Eligibility for Student Grant

September 11th, 2012 by James Goudie KC

In  R (Arogundade) v Secretary of State [2012] EWHC 2502 (Admin) Robin Purchas QC held that to establish eligibility for a grant, under the Education (Student Support) Regulations, an individual had to meet the three-year “ordinary residence” requirement, that required lawful residence, and would not include residence in breach of the Immigration Rules as an “ovestayer”, notwithstanding that there is no express requirement in the Regulations that “ordinary residence” must be lawful. 

The Deputy Judge said (para 57), applying the approach in R v Barnet LBC ex p Shah

[1983] 2 AC 309:

“It seems to me that the fundamental requirement for ordinary residence over the three year period is in substance the same to demonstrate an established connection with this country as a precondition to eligibility for student grant from public funds. … a person should not be able to rely on his own unlawful act to secure an advantage …”

At para 64 the Deputy Judge said:

“The contention that the Claimant may have been entitled to human rights protection during part or all of the relevant period is no answer to these public policy and related considerations. …”

The Deputy Judge concluded, at para 67:

“In conclusion I find nothing in the subsequent authorities or in the relevant regulations or subsequent legislative changes which would undermine or displace the approach clearly and authoritatively set out by Lord Scarman in his opinion in Shah. On the contrary in my judgment the overall structure and underlying policy and purpose of the 2009 Regulations reinforce that approach as being appropriate to the application of the Regulations.”

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