How to apply for settlement from inside the UK
This page tells you which application form you should complete if you want to apply from inside the UK for permission to settle here permanently (also known as 'indefinite leave to remain').
If you are applying from outside the UK as the partner or child of a British citizen or a person settled here, the Partners and family section explains how to make your application.
If you are considering applying for settlement in the future, please note that the Immigration Rules are subject to change. You must meet all the requirements of the Immigration Rules at the time when you make your application.
If you are applying for settlement you will need to enrol your biometrics as part of the application process. This will apply to you and your dependents. Further information will be given to you when we receive your application.
You can use form SET(M) to apply to settle here as the husband, wife, civil partner or unmarried/same-sex partner of a British citizen or someone who is settled here.
To find out how to apply, see Completing application form SET(M).
Form SET(F) is for settlement applications by children of British citizens or people who are settled here. You can apply using form SET(F) if you are:
- a child aged under 18 of a parent, parents or a relative who is a permanent resident of the UK and currently living here; or
- the adopted child aged under 18 of a parent or parents who are permanent resident of the UK and currently living here.
To find out how to apply, see Completing application form SET(F).
Form SET(DV) is for settlement applications by the victims of domestic violence. You should use form SET(DV) if you have been given temporary permission to remain in the UK as the partner of a permanent resident, and the relationship has broken down because you have suffered domestic violence.
To find out how to apply, see Completing application form SET(DV).
You can use form SET(BUS) to apply for settlement as a retired person of independent means or a sole representative of an overseas firm.
To find out how to apply, see Completing application form SET(BUS).
Form SET(O) is for many other types of settlement applications. You can currently use form SET(O) if you are in one of the following immigration categories and you have been living in the UK in a relevant category for 5 years:
- Tier 1 or Tier 2 of the points-based system (excluding the Post-study work category of Tier 1)
- work permit holder
- representative of an overseas newspaper, news agency or broadcasting organisation
- private servant in a diplomatic household
- domestic worker in a private household
- overseas government employee
- minister of religion, missionary or member of a religious order
- airport-based operational staff of an overseas-owned airline
- self-employed lawyer
- writer, composer or artist
- UK ancestry
- highly skilled migrant under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) - but if you applied to the HSMP before 3 April 2006 and came to the UK on the basis of that application, you can apply after you have been in the UK for only 4 years.
Members and former members of HM Forces can apply for settlement using form SET(O) if they have served in HM Forces for a minimum of 4 years and have been, or are in the process of being, discharged from service. (There are different requirements for former Gurkhas, who can apply for settlement from outside the UK if they have served for 4 years in the British Army.)
If you have been given temporary permission to remain in the UK as the partner of a British citizen or person settled here, and your partner has died, you can apply for settlement as a bereaved partner. You can make your application using form SET(O) immediately after your partner's death - you do not need to wait until you have been here for a certain length of time.
If you are in the UK for other purposes or reasons not covered by other application forms (excluding asylum), you may be able to apply for settlement using form SET(O). This includes applications for reasons of long residence, if you have been living continously in the UK for 10 years (or 14 years in some cases) - for more information, see Chapter 18 of the Immigration Directorate Instructions.
To find out how to apply, see Completing application form SET(O).
You can use form SET (LR) to apply to settle here if you have been legally resident in the UK for a continuous period of 10 years.
To find out how to apply, see Completing application form SET(LR).
Form ECAA 2
You should complete form ECAA 2 to apply for settlement if you are a citizen of Turkey who is in the UK under the rules of the European Community Association Agreement with Turkey for establishing in business in the UK. You can download form ECAA 2 and find out more in the Establishing yourself in business as a Turkish citizen section.
You can include your dependants on form ECAA 2. If your dependants are applying for settlement separately from you, they should use form ECAA 3 - you can download this form and find out more in the Turkish dependants section.
You should use form DL to apply for settlement or an extension of your stay if you were given:
- exceptional leave to remain for a period of less than 4 years, or for separate periods making 4 years in all;
- discretionary leave to remain associated with an asylum application; or
- humanitarian protection before 30 August 2005.
You should read Completing application form DL.
Form SET (Protection Route)
Form SET (Protection Route) is for settlement applications by refugees or people granted humanitarian protection since 30 August 2005, whose current 5-year permission to stay is due to expire.
To find out how to apply, see Completing application form SET (Protection Route).
Form ECAA 4
Form ECAA 4 is no longer in use. The form was for self-employed Bulgarian and Romanian nationals applying for indefinite leave to remain under the terms of the former European Community Association Agreement (ECAA).
Because Bulgaria and Romania are now members of the European Union (EU), their citizens do not need permission to enter the UK, but they normally need permission to work here unless they are self-employed. To find out about living and working in the UK, you should read the Bulgarian and Romanian nationals section of this website.
If you are a Bulgarian or Romanian national and have lived in the UK as a self-employed person for 5 years without a break, you can apply for a document certifying permanent residence by completing application form EEA3. To find out how to apply, see Residence documents for European nationals.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is my immigration status while my application is being decided? If you make an application before your authorised stay ends, your existing immigration status will continue until your application is decided, even if the decision is not made until after the end of your permitted stay. You can continue to work until your case is decided if the conditions of your existing leave allows you to do so.
Permission to stay in the United Kingdom for reasons that are exceptional. This type of permission is no longer given, but was sometimes given in the past to someone who does not qualify for asylum but whom we believe should be allowed to stay for other reasons.
Indefinite leave to remain (often known as 'ILR' and 'settlement') is permission to remain in the UK without any time restrictions on the length of stay. It is not the same as naturalisation as a British citizen and may, in specific circumstances, be ceased or invalidated, for example, if a fraudulent application is uncovered, if the person resides outside of the UK for more than 2 years or as a result of a criminal conviction that results in a Deportation Order coming into force.