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Version 04/2007


If you are planning to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom (UK) in a category for which
you must use form SET(O), please read these guidance notes before making your application.
Our telephone services


Tel: 0870 606 7766 Tel: 0870 241 0645

Monday to Thursday: 9.00 - 4.45 Monday to Thursday: 9.00 - 4.45

Friday: 9.00 - 4.30 Friday: 9.00 - 4.30

For general information and appointments at our For application forms only
public enquiry offices

Our Public Enquiry Offices (for premium service applications)


Public Enquiry Office Public Enquiry Office Public Enquiry Office Public Enquiry Office
Lunar House Dominion Court Festival Court Reliance House
40 Wellesley Road 41 Station Road 200 Brand Street 20 Water Street
Croydon Solihull Govan Liverpool
CR9 2BY Birmingham Glasgow G51 1DH L2 8XU
B91 3RT
Monday to Thursday:
Monday to Friday: Monday to Friday: 8.30 - 4.30 Monday to Friday:
8.00 - 4.00 9.00 - 4.00 Friday: 8.30 - 4.00 8.30 - 4.00
Tel: 0870 606 7766 Tel: 0870 606 7766 Tel: 0870 606 7766 Tel: 0870 606 7766
(appointments only) (appointments only) (appointments only) (appointments only)

Our website address

Guidance Notes
1 FOR WHICH APPLICATIONS MUST YOU USE FORM SET(O)? Please note that "employment not requiring a work permit" does not
include employment as a sole representative. Applications for indef-
This form must be used if you are applying for indefinite leave to inite leave to remain for that purpose must be made on form BUS.
remain in any of the following categories:
The "other purposes/reasons" category does not include asylum.
Work permit holder
Employment not requiring a work permit Applications for indefinite leave to remain as a victim of domestic vio-
Writer, composer or artist lence must be made on form SET(DV).
UK ancestry
Highly skilled migrant If you have been granted indefinite leave to enter the UK from over-
Ex-HM Forces seas, your passport would have been endorsed with a visa bearing the
Long residence in the UK words “indefinite leave to enter”. The indefinite leave to enter visa will
Bereaved partner also have a validity date, which will be shown on the top line. This
Other purposes/reasons not covered by other application forms validity date is not a restriction on the time that you may remain in
the UK but refers to the duration for which the visa (entry clearance)
You and any dependants included in the application must be in the UK is valid for your initial entry into the UK. Once this indefinite leave to
to apply. enter has been activated by entering the UK through immigration
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control, it would have been endorsed with an immigration officer’s If your dependants do apply separately at the same time as you, it is
date stamp. At this point you would have been granted indefinite important in postal applications to make it clear in covering letters
leave to enter and this validity date will no longer have any relevance. that their applications are linked to your long residence application.
In this situation it will not be necessary to apply for indefinite leave to
remain in the UK. If you need further advice about the dependants of someone applying
in the long residence category, you may telephone 0870 606 7766.
The above in only relevant to those granted indefinite leave to enter
the UK. Where a period of limited leave to remain has been granted 4 THE FEE
from overseas this validity date will signify the duration of leave being
granted. With the exception of the exemptions specified at the end of this part
of the guidance notes, you have to pay to apply on form SET(O). The
2 QUALIFYING FOR AN EXTENSION OF STAY IN THESE specified fees for applications are £750 for postal applications or
£950 for the premium service at one of our Public Enquiry Offices. If
you do not pay the specified fee, the application will be invalid and
will be returned to you.
To qualify for indefinite leave to remain in the categories forwhich you
must use form SET(O), you must meet the requirements set out in the There is only one fee for each application form. You may include your
following parts of the Immigration Rules: partner and/or children under the age of 18 in your application if they
Part 5 - work permit holder, highly skilled migrant, employment are applying for indefinite leave to remain as your dependants - but
not requiring a work permit, UK ancestry see part 3 about the long residence category. If dependants apply
separately, they must pay the specified fee.
Part 6 - writer, composer or artist
Part 7 - ex-HM Forces, long residence in the UK Children aged 18 or over cannot be included; they must each apply
individually and pay the specified fee, as must any children under 18
Part 8 - bereaved partner
if there is some reason preventing them from being included in your
The full Immigration Rules are on our website. You can also seek
information about the relevant rules by calling 0870 606 7766. We will not refund the fee if we refuse the application or if you with-
draw it.
Since 2 April 2007, with certain exceptions, applicants aged 18-64
must show that they have sufficient knowledge of the English lan- For information about methods of payment, please see the payment
guage and life in the UK in order to qualify for indefinite leave to details guidance on page 2 of the form.For more information about
remain. Anyone applying in the ex-HM Forces category (including their the current fees, please go to our website.
spouses) or in the bereaved spouse category is not subject to this
requirement. See pages 5 and 6 of these guidance notes for more Fee exemptions. The nationals of states which have ratified the
Council of Europe Social Charter (1961) or the Revised Social Charter
information about this.
(1996) are exempt from the requirement to pay the specified fee in
the work permit holder and highly skilled migrant categories. The
3 WHO CAN APPLY ON THIS FORM? countries concerned are Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan,
C roati a, Georgi a, Mol dova, the forme r Y ug os la v Re pub li c of
With the exceptions set out below, you and your partner, and/or chil- Macedonia, Turkey and Ukraine. Nationals of these states must pay
dren under 18 if they are applying as your dependants. the specified fee if applying in other categories.

