitarian protection or indefinite leave to remain

If you are in full-time university education and you have refugee status, humanitarian protection or indefinite leave to remain and have been living in the UK since you received leave to remain, the university you are studying at will charge you home fees, which are a lot lower than overseas fees.

If you have refugee status then you will also be entitled to student support. If you have humanitarian protection or indefinite leave to remain AND have been ordinarily resident (lawfully and normally resident) in the UK for at least three years when you begin your course, you will be able to get support with your fees.

You may be able to get a student loan, or a university bursary or student support, which may include a loan for tuition fees and living costs and/or money that does not need to be paid back.

I have limited leave to remain, discretionary leave, UASC leave

If you have limited leave to remain, UASC leave or leave on the basis of family life, you must have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least three years before beginning your course AND have lived in the UK for 7 years if you are under 18, or for half your life if you are over 18.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs can offer you further information on this.

What support can I get from Children’s Services to go university?

If you are looked-after or a care leaver, Children’s Services may help you with education costs, including travel and equipment costs, and sometimes tuition fees. Your social worker should have made a Pathway Plan with you which outlines your plans for the future, including education.

For more information, see: Leaving care support