Foreign nationals living in the United Kingdom on various immigration arrangements, including Family Route visas, are subject to time limits in line with their permission to live in the UK. This means that you and your children are subject to immigration control and do not possess the same rights and obligations as those with UK settled status or as British citizens. An important step toward living in the United Kingdom permanently is to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. Some applicants applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain do so using Form SET F.
Applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain with Form SET F is a crucial step in the immigration journey of your child or relative. You will need to take all necessary steps to ensure that their ILR application is approved, as their ability to live indefinitely in the United Kingdom with your family depends on its approval.
In this application guide, we outline the requirements to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the United Kingdom with Form SET F. It will explain the eligibility criteria, how to apply for ILR with Form SET F, and the application fees associated with this process. This article will also answer commonly asked questions by Indefinite Leave to Remain applicants using Form SET F and those lodging applications on their behalf.
What is Indefinite Leave to Remain?
Indefinite Leave to Remain – also known as ILR, settlement, and permanent residence – is immigration permission to live in the United Kingdom without time limits. ILR grants individuals the right to work, live, apply for benefits, and study in the United Kingdom. It also provides a path to British citizenship if your child or relative would like to become a dual national in the future.
For many people, having ILR is a crucial part of permanent immigration to the United Kingdom as it secures their immigration status for years to come. As the parent or relative of an individual on a Family Visa, obtaining Indefinite Leave to Remain for your loved one provides the legal assurance that they can continue living with your family in the United Kingdom indefinitely.
However, it is important to note that your relative’s Indefinite Leave to Remain can be revoked under certain circumstances. If they live outside the United Kingdom for more than 2 years at a time, their ILR status can be revoked by the Home Office. Their ILR status can also be revoked if they have been convicted of serious criminal offences or if they demonstrate significant national security risks. Therefore, many people with Indefinite Leave to Remain later seek to obtain British citizenship when they are eligible to do so. If other members of your family are British citizens, this is all the more important.
What is Form SET F?
SET F is the Home Office application form used for biological and adopted minor children of British citizens and settled persons in the United Kingdom. It is used for these individuals to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. If you are the parent or relative of a biological or adopted minor child, you should be certain to use Form SET F for their application, and not any of the other ILR application forms, such as Form SET O for various immigration categories ranging from work and business visas to ancestry visas, nor Form SET M for other Family Visa categories including the Partner and Parent routes. You should also use Form SET O for Indefinite Leave to Remain applications of Adult Dependent Relatives (ADR) brought to the United Kingdom to live under the care of family.
When is Form SET F used?
Form SET F is used for the online applications of biological minor children and adopted minor children. It is a unique form due to the type of information required about minor children and the human rights obligations owed to children by the Government under international law. Depending on the visa route you took to live in the United Kingdom, you will use a specific route to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. There are many different routes to eligibility for Indefinite Leave to Remain and different types of application forms depending on your specific route, so you will need to select the correct form.
If your child has lived in the United Kingdom on a Family Route, they may be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain with Form SET F if your child has a Family Visa AND your child has at least one parent who is a British citizen or has settled status in the UK. Alternatively, your child may be eligible if they are under the age of 18 and were born in the United Kingdom before at least one parent settled here OR your child was dependent on a relative’s visa who had refugee status or humanitarian protection status before they gained settled status in the UK.
Please note that parents can apply on behalf of their minor children. If your child is over the age of 18, they must submit their own application. If you are a parent submitting your own application for Indefinite Leave to Remain on a Family Visa, you may be able to include your children on your own application form via Form SET M. If your child is applying without any additional applicants in your family, they should use Form SET F. You will need to select the correct online application form as the first step in the application process.
