Immigration and Nationality – Getting Help

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There are various options for getting assistance with an immigration or nationality application.
Immigration and Nationality - Getting Help

Settlement Checking Service

UK Visas and Immigration

This is a service provided by some local authorities.  They can check and send your SET (M) application to the Home Office.

They will make sure that your application is correctly completed and will copy and return your original documents on the same day.

Get all the information you need from immigration advice services in the UK.

Make an appointment

You make the appointment through  the local authority. Details of how to make the appointment can be found of the Local Authorities website.   Not all local authorities offer this service but you do not have to be resident in a local authorities area to use this service.    


The local authority checking service fee is on top of the  Home Office fee.

Documents you need to take to  your appointment

At your appointment you will need to take:

  • original passport
  • original documents
  • a printed copy of your application form
  • Additional information in support

Benefit of the service

Your application is checked to make sure it is fully completed. Your documents can be copied and certified  and sent to the Home Office enabling you to retain your original documents.

Using this service does not guarantee the success of your application.

Nationality Checking Service

This works in the same way as the settlement checking service but in relation to the  nationality applications.

Joint nationality and passport checking Service

Some local authorities offer a joint nationality and passport application service.    This involves the Home Office dealing the naturalisation part of your application and informing the  Home Office of the issue of the Certification of Naturalisation so the Passport Agency can issue a passport, usually with 21 days of the issue of the Certification of Naturalisation.

Home Office Premium Service

The Home Office says the following about the  Premium Service

“Go to a premium service centre to have someone look at your application on the same day if you’re applying to:

  • extend your visa
  • settle in the UK

You must be applying from within the UK to use this service.

Most applications are processed on the same day if you bring all the information needed to your appointment.

It might take longer to get a decision if extra checks are needed.


It costs £610 for each person to apply at a premium service centre. You also have to pay the standard application fee and the immigration health surcharge (if you need to pay it).

You do not have to pay the premium service fee if you’re applying for an European Economic Area (EEA) registration certificate or to work in the UK as a Croatian national.”


Immigration is a specialised area of law.   You are advised to find a firm that has specialism in this work.   The Law Society’s find a solicitor service is good starting point.  Contacting your local law centre or citizen’s advice bureau for a list of local solicitors is another option.  Searching the web will produce details of firms that may fit your requirements.

There is a separate post on this blog on instructing a solicitor.

You can find a solicitor via the  Solicitors Regulation Authority website.

Office Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) Advisers

The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) regulates immigration advisers .     Someone who is not a regulated immigration adviser or solicitor cannot give immigration advice. Please see the OISC website.

Advice Agencies

There are various specialist and generalist advice agencies who can assist.   If you feel able to deal with application yourself and have some queries or need some pointers an advice agency could be a possible option.


There are plenty of blogs and forums.  Most are free. There is the odd one that is a  paid for service.

By Amarit Ahluwalia

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