Unless otherwise stated, the word “partner” in these guidance notes 5 WHEN TO APPLY
means a spouse, civil partner, unmarried or same sex partner.
You must apply before the end of your authorised stay in the UK.
Long residence in the UK The immigration rules for this category do There is a qualifying period to complete in most of the categories on
not allow for dependants. If you include any dependants in an appli- this form. That period runs from the date on which you were granted
cation in this particular category, their applications will be refused. leave to enter or remain in this capacity. Please do not apply more
Because of this, they should apply separately in their own right and than 28 days before completing that period. If you apply earlier than
pay the specified fee. that, your application may be refused. If that happens, we will not
refund the fee and you will have to pay again when reapplying.
Dependants may apply in the long residence category if they have
completed the qualifying period of 10 or 14 years. If you have a part- In the following categories, the qualifying period is 5 years: work per-
ner who does not qualify, they may apply for limited leave to remain mit holder; employment not requiring a work permit; writer, compos-
as the partner of a person present and settled in the UK on form er or artist; UK ancestry; and highly skilled migrant.
FLR(M), in which case they may include any children under 18 as their
dependants. The qualifying period in the ex-HM Forces category is 4 years.

Partners may also choose to apply on form FLR(M) even if they do In the long residence category, you must complete at least 10
qualify in the long residence category, as this option allows children years.
under 18 to be included in their application and the overall cost in
terms of fees may be less. There is no qualifying period if you are applying as a bereaved part-
n e r.
If your only dependants are children and they do not qualify under the
long residence rules, they may apply for indefinite leave to remain as 6 MAKING SURE YOUR APPLICATION IS VALID AND
children of a person present and settled in the UK on form SET(F). COMPLETE
Each child would have to apply and pay separately. Any child over 18
wanting to apply as your dependant would also have to apply and pay We will return your application if it is invalid. This will delay your case
separately on SET(F).
and could result in the loss of appeal rights if your authorised stay has
run out by the time you make a valid application.

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For your application to be valid, you must The photographs should be in colour, taken recently (within the last
month), and approximately 45 millimetres high and 35 millimetres
pay the specified fee (unless you are exempt) wide, the size of a passport photo.
make it on the current version of form SET(O)
Each photograph must show the individual’s full face clearly against
provide all the photographs of yourself and any dependants included a light background. Sunglasses are not acceptable. Nor is any head
in the application as specified in the form
covering unless this has to be worn for religious or cultural reasons.
provide all documents specified in the form But if the covering conceals the face, this will not be acceptable.
complete all sections of the form as required
If the application(s) is/are successful, the photographs provided will
sign and date the declaration in the form. be reproduced in the UK Residence Permit(s) in your passport or trav-
el document and those of any dependants included in the application.
Please note the following guidance and information when you com-
plete the form. Documents provided with the application must be originals.

Use a black pen to complete the form - and capital letters for names, Exceptionally, a certified copy may be acceptable. The copy must be
addresses and similar details. certified by the body or authority which issued the original (for exam-
ple, a copy of a savings book certified by the building society or bank),
Complete all sections as directed in section 3, including the Personal or by a notary. The reasons for providing a certified copy rather than
History section. the original document must be explained in a covering letter.

Payment details Follow the guidance provided on page 2 of the form Generally speaking, it is unlikely that we will be able to grant your
when completing the payment details if you are paying the fee. application without seeing the original documents.

