Settlement Checking Services

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

Our staff are registered and trained to check and send your application to the UK Border Agency. When you attend your appointment, a trained local authority officer will check that you have completed your SET(M) form correctly and paid the correct fee. They will then copy your valuable documents, return them to you, and ensure that your application is validly submitted.

Applicants utilising the settlement checking service when applying for Indefinite leave to remain are now able to retain their passport(s).

Please note that although you are able to retain your passport you should not make travel plans whilst your application is being considered, as this will result in an invalid application which will be rejected.

Your partner should ideally attend your appointment with you - if they are not able to attend, please supply a letter stating why they are unable to attend. Their passport or travel document will be checked, copied and returned to them.

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

Important changes to ESOL and life in the UK test requirements from 28 October 2013

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.

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 Home Office complete, avoiding any unnecessary delays
  • Valuable / important documents and your passport(s), marriage and birth certificates, will remain in your safekeeping

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

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 Home Office requirements
  • Make certified copies of passports, travel documents and supporting documents for enclosure with the application
  • Submit the checked and complete application to the Home Office via secure mail

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 contact the Nottingham Register Office on 0115 841 5554. This is a very busy line. If you have difficulties getting through you can e-mail us with a contact number and we will phone you back.

When can an applicant book an appointment with a local authority participating in the settlement checking service?

At any time, but applicants will not be able to attend an appointment any earlier than 28 days before the end of their two- year qualifying period.

Applicants should contact the local authority in sufficient time to book an appointment in order to submit their application before the end of their qualifying period.

At Nottingham Register Office, we will try to give you an appointment as soon as possible after you contact us. Our target is to give you an appointment within 5 days.

What should I bring to my appointment?

When you book an appointment, our advisors will provide you with information on what you must bring with you. A list of documentation required to support your SET(M) application can also be found in the SET(M) application form and guidance notes, available from the Home Office website.

In summary

Yourself and your partner should preferably attend the settlement checking service appointment together. If your partner is unable to attend for any reason (travel, work etc.), they will need to supply a letter for the Home Office stating that they support your application. If you are applying for 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 (the most recent available from the Home Office website)
  • Life in the UK test pass notification plus an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Speaking and Listening qualification at Entry Level 3 or higher, certain exemptions apply, so please check the Home Office website or Home Office publication "Guide SET M" for further details before proceeding with your application
  • All of the required 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) PLEASE NOTE: if you are planning to pay your Home Office fee(s) with a debit card, we strongly advise you to contact your bank to tell them that a large payment will be leaving your account - otherwise, your bank may stop the payment, as a fraud prevention measure, and this will result in your application being rejected and returned to you

Will the local authority give me advice about settlement?

Nottingham City Council will not be able to provide advice on settlement matters. If you require advice you can contact the Home Office Immigration Enquiries Helpline 0300 123 2241. Lines are open from 9am to 4:45pm Monday to Thursday and 9am to 4:30pm Friday (excluding Public holidays).

The Home Office website also offers settlement advice. Please click here to visit the UK Border Agency - Settlements website.

Will my application be dealt with more quickly?

The settlement checking service is not a priority or premium service although applications submitted through the service are quicker to process than postal applications. We also offer a checking service for nationality applications and the Home Office 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.

How do I know Nottingham 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 Home Office 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 Home Office and record the fact.

Do I have to pay for the checking service?

Yes you do.

The fee for the checking service provided by Nottingham Register Office is:

£110 (including VAT) per application, plus a £5 fee for any dependents.
The full fee must be paid at the time of booking your appointment. It is non-refundable.

If you need to rearrange an appointment we require 2 days notice.

The SCS checking fee will be non-refundable in the event that your application cannot be submitted to the Home Office.

The fees for the settlement checking service reflect the cost of providing the service. The settlement checking service fee is charged in addition to the SET (M) application fee charged by the Home Office.


We always welcome feedback and suggestions to improve the quality of our service. If you would like to give us feedback about this service, or make a complaint please:

Alternatively, you may if you wish write directly to:

Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner
5th Floor
21 Bloomsbury Street

Contact Us

Nottingham Register Office The Council House Old Market Square Nottingham NG1 2DT office.register@nottinghamcity.gov.uk
Tel: 0115 841 5554

Get our latest updates delivered to your inbox.

* Sign up for Job Alerts, What's On, Latest News and more...