Indefinite Leave to Remain requirements with Form SET F
Your child can apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain with Form SET F if they meet all requirements of paragraph 298 of the Immigration Rules. Your child must currently have Leave to Enter or Remain to be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain. There are different rules for biological and adoptive children. If your child is your biological child, they may be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain with Form SET F if one of the following applies:
- Your child has both parents settled and present in the United Kingdom
- Your child has one parent settled and present in the United Kingdom and their other parent is no longer alive
- Your child has one parent settled and present in the United Kingdom and this parent has sole parental responsibility for their upbringing, or your child generally lives with this parent and not the other parent
- Your child has one parent or other relative settled and present in the United Kingdom and there are compelling and serious considerations that make excluding this child from their right to family life unsuitable
If you adopted your child, they may be eligible for Indefinite Leave to Remain with Form SET F if all of the following apply:
- Your child is a minor under the age of 18
- At least one of your child’s adoptive parents is settled in the United Kingdom
- Your child was adopted from abroad and the adoption order entailed that your child did not automatically acquire British citizenship
If your child was granted a Family Visa whilst under the age of 18 but is now over the age of 18, they can also apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain with Form SET F. However, you cannot apply on behalf of them after the age of 18. Please note that additional eligibility criteria will apply to applicants over the age of 18.
For both biological and adoptive children, your child must also not be leading an independent life, be adequately accommodated by their parents without recourse to benefits, and they do not fall under the General Grounds for Refusal.
You will also need to demonstrate that your child meets the general eligibility criteria for Indefinite Leave to Remain in their Form SET F application and supporting evidence:
- Your child is not leading an independent life and is dependent on their parents. They are not married or in a civil partnership
- Your child is adequately accommodated by their parents without recourse to public funds or benefits and lives in the same household accommodation as their parents
- Your child has not been absent from the United Kingdom for more than 180 days within any given 12-month period
- Your child can demonstrate that their application adheres to the General Grounds for Refusal. If they have any criminal convictions or have broken the conditions of their immigration status whilst in the United Kingdom, you must disclose these on the Form SET F application form
- If your child is over the age of 18, they will also need to meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Your child has passed the Life in the UK Test – individuals who have significant physical or mental health conditions are exempt from this requirement
- Your child meets the English language requirement by demonstrating that they speak and listen at least at the Common European Framework of Languages (CEFR) B1 level – this can be demonstrated by taking an English language test at a certified test centre, being a national of a majority English speaking country, or by having a degree-level or higher qualification from a recognised English language university. Individuals who have significant physical or mental health conditions are exempt from this requirement
For specific eligibility requirements based on your family’s circumstances, please see the Home Office website or consult a specialist immigration solicitor.
How complete Form SET F
It is critical that you correctly fill out the Indefinite Leave to Remain application form. Before beginning the application, you will need to determine which of the ILR application forms is correct for your application. Once you have selected Form SET F, you should provide an email address and begin the online application form.
If your child is under the age of 18, you can fill out and submit Form SET F on their behalf. If your child is over the age of 18, they will need to fill out and submit Form SET F themselves.
First, you will need to enter all required personal details on the Form SET F application. You should pay close attention to ensure that your details are correct, including passport numbers, phone numbers, and home addresses. You will need to include details about your child’s family members, and particularly information regarding any family member(s) in the United Kingdom at this point. You will also need to correctly identify the immigration route your child is on.
Next, you will need to demonstrate that your child meets the requirements for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the United Kingdom on the Form SET F application. You will need to fill out sections related to your child’s knowledge of the English language and the Life in the UK Test, if required, information about your child’s accommodation and financial arrangements, details on your child’s immigration history, and personal history information such as criminal convictions, penalties, and cultural and family ties in your child’s home country. If you do not provide accurate information related to your child’s personal history, your child’s application can be rejected outright.
At the end of the application, you will be asked to provide details about your child’s current Leave to Remain in the United Kingdom, such as information about their Biometric Residence Permit and reasons for remaining in the UK indefinitely. You should include all reasons related to their family life and support network in the United Kingdom. You will then be asked to confirm all information, consent to provide the required supporting documents, and pay the relevant application fee. The online application component of Form SET F is now complete.
