Settlement checking service

The settlement checking service helps you receive a decision on your visa more quickly, due to fewer applications being rejected or delayed due to incompleteness or missing documents. Our officers are registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) and have been fully trained by UK Border Agency.

The settlement checking service is a partnership between both:

  • the UK Border Agency and London Borough of Southwark
  • UK Visas and Immigration and the Barnet Register Office

Who can use the service

You can only use the settlement checking service if:

  • you're applying on form SET (M) for settlement in the UK as the husband, wife, civil partner, unmarried or same-sex partner of a British citizen or someone who is settled here.

You cannot use the settlement checking service if:

  • you're a European Economic Area (EEA) National

How the service works

As part of the service, we'll:

  • check and confirm that the application form is complete and all necessary supporting documents are included
  • check you've paid the correct application fee
  • alert you of any of missing or unacceptable documents and if you've provided documents that aren't required by the UK Border Agency
  • check, make certified copies and return your documents and your spouse or partner's passport or travel documents
  • check and retain your passport or travel documents; if there are dependants included in your application their passports or travel documents will also be retained (so that the UK Border Agency can insert a permit to certify any leave that's granted)
  • dispatch your documents to the UK Border Agency via secure mail
  • ensure your application arrives at the UK Border Agency complete (avoiding any unnecessary delays)


The service operates on an appointment only basis. To make an appointment, contact us on 020 7525 7270.

You should contact us with enough time to book an appointment before your current leave to remain expires. You can't attend an appointment more than 28 days before the end of your two year probationary period

What to bring to your appointment

When you call to book an appointment, we'll tell you what to bring. You can also find out by reading the SET (M) application form and guidance notes and on the UK Border Agency website.

Your spouse/partner should attend your appointment with you. If they're unable to attend with you, they must provide a letter supporting your application. If you have dependant children (under 18), they don't need to attend.

You must bring:

  • a completed SET (M) application form (either the form you have completed online and printed or the form you have printed first and then completed by hand)
    • online - you have to complete and pay for the application online and you must then print a copy; the copy of the form must then be taken with you to your appointment
    • printable - allows you to print a copy of the form and complete it by hand; you must supply your payment details so that the payment can be processed when the form is received by the UK Border Agency
  • Life in the UK test pass certificate and evidence that you meet the English Language requirement
  • any application made for settlement (indefinite leave to remain) after the 28 October 2013 is subject to a new language requirement; you'll need to satisfy yourself that you meet the requirement before making an application (further details can be found Home Office website or by calling 020 7525 7270)
  • the supporting documents requested in the SET (M) application form and guidance notes
  • if you completed the SET (M) application form online, you must bring confirmation that you've paid the UK Border Agency
  • if you completed the SET (M) application form by hand, you must complete your credit or debit card details on the form or bring a cheque or postal order
  • the Settlement Checking Service fee (must be paid separately from the application fee)

Using the settlement checking service before attending a Public Enquiry Office

Applicants can apply in person at a UK Border Agency Public Enquiry Office (PEO), but will pay for a premium service. The settlement checking service is available as part of the premium application route. We'll check that the application form is complete, that correct supporting documents have been provided and we can copy supporting documents (to take to the PEO).


  • £120 per individual application  
  • £190 for an individual with one or two minors
  • £50 for any additional minors

All fees must be paid by postal order or cheque (payable to London Borough of Southwark) or by credit/debit card.

Advice about settlement

We won't be able to provide advice on settlement matters under this service. If you require advice, contact the Immigration Enquiry Bureau on 0870 606 7766 (found out about call charges). Lines are open from 9am until 4.45pm Monday to Thursday and 9am until 4.30pm Friday (excluding public holidays). Settlement advice can also be found on the UK Border Agency website.

If you'd like immigration advice from Southwark Council, visit our immigration advice page.

If we're unable to resolve a problem or you don't want to make your complaint through us, you can make a complaint to the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).

Page last updated: 05 April 2018