Settlement checking service
This page explains what the settlement checking service is and gives details of the local authorities currently offering a checking service for settlement applications.
The settlement checking service is a partnership between the UK Border Agency and local authorities.
The settlement checking service is an optional service which is available for a fee to applicants using the SET (M) application form only, at a local authority register office.
You can make applications for settlement at any local authority that offers the settlement checking service, not just the one where you live, subject to appointment availability.
The service is available by appointment only. Local authorities can provide details of the additional fee for this service and the times appointments are available. When attending your appointment, a trained local authority officer will:
- check you have completed your SET(M) form correctly;
- check you have paid the correct application fee;
- copy and return your valuable documents; and
- ensure your application is valid and post it to us.
You and your spouse or partner should attend the appointment. If your partner cannot attend, they must provide a letter stating that they support the application. The letter must be signed and dated and include a daytime phone number where they can be contacted if necessary. Failure of your spouse or partner to provide this letter may result in the application being cancelled and the fee will be lost.
A certified copy of your passport(s) will be taken by a trained member of staff within the local authority. You are able to keep your passport but we do recommend that you do not make travel plans whilst we consider your application as this will result in an invalid application which will be rejected.
Before attending the appointment you should have read the SET(M) guidance. When you attend your appointment you will need to bring a completed SET (M) application form and all original supporting documents required. You will also have to confirm your payment details. If you fail to do so your application cannot be submitted to us. Please see the Completing SET (M) page for information about applying and for the application form and guidance.
You should book a settlement checking service appointment before your current leave expires and you can attend your appointment when you have completed or are within 28 days of completing a 2-year qualifying period, see above.
If you were given an entry clearance visa (issued abroad), your 2-year qualifying period started 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 (BRP) (issued in the UK) the 2-year qualifying period started from the date these were issued (valid from date).
Local authorities will not give you advice about settlement. If you are attending a premium service appointment at one of our public enquiry offices, you can use the settlement checking service if you wish to have your application checked. Local authorities can provide a partial checking service, where they will check the application form is complete and that you have the correct supporting documents. They will not take the premium application fee, but will inform you of the correct premium application fees. The original documents will need to be presented at the public enquiry appointment.
The service will give you reassurance and peace of mind that your application is complete and correct. We have found that applications received through the settlement checking service are generally faster to process, as fewer cases are rejected or delayed due to incomplete or missing documents.
Using the checking service does not guarantee your application will be successful and we may still need to make further enquiries when considering your case.
The service is not available at all local authorities. If your local authority does not currently provide the service you can go to another authority in your area.
To make it easier for you to find your closest local authority that offers the service, we have separated the information into offices in England,Greater London, Scotland and Wales.