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Switch from Tier 4 to Spouse Visa and Obtain UKRI Funding

Only for UK Tier 4 (Student) points system
Tier 4

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priscillajc
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Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:12 pm
China

Switch from Tier 4 to Spouse Visa and Obtain UKRI Funding

Post by priscillajc » Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:22 pm

Hello all,

I have been studying in the UK on a Tier 4 visa for four years. I am getting married to a British citizen later this year and so will have a spouse visa by the start of my PhD programme in October (so not exclusively 'for the purposes of study'). Does this mean that, having lived here for at least three years before obtaining my spouse visa that, on this spouse visa, I would be eligible for UK Fees and therefore UKRI funding for these fees?

Many thanks for any responses.

sah10406
Diamond Member
Posts: 2553
Joined: Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:09 am

Re: Switch from Tier 4 to Spouse Visa and Obtain UKRI Funding

Post by sah10406 » Sat Feb 08, 2020 12:15 pm

priscillajc wrote:
Fri Feb 07, 2020 11:22 pm
Does this mean that, having lived here for at least three years before obtaining my spouse visa that, on this spouse visa, I would be eligible for UK Fees and therefore UKRI funding for these fees?
It is technically possible, but highly unlikely. It will depend on the point at which your main reason for being in the UK was to be with the person who is now your spouse.

The relevant category of eligibility for home fees is "EU Nationals and Family", number 3 on this list:

https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/Information-- ... layer-6082

(Incidentally, I have had several free and frank exchanges of views here with people who say this category can never be relevant to a British national or their family member, but they are wrong. It can, but in your specific case it is unlikely to.)

You meet parts (a) and (b) no problem, but you seem highly likely to fall foul of (c):

(c) the main purpose of your residence in the EEA/Switzerland/overseas territories residence area must not have been to receive full-time education during any part of the three-year period [from 1 September 2017 to 1 September 2020].

In other words, the university would need to be satisfied that even though you had a student visa, your main reason for being in the UK since at least 1 September 2017 was to be with your partner, now spouse. I suppose it is technically possible, for example if you can show evidence that as early as 1 September 2017 you were already planning to marry them.

If, as I expect, that is not possible to demonstrate, in theory you could still meet the "Special Provision" instead, but again it is a long shot because as you will see at that link it is only relevant if your UK national spouse has

(1) ...exercised a right of residence in another EU member state for more than three months as a self-sufficient person, student, worker, or a family member accompanying one of these types of people;

and [not "or"]

2) [your spouse] has been ordinarily resident in the EEA and/or Switzerland and/or the overseas territories [from 1 September 2017 to 1 September 2020].
I do not give immigration advice. I refer you to Immigration Rules, guidance, other online content and to your sponsor.

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