If you are the immediate relatives of a British settled person and wish to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK, you can use the Set M Form.
The ILR status grants you the right to live freely in the country, without immigration restrictions. It is also a necessary step before you can seek citizenship in the UK.
If you want to apply for ILR, you can review this Set M guidance to ensure to complete all the relevant sections of your form. If you have further queries, at IAS our immigration experts are happy to guide you step-by-step through your ILR application.
Who can use the Set (M) Form?
According to the UK immigration law, the Set (M) form can be completed by the following categories:
- Partners of a UK settled person under the 2-year route. To be eligible, you must have been granted limited leave for 27 or 24 months. You can apply for ILR when you have completed at least 24 months with such leave;
- Partners of a UK settled person under the 5-year route. You must have been granted 30 months of limited leave, of which 60 should have already been completed;
- Partners who currently lives with a British settled person and plan to get married or register a civil partnership;
- Parents of a child settled in the UK (under the 5-year route).
Same-sex partners and civil partners are included in the legal definition of “partner” and can file a Set M Form for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Check your ILR eligibility before you submit your Set M
Before you can start your ILR application process, you must make sure that you meet all the requirements set by the UK immigration law.
First, you should meet specific financial criteria to prove that you can support your family financially. If you are a single applicant, you need a minimum threshold of £18,600. This can also be achieved through a combination of incomes from employment, pensions, and cash savings over £16,000. Each child included in your Set M application increases the minimum required income by £2,400.
Before you can settle in the UK, you also need to demonstrate your knowledge of British language and customs. To this end, you must pass the Life in the UK Test, a computer-based exam about English traditions, history, and politics.
If you hold a degree that was taught or researched in English, you are exempt from the language requirements. Otherwise, you must pass one of the recognised qualifications in Speaking and Listening at B1 level or above.
Set M guidance: how to complete your ILR form
You must state in your Set M application form all your reasons for wishing to settle in the UK.
The structure and the sections included in the Set M Form are similar to the ones of the Set O application form. This form, however, can be used only by ILR applicants who already hold a Work permit. If you are the dependant of a British settled person, you need to file a Set M.
You must complete your Set M application form must in all its sections. These include:
- Personal information (Sections 1 – 3). You need to include details about yourself and your dependants.
- Applicant categories (section 4). You only need to select the category you and your dependants fall into.
- Proof of knowledge of life and language in the UK (Section 5). To be eligible for ILR in the UK, you must pass the Life in the UK test. You also need to pass a recognised ESOL qualification to prove adequate proficiency in English. If you are under the age of 18 or over the age of 64, you are exempt from this requirement.
- Biometric Residence Permit (Section 6). If you cannot provide evidence of your Biometric Residence Permit in the UK, your Set M application will be automatically invalid.
- Previous addresses (Section 7). It must cover your address history in the past 2 years.
- Financial Requirements (Section 8). To prove your financial situation, you can present bank statements, pay slips, and other documents.
- Personal history (Section 9). You must provide details about any criminal convictions, or civil judgments against you or any dependants. The UKVI will double check this information with other relevant agencies. For this reason, you must answer these questions as accurately as possible.
- Photographs and personal documents (Sections 10 – 12). You must also include pictures and valid travel documents of your dependants. Photographs must follow the UKVI guidelines and have your full name written on their back.
- Consent form and declaration from your partner (Sections 14 – 15). Your partner also needs to provide evidence of his or her residency status.
- Final Checklist. In this section, you should list all the documentation you are submitting along with your application. Do not forget that your documents must be originals. In the case of photocopy, you should attach a written statement explaining the reason why you do not have access to the originals.
When to submit your Set M Form for Indefinite Leave to Remain
ILR applications are time sensitive, meaning you must submit your request before your current leave expires. However, you must not file your Set (M) Form more than 28 days before your current immigration status ends.
When you submit your Indefinite Leave to Remain form, both you and your dependants must already be present in the UK.
As a part of your ILR application process, you will be summoned to your local post office to collect your biometric data. If you are under 18, your parents or legal guardian must accompany you.
What are the fees for filling out the set (M) Form?
If you are a single applicant submitting your Set M Form for Indefinite Leave to Remain, there is a fee of £2,389 for standard applications. You can also present your ILR form in person at a Premium Service Centre. This process is shorter but requires additional service fees.
If you are applying with your dependants, the ILR fee increases by £2,2389 for each child you are applying for.
You can pay your ILR fees by credit or debit cards, cheques or postal orders. If you are paying by card, you must include your correct payment details in the dedicated page of your Set (M) Form.
It is important to note that the Home Office will consider your application only when your payment is cleared. If your Set M Form contains errors, your fee will be refunded less an administration fee of £25 for each person included in your application.
Set M guidance: common pitfalls and mistakes
Completing your Set M Form for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK may be complicated. There are several sections, and you must fill in all the relevant information about yourself and your dependants.
An incomplete Indefinite Leave to Remain form may result in your application to be rejected. However, there are some common mistakes that you can easily avoid by reviewing the following Set M Form checklist:
- In your ILR form, you should list all the reasons for your intention to settle in the UK. To support your application, you should produce written evidence of your prospects in the country;
- It is mandatory to provide honest information about your personal history in section 9 of the form. If you do not complete this part, your application will not be processed. Making a false statement is also an offence that can result in your arrest;
- You must send the correct fee to cover also your dependants’ application;
- If you are applying for your children under the age of 18, you must provide their birth certificate or other evidence of your kinship;
- If you are under the age of 18, your parents or legal guardians must sign your Set M Form.
How IAS can help
When you submit your Set M Form, you do not want to make any mistakes. If you fail to complete one of its sections or if documents are missing, your application will be refused. You may also lose your application fee with a further fee of £25 for administrative services.
For this reason, it is always recommended to have your legal adviser check your Set (M) Form before you submit it. At IAS, our immigration lawyers are ready to provide their best guidance to let you and your beloved ones settle in the UK. We can assess your ILR eligibility and help you complete your Set M application form.