What is the settlement checking service?

The settlement checking service is a partnership between the UK Border Agency, and Newcastle City Council.

The service provides you with the opportunity to have your documents and application form checked when applying for settlement in the UK on form SET(M).

Our staff are trained and registered to check and forward your application to the UK Border Agency. They will photocopy and certify your valuable documents so they remain in your safe keeping. Any passports or travel documents will be securely despatched with your application to the UK Border Agency by secure mail.

The settlement checking service will help you get your application correct first time and avoid unnecessary delays.

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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.

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Why should I use the service?

  • You will receive assurance that your application is completed correctly and that you have provided the correct supporting documents.
  • Your application will arrive at the UK Border Agency complete, avoiding any unnecessary delays.
  • Valuable important documents, such as your marriage certificate, will remain in your safekeeping.  All passports and travel documents will be despatched to the UK Border Agency via secure mail.

Our settlement checking service advisors are trained by the UK Border Agency and regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC). 

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How can the local authority help?

During a pre-booked appointment, a trained local authority officer will:

  • Check the application is complete and that it includes all the required supporting documents.
  • Check that the correct fee has been paid.
  • Inform the applicant of any unacceptable documents or documents over and above the UK Border Agency requirements.
  • Make certified copies of original supporting documents for enclosure with the application (allowing the applicant to retain the originals).
  • Submit original passports, travel documents and biometric residence permits to the UK Border Agency via secure mail along with the certified copies of supporting documents and the completed application.

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How do I use the settlement checking service?

The settlement checking service operates on an appointment only basis; you will not be seen without an appointment. To make your appointment, you should phone the Citizenship section on 0191 277 7227 or e-mail citizenship@newcastle.gov.uk

Your appointment will be at:

The Register Office
Civic Centre
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE1 8PS

When should I book my appointment?
You should contact the Citizenship section in sufficient time to book an appointment in order to submit your application 28 days before your existing leave expires. 

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What should I bring to my appointment?

When you telephone to book an appointment, our advisors will provide you with information on what you must bring with you. Information on the documentation required to support a SET(M) application can also be found in the SET(M) application form and guidance notes available on the UK Border Agency website.
 
In summary:

  • You and your partner must attend the settlement checking service appointment in person. If you have children under 18 years old, they do not have to be present.
  • You must bring the following documents with you:
    • Completed SET(M) application form.
    • KOL pass notification or ESOL certificate and college letter.
    • All the necessary documents as explained in the application form and guidance notes. 
  • Your payment details for the SET(M) application fee (payable to the Home Office).
  • The settlement checking service fee (this must be paid separately from the settlement application fee).

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Will the local authority give me advice about settlement?

Newcastle City Council will not be able to provide advice on settlement matters. If you require advice you can contact the Immigration Enquiry Bureau on 0870 606 7766. Lines are open from 9am-4.45pm Monday to Thursday and 9am-4.30pm Friday (excluding Public holidays).

The UK Border Agency website also offers settlement advice at:
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/settlement/

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Will my application be dealt with more quickly?

The settlement checking service is not a priority or premium service. However, we also offer a checking service for nationality applications and the UK Border Agency has found that applications received via our nationality checking service are generally quicker to process as fewer cases are rejected or delayed due to incompleteness or missing documents. It is anticipated that settlement checking service will have similar effects on case processing times for SET(M) applications.

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How do I know Newcastle City Council is competent to offer the checking service?

Our advisers are registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), an independent body established by Parliament, which regulates organisations offering services of this kind.

In providing the settlement checking service, our staff have been fully trained by UK Border Agency settlement experts and provided with a set of desk instructions which set out the precise extent of their duties.

If a client requires advice or services which are outside our remit, settlement checking service staff will refer that person to the UK Border Agency and record the fact.

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Do I have to pay for the checking service?

Yes. Please visit our register office fees page. The fees for the settlement checking service reflect the cost of providing the service and we make no profit from providing this service.

The settlement checking service fee is charged in addition to the SET(M) application fee charged by the UK Border Agency.

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Feedback

We always welcome feedback and suggestions to improve the quality of our service.

If you have a compliment, comment or complaint about the service, please let us know. There are three steps to do this.

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Step 1: Tell a member of staff immediately
It is always nice to know we are doing our job well and, if we are not, simple mistakes or misunderstandings can often be sorted out straight away. If the adviser cannot help you then speak to the service manager.

Step 2: Follow the Corporate Complaints procedure

Step 3: Complain directly to the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner

Alternatively, you may if you wish write directly to:
The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner
Complaints Section
5th Floor, Counting House
53 Tooley Street
London
SE1 2QN

Page last updated: 02 November, 2013