Section 1 This is where you give your own details. Leave a space If you are applying on the basis of UK ancestry, it would be helpful if
between each name or part of the address(es) required in this section you could include with your application your full birth certificate stat-
(do the same where names and addresses are required in other sec- ing your parents’ names as well as full birth certificates for your par-
tions). ents and your grandparent born in the UK and Islands and, where nec-
essary to establish the relationship, marriage and/or adoption
Sections 1 and 2 It’s essential that you provide the photographs of papers.
yourself and any dependants included in the application. If you don’t,
the application will be invalid. Use one staple or paper clip in each 10 APPLYING BY POST - THE ADDRESS
person’s case to attach them within the spaces provided. Do not use
glue or any other sticky adhesive. See part 8 below for more guidance If you are applying by post, the address to which you must send an
on photographs. application on form SET(O) is:

If there is any difference between the personal details given in these Border and Immigration Agency
sections and those contained in your and/or your dependant(s) pass- Leave to Remain - SET(O)
port(s) or travel document(s), we will always use those given in the PO Box 495
passport(s) or travel document(s) when granting leave to remain.
DH99 1WR

All sections If you are at present unable to provide any of the

Posting it to any other address will delay it. This address is only to be
information or details requested in these sections, please explain the used when sending your application. Please use the address given in
reasons in a letter with the application form. If you need help with any part 13 for any other correspondence about your application.
of the questions, you can seek advice by telephoning 0870 606
7766. If you use Recorded or Special Delivery, this will help us to record the
receipt of your application. Please make sure that you keep the
Section 8 This section lists the documents and photographs which Recorded or Special Delivery number.
you have to provide. If you can’t provide any of the documents speci-
fied in the application form, please explain why in a letter with the We will return your passport(s) and other documents by Recorded
form and say when you will be able to provide them. See part 9 for Delivery. If you would like them to be returned by Special Delivery, you
must provide a prepaid Special Delivery envelope big enough for the
more guidance on documents.
documents to be returned.
Ensure that your passport or other travel document and those of any 11 APPLYING IN PERSON
dependants included in the application are signed as required.
We offer a same-day service to people who apply in person at our
Section 9 Sign and date the declaration. If you don’t, the application Public Enquiry Offices (PEOs). The premium rate of £950 has to be
will be invalid. paid for this service, which is available only for applications that are
straightforward and do not require further enquiries.
Appointments. To apply in person, you must make an appointment in
You must provide the following photographs: advance with one of the PEOs. Make an appointment only when you
have completed the correct form, and have all the documents and
Two identical passport-size photographs of yourself with your name photographs.
written on the back of each photograph.

Two identical passport-size photographs of any dependants included If you attend a PEO without making a prior appointment, your appli-
in the application with their names written on the back of each pho- cation will not be accepted there. PEO appointments are limited to a
tograph. certain number each day. If you cannot book one before your

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authorised stay in the UK is due to run out, you should make your 15 OTHER TELEPHONE ENQUIRIES
application by post, otherwise you may be here unlawfully.
For enquiries other than obtaining an application form call 0870 606
If you are required to take the Life in the UK test you should leave at 7766.
least a week between passing this test and attending PEO for your
appointment. If you attend sooner than that, we may not be able to to We also have the following freephone textphone number: 0800 38 98
complete your application on the same day. If your authorised stay is 28 9.
due to end before you can make such an appointment, you are
advised to apply by post. 16 CHOOSING AN IMMIGRATION ADVISER

The addresses, telephone number and current opening times of the If you engage an immigration adviser, take care in choosing one. The
PEOs are given on the front page of these guidance notes. Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) regulates
immigration advisers. The OISC website at contains
For up-to-date information about PEO opening times and services a list of authorised advisers. It also has links to websites for solici-
please check their pages on our website or phone their number. tors, barristers and legal executives. If you have a complaint about an
immigration adviser or need other information, the OISC contact
12 DECISION TIMES details are:

Our current published service standards for deciding charged applica- Office of the Immigration Services Commisioner
tions are: 5th Floor,
Counting House
Applications made by post: decide 70% of applications within 4 Tooley Street
weeks (20 working days) and 90% within 14 weeks (70 working London

Applications made in person: decide 98% within 24 hours. Telephone: 0845 000 0046

