What is the settlement checking service?
The settlement checking service is a partnership between the UK Border Agency, and Cumbria County Council.
The service allows customers to submit their SET (M) application for permission to settle permanently (also known as indefinite leave to remain) in the UK as a spouse or partner of a British citizen or settled person at a local authority register office.
The service will give you assurance that you application is complete and you have paid the correct fee. The service will allow you to keep your valuable documents. Your spouse or partner will be able to keep their passport or travel documents.
The UK Border Agency has found that the settlement checking service is generally faster than the normal postal application process. This is due to fewer applications being rejected due to incompleteness or missing documents.
Who can use the settlement checking service?
Migrants applying for permission to settle permanently (also known as indefinite leave to remain) in the UK using form SET (M) can use the service.
SET (M) applicants must already have been given permission to enter or remain in the UK as a spouse or partner of a British citizen or person settled in the UK and have completed or be within 28 days of completing 2 years in that category.
The settlement checking service is NOT available to nationals of countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.
You can find further advice about how to apply for residence on the UK Border Agency website
www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens or if you need further information, contact EEA Residency Enquiries on 0845 010 5200.
How do I use the settlement checking service?
To use the settlement checking service you must book an appointment.
The settlement checking service operates on an appointment only basis. To make your appointment, you should contact:
Carlisle Registration Office
0300 303 2472
You must book an appointment before your current leave expires.
Please note that you will not be able to attend an appointment more than 28 days before the end of your two year qualifying period.
Two year qualifying period
If you have an entry clearance visa (issued abroad) the two year qualifying period starts from the date your visa was stamped, by the Immigration Officer, when you entered the UK.
If you have a residence permit or a biometric residence permit the two year qualifying period starts from when you were granted two years leave as a spouse or partner (even if you previously had leave in another category, for example as a student).
What do I need to bring to my appointment?
When you telephone to book an appointment, the local authority officers will tell you what to bring with you. Instructions explaining which documents are needed are in the SET (M) application form and guidance notes. These are available on the UK Border Agency website at www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk
You and your settled spouse or partner should attend the SCS appointment. If your partner cannot attend, they must provide a letter stating that they support the application. The letter must be signed and dated, with a daytime phone number where they can be contacted if necessary.
Failure of your spouse or partner to provide evidence to support the application, if unable to attend, may result in the application being cancelled and the fee will be lost.
There are two types of SET (M) application forms on the UK Border Agency Website SET (M) Application Forms;
The online SET (M) form - This version of the SET (M) form must be completed online. You have to complete the form and pay for the application on line you must then print a copy. The copy of the form must then be taken with you to your appointment.
The printable SET (M) form - This version of the SET (M) form allows you to print a copy of the form and complete it by hand. With this version you must supply your payment details so that the payment can be processed when the form is received by the UK Border Agency.
You must bring:
A completed latest version of the SET (M) application form (either the form you have completed on line and printed or the form you have printed first and then completed by hand).
Your knowledge of life-pass notification or English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) certificate and college letter.
The supporting documents requested in the SET (M) application form and guidance notes.
If you completed the SET (M) application form on line, you must bring the confirmation that you have paid the UK Border Agency.
If you completed the SET (M) application form by hand you must complete your credit or debit card details on the form, or bring a cheque or postal order.
The settlement checking service fee must be paid to the local authority separately from the application fee.
What service will the local authority officers provide?
The local authority officer will check the application form is complete and all the necessary supporting documents have been included.
They will check you have paid the correct application fee.
You will be told if any of the documents are missing, not acceptable or if you have provided documents that are not required by the UK Border Agency.
The local authority officer will check, make certified copies and return your documents and your spouse or partner? passport or travel documents.
The local authority officer will check and retain your passport or travel documents. If there are dependants included in your application their passports or travel documents will also be retained. This is so that the UK Border Agency can insert a permit, to certify any leave that is granted.
You will receive assurance that your application is completed correctly and that you have provided the correct supporting documents.
Documents will be despatched to the UK Border Agency via secure mail.
Your application will arrive at the UK Border Agency complete, avoiding any unnecessary delays.
Can migrants use the settlement checking service before attending a Public Enquiry Office?
An applicant may decide to apply in person at a UK Border Agency Public Enquiry Office (PEO) and would pay for a premium service. The settlement checking service is available as part of the premium application route. Local authorities will check the application form is complete, correct supporting documents have been provided and can copy supporting documents for taking to the PEO.
Do I have to pay for the checking service?
Yes. The settlement checking service fee is charged in addition to the SET (M) application fee charged by the UK Border Agency and reflect the cost of providing the service.
The settlement checking service fee for adults is £ 120.00 inclusive of VAT.
Minors are included as dependants on the adult application.
Will my application be dealt with more quickly?
The settlement checking service will allow you to get a decision more quickly. This is due to fewer applications being rejected or delayed due to incompleteness or missing documents.
The UK Border Agency service standards are published on the UK Border Agency website at www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/settlement/waitingtimes/
The settlement checking service is not a premium service.
Will the local authority give me advice about settlement?
The local authority officers will not be able to provide advice on settlement matters. If you require advice you can contact the Immigration Enquiry Bureau on 0870 606 7766. Lines are open from 09:00 until 16:45 Monday to Thursday and 09:00 until 16:30 Friday (excluding public holidays). Settlement advice can also be found on the UK Border Agency website.
How do I know that the local authority is competent to offer the checking service?
Our officers are registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), a UK Government body, which regulates organisations offering services of this kind.
In providing the settlement checking service, local authority officers have been fully trained by UK Border Agency.
We always welcome feedback and suggestions to improve the quality of our service. Therefore if you wish to comment or complain about this service you can use the Cumbria County Council Complaints Procedure or write to the Superintendent Registrar at the address below.Mr. Andrew Smith
Alternatively, you may if you wish write directly to:Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner
Neighbouring Registration Services contact
Lancashire - Tel: 0845 053 0021
Dumfries & Galloway (Incl. Gretna Green) - Tel: 030 33 33 3000
Northumberland - Tel: 0845 600 6400
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne - Tel: 0191 232 8520
North Yorkshire - Tel: 0845 872 73 74