If you are considering settling in the UK and seeking the freedom to live and work without restrictions, you may be eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) through the SET M application form. The SET M form is specifically designed for individuals who are the partner, parent, or child of a British citizen or someone already settled in the UK. In this post we discuss the process of applying for ILR with the Set M application form.
ILR status provides a secure and lasting residency in the UK (unless you spend more than 2 years outside the UK, requiring a returning resident visa to re-enter). Furthermore, acquiring ILR opens the route to applying for British citizenship.
Who should use the Set M Form?
The SET M form is specifically required when applying for ILR based on family life. This means you must be the husband, wife, civil partner, partner, parent, or child of either a British citizen or a person settled in the UK.
The term partner refers to being married, in a civil partnership, or an unmarried same-sex partner of a British citizen or settled individual, with the intention of living together in the UK.
If you are a parent of a child who is present and settled on the 5-year route, you may also be eligible to apply for ILR provided you have completed at least 60 months on the 5-year route to settlement. You must have parental responsibility for the child, and the child must either be a British citizen or have settled status.
The SET M form is applicable only if you are present in the UK at the time of your ILR application and if your application is based on the 5-year route to settlement. To qualify for the 5-year route, you must have been granted 30 months of limited leave to remain and complete at least 60 months in the UK.
Keep in mind that it is mandatory for you and any children under the age of 18 to be present in the UK when applying for ILR through the SET M form. Ensuring you meet these requirements will be essential for a successful ILR application based on family life.
Eligibility for Indefinite Leave to Remain
The eligibility criteria for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) go beyond merely living in the UK for five years. In addition to the 5-year residence requirement, several other factors must be met:
- Genuine and Subsisting Relationship: If you are applying for ILR as a partner or spouse, you must be in a genuine and subsisting relationship with your sponsor
- Financial Requirements: You must demonstrate that you satisfy the income requirement
- English Language Requirement: You may need to take an English language test unless you are exempt. Exemptions are based on factors such as your age, qualifications, and nationality. For instance, if your country is on the Home Office’s list of majority English language-speaking countries or if you are a graduate with a degree taught in English, you may be exempt.
- Life in the UK Test: You must also pass the Life in the UK test, which assesses your knowledge of life in the UK.
You must demonstrate that you meet the minimum income requirement. In addition, you and your partner must usually have a combined income of £18,600.
You must prove you have extra money if you have children who are not British or Irish citizens, do not have pre-settled status, or are not permanently settled in the UK. If you need to provide extra money for your children, you’ll need to earn an extra £3,800 a year for your first child and £2,400 a year for each child you have after your first child.
You can use income from employment, non-employment income, or savings to demonstrate that you meet the financial requirement. To illustrate the level of financial requirement with cash savings alone; you or your partner must have held at least £34,600 for a minimum of six months.
English Language Requirement
You can prove your knowledge of the English language for ILR requirements by
- Having an English qualification at B1 CEFR level
- Having a degree taught or researched in English
- Being a national of an English-speaking country.
The requirement of English Language knowledge is exempt in cases when applicants are aged 65 or over or are unable to due to disabilities or are a citizen of countries they are exempt from.
When to apply using the Set M Form
When applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain using the SET M form, a crucial aspect is submitting your application before your current visa expires. Failure to do so may result in being classified as an overstayer by the Home Office, adversely affecting future immigration applications.
To avoid complications, you must time your ILR application carefully, as per the immigration rules, which state that you cannot apply more than 28 days before your current visa or entry clearance expires. Applying too early could lead to a refusal, and the application fee will not be refunded. Seeking professional guidance from experienced Immigration advisers can prove invaluable during the application process.
Moreover, it is essential that you and any dependants who are applying using the SET M form are present in the UK at the time of the application. To ensure accuracy and completeness, you may include dependents, such as children under the age of 18, in your application.
How to complete the Set M Application Form
To ensure your application is considered, it is vital to meet the Home Office requirements and have a valid submission.
You must ensure are using the correct Set M form that aligns with your specific circumstances. It is essential to complete all relevant sections truthfully and accurately. Additionally, ensure you have paid the correct Indefinite Leave to Remain application fee.
During your UKVCAS appointment, provide your biometric information as required. Finally, include all necessary supporting documents, such as identification and proof of eligibility (e.g., English language proficiency). These documents should be scanned or uploaded online to support your application effectively.
Set M supporting documents
It’s important to note that all supporting documents must be presented in either English or Welsh. If the documents are in any other language, they must be translated by an individual who is qualified and approved by the Home Office. Failure to submit certified translations could lead to the application being refused due to insufficient evidence.
Depending on your individual circumstances, some of the essential Set M Application supporting documents you need to provide include:
- Proof of identity
- Proof of your partner’s residency status
- Marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate
- Evidence of cohabitation and residence
- Financial evidence, such as bank statements or employment records
- Evidence of English language proficiency.
How much is the Set M application fee?
The Set M application fee per applicant is £2404. Failure to pay the correct fee can result in your application being rejected.
You do not have to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge when applying for ILR.
How long does it take to process the Set M form?
The standard processing time for ILR applications can take up to 6 months. Depending on the availability, you may pay extra to expedite the processing time to the next working day by opting for Priority Visa Services. This means you would incur an additional £800 to receive a decision by the next working day.
You are permitted to carry on working whilst the application is being considered. However, travelling outside the UK during this time may result in your application being treated as withdrawn.
How can we help
We regularly assist individuals and families with their SET M applications to gain Indefinite Leave to Remain. To discuss your application with an experienced immigration adviser, feel free to call our team on 0208 757 5751 or use our contact form.
Frequently asked questions
The Set M form is the official application form provided by the Home Office for individuals who wish to apply for UK indefinite leave to remain (ILR) as the partner or spouse of a British citizen or settled person.
You can make the application up to 28 days before the end of the required qualifying period.