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The form SET(O) is the most common form used to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. Applying for ILR is a long and complex process. You will need to meet the strict residency and good character requirements and show that you still fulfil the expectations of your current visa category.
The form is for those currently in the UK as a worker under the Points-Based System (PBS) or on an Ancestry Visa when eligible. You can also use this form if you are applying via the long residence (10-year) route or as a bereaved partner.
An application using the SET (O) form will cost £2389 for one applicant, increasing with each dependant. This is a non-refundable amount so seeking the advice of a highly-qualified immigration adviser is recommended before you apply.
At IAS, we want our clients to be fully prepared for the process of applying to the Home Office, as it can be incredibly stressful and time-consuming. We’ve produced this step-by-step guide to this SET (O) ILR application form so your application has the best chance of success.
Section 1 – Applicant’s details
In section 1 you will be expected to give all your personal details. This will include your name, date of birth, place of birth and UK address. It is vital that you complete this section correctly, as one minor mistake or discrepancy could result in a rejection.
If your UK address changes while your application is being processed, you must let the Home Office know as soon as possible, as it is likely your result will be sent to you once a decision is made.
Section 2 – Dependants who are also applying
This section is not required for those applying alone. For those applying with their children or partners, this section will include similar details on their nationality and relationship to you.
Section 3 – Which category?
This section requires you to state what your current leave to remain is based on. Section A includes Tier 1 high-value migrants, representatives of overseas businesses and retired persons of independent means.
Section B is for Tier 2 migrants, Ancestry Visa holders, bereaved partners, Tier 1 and 2 dependants and those on the 10-year long residence route.
For those on the 10-year route, there is space to explain why you are applying for ILR and what your latest reason for leave is. You will also be expected to provide a letter explaining in more detail why you’re applying for ILR.
Section 4 – Knowledge of language and life in the UK
For this section, the Home Office want to know that you and your partner (if relevant) have completed the Life in the UK test. You will also have to give details about the qualification you hold which meets the English Language requirement.
This can include a certificate of at least level B1 from the Secure English Language Test list or an academic qualification taught in English.
You will not need to have one of these if you are from a majority English-speaking country but will need to indicate this on the form.
Section 5 – Your home and finances
Section 5 is not required for those applying as bereaved partners.
For other applicants, you will need to give more information about your home in the UK and give details about your work and salary.
You will also have to indicate if you receive any public funds in this section.
Section 5.6 must be fully completed by Tier 2 holders. This section is to provide more information about your job in the UK and whether you meet the minimum income threshold. You can also indicate here if you have other alternative income sources if this helps you to meet the threshold.
Section 6 – Immigration history
This section must include information on when you first came to the UK based on the period of stay relating to this application. For example, if you are applying after five years on a Tier 2 Visa, the date will be the date you first entered as a Tier 2 migrant.
You will then need to record any time you have spent outside the UK during your time as a migrant, including reasons for absence for each time period. This can include absences for work-related reasons if they are supported by your employer. You will need to include this information for all dependents applying with you.
This section also requires details of your current visa, such as when your latest period of leave expires. If this leave has already expired, you will need to provide detailed reasons for why your application was not submitted in time.
Section 7 – Personal history
Whether you have been convicted of any crimes or not, completion of section 7 is mandatory. Here, you must provide information on any criminal convictions in the UK or any other country. If you have no convictions, you must make sure you answer ‘No’ wherever required.
The next part of Section 7 asks how long you have lived in the UK and what cultural ties (if any) you may have to your home country, any country whose nationality you hold, or a country you have lived in for more than five years. This can include family, friends or other responsibilities.
Section 8 – Photographs
The application for ILR requires you to submit two passport-sized photos with your full name on the back.
Section 9 – High-value migrants and overseas representatives
For those applying as Tier 1 migrants, overseas business representatives or retired persons of independent means, Section 9 is required to prove that you still meet the requirements of your initial visa. You will also need to show that you have fulfilled the expectations of your visa during your time in the UK.
For Tier 1 Entrepreneurs, this can include generating at least two full-time jobs for UK citizens and for Tier 1 Investors, this can include investing the full £2 million in the UK economy within the first three months of your leave.
Section 10 – Biometric Residence Permit
If you previously had to submit your biometric information with an application to UKVI, you will need to include the information about this permit. If you have not previously held a BRP, you will need to give details on whether you have ever had your fingerprint recorded as part of a previous immigration application.
Section 11 – Passport/travel document
You can apply for ILR using your current passport, travel document or national identity card. You will need to give details on this document, such as its issue date, expiry date and country of issue.
If you have no document, details of why and what other relevant evidence you will be including must be provided. This is also relevant if you or your dependants’ travel documents are elsewhere in the Home Office.
Section 12 – Documents
This section includes tick boxes for all the documents you will be including for each requirement. You must ensure that each requirement relevant to your application route is evidenced before you can submit your application.
Section 13 – Consent for the Home Office to request verification checks
You must consent for the Home Office to check whether the documents you have provided are correct, accurate and legitimate.
Section 14 – Declaration
The declaration involves you confirming that the information you have provided is accurate to the best of your knowledge and that you understand the processes that might be taken by the Home Office through your application.
The Home Office has included some final checks to make sure everything is finished and included and that each mandatory section is completed with the relevant information based on your current leave to remain.
The ILR application is over 70 pages long and requires an incredibly high level of evidence to ensure the Home Office is satisfied that you meet the requirements. Being granted ILR will mean you are no longer subject to visa regulations and will be able to stay in the UK for as long as you want.
For such an important application, make sure you have comprehensive, specialist advice from the expert team at IAS. Call us free on 0333 363 8577 or make an enquiry using our online contact form.