Home Office application forms

This page on the SET(DV) application form reminded me that being eligible for leave to remain in the UK might only be the start of your problems (the message is set out on page 5 of the form… ).


If you are applying for leave under the Immigration Rules, you must complete your application form properly, or risk having your application returned to you as invalid. This could have serious consequences if your old leave expires after you submit your application. So what are the rules about forms and how can you make sure you stick to them?

Paragraphs A34 – 34D of the Immigration Rules are headed “Specified forms and procedures for applications or claims in connection with immigration”. Catchy. This is where you will find the rules about what form to use for your application and how to fill it in.

Paragraph A34 says that if a form is “specified” for a particular category of application then you must use that form. “Specified” means posted on the gov.uk website and forms will also say what applications they are specified for. For example, you can’t use a SET(O) form to apply for leave to remain as a partner. Form FLR(M) or FLR(FP) is “specified” for that purpose.

This can be confusing for people who are applying outside the Immigration Rules: if you don’t come within the categories on the Home Office website, how can they specify a form for you? Form FLR(O) still states that it is intended for all applications for which no form is specified. It is also intended for people who have discretionary leave granted on the basis of private and family life under the “old” discretionary leave system. However, FLR(FP) is the correct form for most applicants since 2012 outside the Rules who have claims based on private and family life in the UK but do not meet all the requirements of Appendix FM. So that’s all clear then.

You must ensure you pay the correct fee for your application. If you are using a paper application form you need to tick the fee you are paying on the “payment details” page of your form, and make sure you supply “means of payment” for your application. This could be card details or it could be a cheque or postal order. The key is that the Home Office must be able to use the details you provide to take payment of the fee. Your application risks being invalid if you provide the wrong card details or don’t have enough funds in your account to cover the fee.

If you see any part of the form marked as “mandatory” you must complete it. For example, do not forget to complete the application for a biometric residence document: this is is usually hidden in the middle of the form but must be completed and requires your signature. You must submit any documents and photographs that are described as mandatory: in particular this includes passport photos of the applicant and in some cases their partner and children.

So what if you do leave something out? Paragraph 34C confirms that the Home Office has the option to contact you to correct your mistake. For example, you could be asked for alternative payment details, or asked to complete blank parts of the form. You will have 10 working days in which to do this.

If you aren’t sure what form or application process you need to use for your immigration category, you can contact me.


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