What is the settlement checking service?
The settlement checking service is an optional service which is available for a fee to applicants using the SET (M) application form, at a local authority register office.
The settlement checking service is a partnership between UK Visas and Immigration and local authorities.
You can make applications for settlement at any local authority that offers the settlement checking service, not just the one where you live.
The service is available by appointment only. At Merton Council’s Register Office we will offer appointments Monday to Friday
from December 2015.
A trained local authority officer will:
- check you have completed your SET(M) form correctly in line with the UK Visas and Immigration and Agency guidelines
- check, copy, certify and return all supporting documentation
- send your completed application to The Home Office by registered post
The benefits of having applications checked for completeness and accuracy can lead to a reduction of delays. In addition, valuable documents such as passports and the majority of other important documentation can be retained by the applicant.
The settlement checking service is not however, a fast track service. The Register Office in Merton Council will not act as agents for the applicant and is unable to offer any advice on nationality, or any other advice on other matters such as visas, immigration or asylum.
Who can use the settlement checking service?
You can only use the settlement checking service if you are applying on form SET (M) for settlement in the UK as the husband, wife, civil partner or unmarried/same-sex partner of a British citizen or someone who is settled here.
You cannot use the settlement checking service or apply using a SET (M) form if you are a European Economic Area (EEA) National. You can find further advice about how to apply for residence on the UK Visas and Immigration website or if you need further information contact EEA Residency Enquiries on 0300 123 2253.
How to Apply for Settlement via SET (M)
- Application forms are available from the Home Office website. Please ensure you obtain the correct application (please be sure this is the most up to date) form and supporting guidance notes.
- Complete the application form in accordance with the guidance.
- Prepare all supporting documents required to accompany the application. Please note that these documents
must not be copies of the originals. If you are require guidance on completing any part of your application or acquiring supporting documentation that is not available in the guidance notes you should contact the Immigration Enquiry Bureau on 0300 123 2241 in advance of your appointment.
- Ensure that you have the funds available to pay the Home Office fee for settlement.
- Book your appointment with Merton Register Office for a Settlement Checking Service. A non-refundable appointment fee is required at the time of booking to secure your appointment. Appointments will be offered during office hours, Monday to Friday.
- Attend the appointment with all application and information requirements. The Settlement Checking Service is located in Morden Park House, London Road, Morden, SM4 5QU.
- All applications will be sent the same day (where possible) as your appointment using the special delivery service.
- Applications will be received at the Home Office the next working day whenever possible.
- Once an application arrives at the Home Office they are assessed by an allocated caseworker. The time taken for the Home Office to assess each application varies according to individual circumstances and other factors, including the number of applications under consideration at a particular time. Average waiting time can be found on the Home Office web site.
When to apply:
You can apply no earlier than 28 days before you have been in the UK with your visa for two years.
Depending where your visa was issued this can be calculated by examination of:
- an entry clearance visa (issued abroad) the two year probationary period starts from the date your visa was stamped, by the Immigration Officer, when you entered the UK.
- a residence permit or a biometric residence permit the two year probationary period starts from when you were granted two years leave as a spouse or partner
Fees and booking policy
The fee for the checking service is currently:
|| Weekdays || Weekends |
| Adult || £100.00 || £110.00 |
| Child || £30.00 || £40.00 |
Full payment needs to be made at the time the appointment is booked.
Appointments can only be rescheduled once and is subject to 48 hours’ notice. No Cancellations or Refunds once appointments have been booked.
Applications and all supporting documentation that are incomplete, incorrect or insufficient will be returned to the applicant during the appointment. Should you wish to book another Settlement Checking Service appointment you will be required to pay the non-refundable appointment fee for the additional appointment.
Merton Registration Service will not see applicants with less than 7 days remaining on their visa on the day of their appointment. If you attend and have less than 7 days on your visa you will be turned away and no refund will be given.
Using the settlement checking service cannot guarantee that your application will be successful. The service provided by the Merton Register Office settlement checking is primarily to check that the application is completed correctly; we are neither qualified nor permitted to provide any indication of whether any application will be successful. The success of the application is ultimately determined by trained Home Office settlement caseworkers. Notwithstanding the aforementioned, using the service increases the likelihood of making an application that can be completed without further enquiry. Applications of this type tend to be dealt with more quickly by the Home Office than those requiring requests for further evidence from the applicant.
For a quick decision
If you need a quick decision by the Home Office please consider using the Public Enquiry Office. An applicant may decide to apply in person at a UK Visas and Immigration Public Enquiry Office (PEO) and would pay for a premium service. The settlement checking service is available as part of the premium application route. Merton Settlement Checking Service will check the application form is complete, correct supporting documents have been provided.
Complaints about Immigration Advice
The settlement checking service at the Merton Register Office is registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner, an independent body established by Parliament to regulate organisations offering immigration services. Any complaints relating to the local authority service should be directed to the Office of the Immigration Service Commissioner
Monday to Friday 9.00am - 4.30pm, except for the third Thursday of every month when the office closes at 12.30pm.
The office will be closing at 2.00pm on Thursday 1st March 2018
Saturday and Sunday some services are available by appointment only.
Merton Register Office
Morden Park House
Map of Merton Register Office
Telephone: 020 8274 5777
Fax: 020 8648 0433