After paying the application fee, you will need to upload all supporting documentation on behalf of your child. Your child will also be required to either attend a biometrics enrolment appointment at a UK Visa and Citizen Application Services (UKVCAS) appointment centre or use the UK Immigration: ID Check application. If your child is under the age of 18, you will need to attend the biometrics appointment with them. Once your child has enrolled their biometric information, their Indefinite Leave to Remain application is officially and fully submitted to the Home Office for consideration.
Generally, you should receive a decision on your child’s Indefinite Leave to Remain application within 6 months if you opt for the standard processing service. If you pay for Priority or Super Priority, you will get a faster decision. If your child’s application is approved, you will receive the decision in an email. If your application is refused, you will receive the decision in a letter through the post.
Form SET F supporting documents
The specific supporting documents required for your child’s Indefinite Leave to Remain application will depend on their personal and family circumstances. However, you may need to provide the following types of documents:
- Your child’s current Biometric Residence Permit (BRP)
- Your child’s valid passport or Home Office Travel Document
- Your child’s birth certificate
- The passport(s) and BRP(s) of all family members
- Information about any absences from the United Kingdom
- National identity card
- Proof of passing the Life in the UK Test (if required)
- Proof of English language proficiency (if required)
- Information about current accommodation, such as tenancy agreements, mortgage statements, and Council Tax letters
- Bank statements
- Financial documents
- Marriage certificates of parents
- Information about any past divorces of parents
- Correspondence documents to your child’s accommodation, such as utility bills
- Police registration certificates
Documents provided must be in English, Welsh, or Scottish Gaelic. If your child’s documents are not in these three languages, you will need to provide official translations of each document as well as the original versions.
The specific documents required for your child’s personal and family circumstances will be outlined on their Document Checklist. This checklist is provided at the end of the online application form once you have paid the application fee. You will need to bring this Document Checklist to your child’s biometrics appointment if required to attend in person.
Form SET F application fee
As of 6 April 2022, the application fee for Indefinite Leave to Remain with Form SET F is £2,404 per person. All application fees are payable at the end of the online Form SET F application form. Your child’s Indefinite Leave to Remain application will not be officially submitted until you have paid the application fee. If you cannot afford the fees, you may be able to submit a Fee Waiver application before submitting your child’s Indefinite Leave to Remain application. If the Fee Waiver application is granted, you can submit your child’s Indefinite Leave to Remain application for free.
You may also be able to purchase expedited processing for your child’s Indefinite Leave to Remain application with Form SET F. It costs an extra £500 per person to get a faster decision through Priority Service, usually within five working days. It costs an extra £800 per person to get a faster decision through the Super Priority Service, usually within one working day.
When can I apply for British citizenship after being granted UK ILR?
Once your child’s Indefinite Leave to Remain application has been granted with Form SET F, you can register their British nationality after 12 months of having Indefinite Leave to Remain.
Set F FAQs
What is Indefinite Leave to Remain?
Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) lets you remain in the United Kingdom without a time limit on your stay. It also lets you live, work, study, and apply for benefits in the UK.
What is a Form SET F application?
Form SET F is a specific online form to lodge applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain on behalf of biological and adoptive children under the age of 18. You will need to choose the correct online form for your specific circumstances.
How do I find out if my child has settled status?
You must actively apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, also known as settled status. You will know if your child has Indefinite Leave to Remain by reading the ‘REMARKS’ section on their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). If your child does not have a BRP, you can request one from the Home Office.
Do I have to apply for settled status for my child?
You will need to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain, also known as settled status, for your child under the age of 18. You can contact an immigration solicitor for assistance.
How much are the application fees for Indefinite Leave to Remain?
The application fees for Indefinite Leave to Remain are £2,404 per person. You can submit a Fee Waiver application if you cannot afford the cost of the ILR application for your child.
The matters contained in this article are intended to be for general information purposes only. This article does not constitute legal advice, nor is it a complete or authoritative statement of the law, and should not be treated as such. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and no liability is accepted for any error or omission. Before acting on any of the information contained herein, expert legal advice should be sought.