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2.3 Your nationality and residency

Your nationality and residency can affect the finance available to you

This means where you're from, where you currently live and how long you've lived there.

Northern Ireland student or European Union student

Students eligible for funding from Student Finance NI fall in to one of two groups - 'Northern Ireland students' or 'European Union students'. If you're not eligible for funding as one of these groups, you may be eligible as the other.

The types of finance available to you typically depend on which group are can identify as, the level of qualification your studying for and how you're choosing to study.

Northern Ireland students

'NI students' are not just students from Northern Ireland. Your nationality is important but is not the only consideration.

An NI student is defined as one of the following:

  • a UK or Republic of Ireland national who has been living in Northern Ireland for at least 3 years before the first day of the first academic year of their course, who will live in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for the three years before the first day of your academic year
  • a UK national who has been living in the EU for the 3 years before the first day of the first academic year of your course, who was ordinarily resident in the UK before moving to the EU and will live in Northern Ireland on the first day of the first academic year of their course
  • an EU national who has been living in Northern Ireland for 3 years before the first day of the first academic year of their course who will live in Northern Ireland on the first day of the first term of their course
  • someone from outside the UK, European Union or European Economic Area who can identify as one of our eligible residency exception statuses

European Union students

An 'EU student' is defined as an EU national (including Republic of Ireland), or the family member of one, who is not able to identity as an Northern Ireland student as described and:

  • has lived in the EU including Republic of Ireland, European Economic Area or Switzerland for the 3 years before the first day of the first academic year of their course
  • lives in Northern Ireland on the first day of the first term of their course

If you know which group you are, and how you're choosing to study - you can find out more about the types of finance you could apply for.

Frequently Asked Questions

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