P.S. You are a British National

Written by: Creator and writer of Carib Students, Nia Golden

Why do I say this? I recently had a conversation with my friend who is going through the process of getting stuff ready to attend uni in England. In filling out an application for the student finance, she believed that her tuition was £16000. I was so confused because all the uni’s except a few private institutions’ tuition are only able to charge maximum £9250. But she believed that since she was not living in England, she had to pay international fees.

I am here to tell you that is not the case. If you have your British passport, you will be treated as a national/citizen when you arrive.

So please make sure when you arrive at the airport to stand in the British national line for Immigration. I know that on Student Finance and many other websites you will find information about who qualifies for certain things, and they don’t include the British Overseas Territories. Please IGNORE that.

If you click here, you can see a document that says, ‘UK nationals living in the other British Overseas Territories and their family members will be eligible for home fee status when studying in England, on the basis of 3 years’ residency in the British Overseas Territories, UK and the Islands, before the start of the course.’

The document I used is a very recent one but know that if you were living in an OT country and have a British passport you had that right even before the date of this document and even before the access to the student finance. Make sure you are honest in the student finance application that you lived in your OT country so that they can qualify you for the loan. DO NOT LIE on the application.

TIP: You only need to put that you were living in an OT country for three years before the September you arrive. Example 1/09/2019 – 1/09/2022. When they ask reason just state, that you currently work there or are just finishing tertiary education, etc. (They may ask you for proof.)

When you have qualified for student finance and have arrived in England, they will send you a national insurance number. This is what you need to work in the country. It is not something you need to sign up for. If you don’t receive yours within the first few months of arriving, you can always sign up on your own. Just know it is your right to receive one.

It is not something that a lot of locals realise, so don’t believe that because you are entering the country for the first time or are living in an OT country that you don’t have the same rights as they do.

You have access to what they call Universal Credit, also known as benefits. If you are not studying full time, you could get help with paying rent and other living costs. This can support you while you’re looking for a job or unable to work temporarily. You can check out more benefits here.


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