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Closed petition Home fee status for BN(O) students after 3 years continuous stay in the UK

We believe the UK Government's policy requiring five-year residency for BN(O) visa holders for home fee status for tuition is unfair, and that home fee status should be available after 3 years continuous stay in the UK.

More details

Residency requirements for home fees have been previously found in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights in at least one Scottish case. We contend that the current rules for BN(O) visa holders, requiring continuous stay for at least five years in the UK, are inconsistent with human rights principles. Our petition calls for equal treatment and the amendment of regulations in a way which we believe would better align with ECHR standards.

This petition closed early because of a General Election Find out more on the Petitions Committee website

14,827 signatures

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Government responded

This response was given on 4 March 2024

Hong Kong BN(O) visa holders will qualify for home fees once they have acquired settled status in the UK.

To qualify for home fee status at an English provider, a person must have settled status and have been ordinarily (lawfully) resident (OR) in the UK and Islands for the three years preceding the first day of the first academic year of their course. Most routes to settled status for non-EU nationals allow an application for indefinite leave to remain after five or ten years of ordinary residence in the UK. The only exceptions to the requirement to be settled are for persons who have been granted international protection by the Home Office (which HKBN(O)s have not) or who have long residency in the UK.

Under existing legislation in England, HK BN(O)s would qualify for home fee status and financial support once they have acquired settled status in the UK, provided they also meet the three-year ordinary residence requirement. This is in line with how the majority of persons a five-year route to settlement are treated. This also applies to any dependants of HK BN(O)s.

The Government takes care to ensure that the Education (Student Support) Regulations 2011 comply with the relevant provisions of European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). Higher Education in the UK is devolved, with the result that the Devolved Administrations may chose to take different approaches to student eligibility.

Department for Education