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hannah78

Dual citizen studying law at UK university

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We have been living in Australia as a family since 2013 and are dual citizens, holding both UK and Australian passports.

My son has been accepted to study Law at Cardiff Uni starting Sept 2021. We are aware that he will be an international student and will therefore pay international fees to study. We are just wondering whether there are any benefits of having the UK passport regarding visas/healthcare/finances? 

We have searched posts and are aware of the 3 year rule regarding residency. As far as we can tell there are no benefits to being a dual citizen if you return to the UK to study...is that right?

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The only benefit to being a dual citizen is that he doesn't need to get a visa to stay in the UK.    He will need to establish residency before he can register with a GP (but that's as simple as getting proof of a UK address).  


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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3 hours ago, Marisawright said:

The only benefit to being a dual citizen is that he doesn't need to get a visa to stay in the UK.    He will need to establish residency before he can register with a GP (but that's as simple as getting proof of a UK address).  

Are you referring to a visa post uni as opposed to a student visa? Assume he will still need a student visa before flying the UK to start University in September?

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49 minutes ago, hannah78 said:

Are you referring to a visa post uni as opposed to a student visa? Assume he will still need a student visa before flying the UK to start University in September?

A British citizen cannot get any kind of UK visa because he doesn't need one.  He is entitled to live, work and study in the UK.  He's just not entitled to benefits which have a residency requirement, like student grants, reduced university fees etc. 

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Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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As a British citizen (passport holder) he needs no further visa/permission to be able to reside in the UK and take up work/education. 

He will need to apply for a National Insurance number, but thats just paperwork and somethign that anyone in the UK needs.

He will need to apply for healthcare with a GP - As a citizen he is covered for this from day one of being able to prove residency in the UK, some elective treatements have longer qualifyign times but so long as he isn't planning to have major elective plastic surgery on day one he should be fine!

The main issue is that as a student you aren't entitled to many/any benefits anyway, and as he wasn't in the UK as a resident for 3 years before startign the course he will always be payign overseas fees, and ineligible for a UK student loan to cover these fees or living costs

Other than the finance bit, he would be identical to any other British citizen that (for instance) had lived in Cardiff since birth

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What are his plans after qualifying? Stay in Wales/England or go back to Australia?

Whilst Australia does now recognise an English/Welsh law degree (it's a bit different with a Scots Law degree) it still has a number of (as the law society puts it) "structural issues" with the fact the person was qualified in a different location and so may not have covered some key case law/statutes (or worse conflicting ones)

If he really intends to just get a law degree and then practice in Melbourne (for instance) it might be worth reconsidering is the UK the best place (if he was doing Law at OX/CAM/Durham/Edinburgh this is less of an issue as they are international law schools and recognised everywhere on the planet, but Cardiff is not in the same catchment)

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9 hours ago, Ausvisitor said:

What are his plans after qualifying? Stay in Wales/England or go back to Australia?

Whilst Australia does now recognise an English/Welsh law degree (it's a bit different with a Scots Law degree) it still has a number of (as the law society puts it) "structural issues" with the fact the person was qualified in a different location and so may not have covered some key case law/statutes (or worse conflicting ones)

If he really intends to just get a law degree and then practice in Melbourne (for instance) it might be worth reconsidering is the UK the best place (if he was doing Law at OX/CAM/Durham/Edinburgh this is less of an issue as they are international law schools and recognised everywhere on the planet, but Cardiff is not in the same catchment)

I guess that also depends if he wants to actually practice law. Many law graduates don’t. But a very valid point none the less.  These days it is possible to combine courses from different universities overseas both by doing a placement or even on line, so it might be possible to cover Australian law that way.

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So many wineries ......so little time :yes:

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