Applications which take longer to decide are those which are not Alternatively the Law Society, which regulates solicitors in England
straighforward and/or which require further enquires. These include and Wales, can help you find a solicitor. You can contact them on
applications by people who have remained here unlawfully after the 0870 606 6575 or visit their website at:
expiry of their leave.
As we can’t tell in advance how long it will take to decide particular
cases, our general advice to applicants is not to make any non-urgent If you need advice on how to make a complaint about our service,
travel arrangements until their passport(s) or travel document(s) are please call 0870 241 6523 or visit our website.
returned to them. You may complain in writing to:


PO Box 1384
If you need to contact us after you have applied please do so Croydon
as instructed below. CR9 3YJ

To send us more information about your application, write to follow- Or by email to:
ing address (not the one to which you posted your application):
Border and Immigration Agency
Initial Consideration Unit - SET(O) We will treat all information provided by you in confidence but may
Lunar House disclose it to other government departments, agencies, local authori-
40 Wellesley Road ties, the police, foreign governments and other bodies for immigra-
Croydon tion purposes or to enable them to perform their functions.
We may also use the information provided by you for training purpos-
and give the following details in your letter: es.
the applicant’s full name, date of birth and nationality
The information in the Payment Details page will be known to the pri-
any Recorded or Special Delivery number vate contractor engaged by the Home Office to process application
the date on which the application was posted or made in person
the Home Office reference number if you have one.

If you need your passport because you have to travel urgently and
unexpectedly, call 0870 606 7766 and provide the personal and
other details listed immediately above.

Your application will be treated as withdrawn if your passport is

returned for travel abroad before your application can be decided.


You can obtain applications forms from our Application Forms Unit on
0870 241 0645 or from our website.

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Knowledge of the English Language and Life in the UK

From 2 April 2007, with certain exceptions, people aged You will need to study the relevant edition of the hand
18 to 64 must show sufficient knowledge of the English book before taking the test. For tests taken on or after
language and life in the UK in order to qualify for indefi- 2 April 2007, the questions are based on the second
nite leave to remain. This change in the Immigration edition of the handbook. It is published on behalf of the
Rules has been introduced to ensure that migrants wish- Life in the United Kingdom Advisory Group by The
ing to settle here have an understanding of life in the UK Stationery Office (TSO) for £9.99. You can order it from
and the skills to allow them to integrate fully. or by telephoning 0870 243
0123 or faxing 0870 243 0129.

What do you have to do to show that you have sufficient The book is also available from branches of
knowledge of English and life in the UK? Waterstone’s, WH Smith and other large booksellers.

The test is taken on a computer. The Life in the UK test

There are two ways in which you can do this: website at has a section to
help with the practical skills needed to take the test,
If you are already at or above ESOL (English for including training in the use of a mouse and keyboard.
Speakers of other languages) Entry 3 standard of Staff at the test centres also specialise in supporting
English you may undertake a specially developed short learners new to computers.
test called the “Life in the UK Test”.
Or What if you don’t have a computer or access to the inter-
If you have not reached ESOL Entry 3 you will need to
gain an approved English for Speakers of Other
Languages (ESOL) qualification through attending an If you live in England you can contact UK online on 0800
ESOL course which includes citizenship materials at a 77 1234 for details of local centres providing computer
local college, or and internet access. In other parts of the UK, as well as
in England, you can contact your local library or Citizen’s
Two ESOL Units at Access Level under the Scottish Advice Bureau for information on free or low cost access
Credit and Qualifications Framework approved by the to computers and the internet.
Scottish Qualifications Authority..
Where can you take the test?
Does this requirement apply to everyone?

It does not apply to anyone under the age of 18 or aged At one of over 100 Life in the UK test centres spread
65 or over at the time the application is made. around the UK. To find your nearest centre go to the
Find a test centre link on the Life in the UK test website
Applicants who have significant physical and/or mental at or call their helpline on
health condition(s) or incapacity may be exempt if their 0800 0154245.
condition would prevent them from studying for or taking
the knowledge of life test, or from studying for an ESOL
qualification. Exemption on these grounds will only be Booking the test
given in exceptional cases.

