From 1 August this year, the Scottish government is providing eligibility for 'home' fee status and full Student Support for people who are in the UK under the recently introduced immigration schemes for Ukrainian and Afghan nationals and their family members.
Students granted permission under a Ukraine immigration scheme
A new category has been added to the fees regulations to provide for students with permission granted under the Ukraine immigration schemes, and leave outside the Rules. This can include people who are not Ukrainian nationals. With effect from 1 August 2022, paragraph 13 of the fees regulations says:
[...] (1) A student is an excepted student if that student—
(i) made a relevant application where that application is still being considered, or
(ii) been granted leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom following a relevant application, and
(b) is ordinarily resident in Scotland.
(2) In this paragraph, a ‘relevant application’ is an application to—
(a) the Ukraine Family Scheme,
(b) the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme,
(c) the Ukraine Extension Scheme, or
(d) the Home Office for leave outside the immigration rules, as defined in section 33(1) of the Immigration Act 1971, where that person—
(i) was residing in the Ukraine immediately before 1 January 2022, and
(ii) left Ukraine in connection with the Russian invasion which took place on 24 February 2022
by an individual who is eligible to apply to that scheme.
No individual requirement has to be met on the 'relevant date', eg 1 August, nor is this category open only to those who start their course on or after 1 August 2022. Therefore, this category can apply to someone who establishes ordinary residence after 1 August 2022 or who has already started their course in a previous academic year. However, this new category is only for academic years starting on or after 1 August 2022, so a continuing student is not able to have their fee status for previous years reconsidered.
Relocated Afghan nationals and family
A new category has been added to the fees regulations to provide for relocated Afghan nationals and their family members, which includes people who are not Afghan nationals. With effect from 1 August 2022, paragraph 12 of the fees regulations says:
[...] A student is an excepted student—
(a) if that student—
(i) has been granted leave under the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme or granted leave under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy Scheme,
(ii) has been ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom at all times since that person was first granted such leave, and
(iii) is ordinarily resident in Scotland on the relevant date, or
(b) if that student is the spouse, civil partner or child of a person described in sub-paragraph (a) and is ordinarily resident in Scotland on the relevant date.
There is no requirement that a person has been granted relevant immigration permission by the 'relevant date', eg 1 August. However, ordinary residence in Scotland is required on the 'relevant date'. Therefore, this category can apply to someone who has already started their course in a previous academic year. However, this new category is only for academic years starting on or after 1 August 2022, so a continuing student is not able to have their fee status for previous years reconsidered.
On 6 May we alerted you in a news item to the fact that Scotland had laid new fees and Student Support regulations, and we continue to analyse both sets of regulations. If you need information before we publish our detailed analysis, please check the regulations themselves (links are in the news item) and call us on our advice line if you want further advice.