If you are applying for UK settlement either on behalf a child or if you are under 18, you would need to complete form SET F and submit the required supporting documentation.
Individuals granted settlement, or ‘indefinite leave to remain’ (ILR), have no time restrictions on their stay in the UK, and no restrictions on their rights to employment or study. They also have access to healthcare and education, and are potentially eligible to apply for British citizenship.
When is SET F used?
The following categories of people can use form SET (F) to make an application for settlement in the UK:
- children under 18 of a parent(s) or relatives who are living in and settled in the UK, or being admitted for settlement at the same time;
- adopted children under the age of 18 of a parent(s) who is living in and settled in the UK; and
- children over the age of 18 who were last granted leave under paragraph 302 of the immigration rules.
The child must live in the UK in order to be eligible to make the application.
Please note that adult dependant relatives needing long-term care should now apply for a Family Visa, and not on Form SET F, with the fee for this conditional upon whether the applicant is applying from inside or outside the UK.
If you are in the care of social services you apply via a different form, SET O.
What are the ILR eligibility criteria for applicants?
The eligibility criteria for applicants for UK indefinite leave to remain are listed below, as per category of applicant.
Children under the age of 18 of a parent or parents present and settled in the UK, or being admitted for settlement at the same time
To be eligible for ILR, one of the following must apply:
- both parents are present and settled in the UK;
- one parent is present and settled in the UK but the other one is deceased;
- one parent is present and settled in the UK and the other one is being admitted for settlement at the same time;
- one parent is present and settled in the UK or is being admitted for settlement and has sole responsibility for and custody over the child; or
- one parent or relative is present or settled here and “there are serious and compelling family or other considerations which make exclusion of the child undesirable and suitable arrangements have been made for the child’s care”
Under the Immigration Rules, a ‘parent’ can also mean a step-parent where the biological parent has died.
The child must not have one or more unspent convictions and must be adequately provided for in terms of accommodation and maintenance by the sponsoring parent or relative, without them needing to have recourse to public funds.
The child must also be unmarried, not in a civil partnership and not leading an independent life.
Finally, if you live with one parent who became a British citizen after settling in the UK, you must have been their dependant when they were granted settlement.
Adopted children under the age of 18 of a parent(s) who is living in and settled in the UK
There are three sub-categories within the criteria for adopted children wishing to settle in the UK.
1. Bringing an adopted child to the UK
In order to qualify in this category, the following must apply:
- the child was adopted while both parents lived together abroad or one of them was settled in the UK
- the child has the same rights as the parent(s)’ other children
- the child was adopted because the child’s biological parents could not care for them and
- there has been a genuine transfer of parental responsibility;
- the child has broken all ties with their original family; and
- the child was not adopted for the sole reason of entering the UK.
2. Bringing a child adopted in a designated country
In this category:
- both adoptive parents must be settled in the UK or
- both adoptive parents have permission to settle in the UK permanently and they are both entering the UK with the child or
- one of the adoptive parents has permission to settle in the UK permanently and is bring the child to the UK and the other parent is already settled in the UK.
3. Inter-country adoption
In order to qualify in this country, the following criteria must be satisfied:
- the Hague Convention applies, i.e. the child is coming to the UK under the Convention on inter-country adoption;
- the parent or parents are both habitually resident in the UK and able to look after the child financially without recourse to public funds;
- the parents have been entrusted with the child by the authorities of the country from which they are coming.
Child over the age of 18 who was last granted leave under paragraph 302 of the immigration rules
If you wish to apply as someone who is 18 or over, you can only do so in this category if the last time you were given permission to stay it was as the dependant (child under the age of 18) of a parent or relative who is now a British citizen or settled (has ILR) in the UK.
In other words, when you were last granted limited leave to remain as a child it was with a view to settlement as the child of a parent or parents given limited leave to enter or remain in the UK with a view to settlement.
Your parent must have had permission to be in the UK as:
- the partner of a British citizen, someone who was settled in the UK, or had asylum or humanitarian protection; or
- the parent of a British or settled child; or
- someone who was given asylum or humanitarian protection.
Your relative must have been someone who was given asylum or humanitarian protection.
You may also need to take the Life in the UK test and / or an English language test.
Making the application
You must apply online on the current version of form SET(F) from the gov.uk website.
You will need to submit the following documents with your application:
- Two identical photographs of yourself – be careful not to mark these in any way, for example with a staple. You will have to write your full name on the back.
- Your biometric residence permit if you already have one
- Your passport, national identity card or travel document
- Police registration certificates (if any)
- Evidence of your parents’ or relative’s finances, for example payslips and bank account statements going back at least three months.
How much does an ILR application cost?
The fee is £2389 for an ILR application (as at August 2020). There is an exemption from the fee if you are under the age of 18 and in the care of social services.
You should also check if you need to pay the immigration health surcharge. If you do need to pay this, then you must do so before you complete your application, then fill in the reference number on the form.
You may also have to pay £19.20 to have your biometric information (consisting of fingerprints and a photograph) taken at a UKVAS centre, if the Home Office cannot reuse any biometrics provided as part of a previous application.
How long do ILR applications usually take to process?
You will be told if your application has been successful within six months of applying.
If you pay an extra £800 for the super priority service you will receive the decision by the end of the next working day after providing your biometric information if your appointment is on a weekday. If your appointment is at the weekend then you will receive the decision two working days after providing your biometric information. Working days are Monday to Friday inclusive.
What is the difference between ILR and settled status?
Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is also known as settled status. If you are granted ILR, you will have no further time restrictions on your stay in the UK, and no restrictions on your employment or study in the UK. You have to pay at least £1033 to apply. Recipients of ILR are almost always from outside the EU, EEA and Switzerland, because up until the 31 December, 2020 anyone from any of those countries can come to live and work in the UK with no restrictions.
The EU Settlement Scheme is for citizens from the EU, EEA and Switzerland who want to live in the UK after 30 June 2021, and it is free to apply. EU, EEA and Swiss citizens will have to make an application for settled status under the scheme in order that they can to live in the UK as normal after 30 June 2021.
There are two types of EU settled status. For both types you need to have started living in the UK before 31 December 2021. You will be granted settled status if you have lived in the UK for a continuous 5 year period. You will get pre-settled status if you have not yet lived in the UK for a continuous 5 year period. Pre-settled status is granted for a period of 5 years. You can apply for settled status once you reach the five-year continuous residence point, but you must do so before the expiry of your pre-settled status.
DavidsonMorris are UK immigration specialists. We have substantial experience helping individuals with all types of UK Home Office applications, including indefinite leave to remain. For guidance and support with an ILR application, contact us.
Last updated: 10 August 2020