If your partner is a permanent member of HM Diplomatic To book the test, contact a test centre during opening
Service, or a comparable UK-based staff member of the hours by telephone or in person. If you have a disability,
British Council on a tour of duty abroad, or a staff mem- the test centre can provide the test in a format to meet
ber of the Department for International Development, a your particular needs. Tell the centre about any such
person designated by the Secretary of State may certify needs when you book the test - and also about any med-
personally and in writing that you have sufficient knowl- ical condition in case it affects the amount of time you
edge of life in the UK and of the English language for the need for the test.
purpose of settlement. This person will normally be the
head of the post where your spouse/partner is based.
The letter confirming this must be signed personally and Is there a charge for the test?
endorsed with an official stamp. The original letter
should be submitted, not a copy.
Yes. The current charge, which is under review, is £34. It
has to be paid before you take the test. The Find a test
What is the Life in the UK test? centre page mentioned above gives information on the
methods of payment accepted by individual test centres.

The test consists of questions based on information in

the handbook Life in the United Kingdom: A Journey to Taking the test
Citizenship. The standard of English to pass the test is
ESOL Entry 3 level or above. If you are not sure whether
your English is good enough to take the test, you can At the test centre you will be asked to confirm your iden-
work through the tutorial on the Life in the UK Test web- tity by producing one of the following:
site at to help you decide.
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your passport or a Home Office travel document How long will the ESOL course take?
a UK photocard driving licence (full or provisional)
This may vary according to the particular college and
an Immigration Status Document endorsed with a UK course, as well as the ability of the individual. You should
residence permit bearing a photo of the holder. ask the college at which you are planning to take the
course about this.
You will also be asked for your post code, so you should
take a letter or other document containing it.
What if you can’t pass the Life in the UK test or gain an
ESOL qualification before the end of your leave to enter
The test result or remain in the UK?

You will be told the result of the test at the test centre on In this situation you should apply for an extension of stay
the day. If you pass, you will be given a pass notification in order to give yourself time to gain the relevant qualifi-
letter, which you must include with your application for cation. You should do this on form FLR(O) for most cate-
indefinite leave to remain. The test result will also be gories on this form, FLR(IED) in the work permit holder
sent to us. category (your employer may also need to apply for your
work permit to be extended) and FLR(HSMP) in the high-
ly skilled migrant category. You will need to include a let-
Applying in PEO ter explaining why you are doing so and giving an indica-
tion of when you expect to take the test or gain the ESOL
If you wish to make your application in PEO, you should
leave at least a week between passing the test and Provided you satisfy the requirements of the immigra-
attending for your appointment. For more details see tion rules for the category in which you are applying, and
part 11 of the guidance notes. you do not make any false representations or fail to dis-
close any material fact, you will be granted an appropri-
ate extension of stay for the category concerned.
What if you fail the test?
If you apply for indefinite leave to remain before you
have been able to obtain the relevant qualification, but
If you fail the test, you can retake it any number of times. you satisfy all other requirements for the category in
You will have to pay the current fee every time you take which you are applying, your application will be consid-
it. Since the questions are drawn randomly from a large ered under the rules for an extension of stay. This will
number, they will be different every time you take the apply for a transitional period until 31 January 2008.
test. From 1 February 2008 if you submit an indefinite leave
to remain application without the necessary knowledge
of life and language evidence your application may be
English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses refused. You should note that we do not refund fees
with citizenship material where applications are refused.

If your English is not good enough to take the Life in the What about dependants?
UK test, you will need to show that you have successful-
ly progressed from one ESOL level to the next on an
ESOL course with citizenship materials. Such courses If they are 18 - 64 and don’t qualify to be exempted, any-
are available at many further education, adult and com- one included in an application as a dependant must also
munity colleges across the UK. pass the Life in the UK test or obtain a relevant ESOL
with citizenship materials qualification. But they will only
be granted indefinite leave to remain as your dependant
Will you have to pay for ESOL courses? if your application is granted. If your application is grant-
ed but your partner has not yet been able to obtain the
relevant pass or qualification, their application will be
ESOL courses at publicly funded further education col- refused. If they meet all other requirements of the rele-
leges have been free for many people but this is incon- vant rules, they will be granted an appropriate extension
sistent with of stay to allow them time to pass the test or gain the
other areas of further education. The Department for accredited qualification.
Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) are introducing
changes in the academic year 2007/08 which will
require people in employment to contribute to the cost of Where can you get more information about these
the course. requirements?
The college at which you are proposing to take the
course will be able to give you more information. In addition to the sources already mentioned, you can
find more information in the Questions and Answers
pages on our website and you can call 0870 606 7766.

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