Care must be taken before submitting the form. Make sure you double-check your answers before submitting it. There is no need to rush.

If an application is refused, the fee is non-refundable, if it's withdrawn, the fee would be refunded, minus a small admin charge.

Most errors on the form can be easily rectified after submission, however, it is important to identify issues that can be a cause for concern.

Applications are assessed on the basis of whether an applicant meets the criteria

They are not decided on how well they answered the form's questions, this isn't an exam based on the answers as such, the form is just a means to collect information about the applicant.

It makes no difference to the application how you fill in the form, whether you use CAPS, separate with comas, slashes, dashes, etc.

In some cases, the form will expect that specific field to be filled in in a specific format, such as providing a date or a string in a certain format. Use whatever format the form accepts.

If your issues fall under the red and orange categories below, you need to post up on the forum in the first instance, before submitting the form, and you may need to take further legal advice.

If you already submitted the form and have issues in these categories, you may need to withdraw the application to avoid losing the entire fee.

Before making a decision to withdraw the application, you should post your issue on the forum.

VERY SERIOUS: Applications have been refused for these reasons:
  • Using the wrong document instead of a PR card, i.e. a registration certificate, residence card or residence permit.
  • Not waiting at least a year after being granted settled status, unless married to a British citizen.
  • Not mentioning a trip that produced a stamp on the applicant's passport.
  • Failing to disclose a conviction or order, such as a restraining or non molestation order.
  • Criminal convictions with non-custodial sentences in the last three years.
  • Convictions with custodial sentences over three years ago, depending on the length of the sentence and the seriousness of the offence.
  • Deliberately failing to disclose something that's material to the application, for example, a trip that would put the applicant over the absences limit.
  • Deliberately lying or misleading over something material to the application.

BE CAREFUL WITH THESE: Applications may be refused over the following, care must be taken:
  • Unpaid taxes that have not been sorted out with HMRC.
  • Liability orders for unpaid council tax where no arrangements have been made to pay it back.
  • Having a large number of traffic offences or other penalties that could put good character into doubt.
  • Having acquired a number of CCJs, especially if no attempts have been made to settle them.
  • Bankruptcy.
  • Exceeding the number of allowed absences, particularly in the last 12 months, unless the applicant meets the criteria for discretion.
  • Not satisfying the lawful residence requirement over the last 5 years, this is a developing situation.
  • From January 2021, applicants with settled status must use this to apply even if they have a PR card.

SECOND CHANCE: The applicant is usually given the opportunity to rectify the following, however, if the applicant fails to take the required action within the deadlines given, the application may be refused:
  • Not having been in the UK 3 or 5 years ago on the date the application is submitted - the applicant is usually contacted to ask them to resubmit the application on a different date.
  • Providing a degree or certificate that does not satisfy the language requirement - the applicant is required to sit the language test, but deadlines to do this can be tight.
  • Insufficient evidence of residence and/or lawful residence - the caseworker will contact the applicant asking for additional evidence.
  • Referees who do not meet the criteria - the applicant will be asked to provide an alternative referee.

EASILY RECTIFIED: The following errors and omissions can be rectified after submitting the application, usually by writing a note in the cover letter and/or uploading the relevant documents:
  • Wrong answers to questions regarding whether the applicant has permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain. As long as proof of ILR, such as settled status, is provided with the application, it doesn't matter if these questions were not answered properly on the form.
  • Errors and omissions with the list of trips. These can be rectified by providing a correct list and writing a note in the cover letter.
  • Wrong answers and errors on the form, in general, can be rectified/clarified in the cover letter. Applications are not refused over errors filling in the form, only when the applicant doesn't meet the criteria.
  • Mistakes with referees' details.

EASILY EXPLAINED: The following do not affect the application and can be easily explained in the cover letter if required:
  • Various spellings of names that include special characters, hyphens, umlauts, etc. not used in the English language.
  • Name discrepancies, such as documents in married/maiden name, with or without middle name, using first initial only, etc. as long as it's obvious that they refer to the same person.
  • Addresses: there is no requirement to provide proof of address, just list addresses for the last 5 years on the form. It's not crucial to have documents, for example, P60s, with the right addresses at the right times.
  • Documents in various names or different spellings of your name can be easily explained in the cover letter if required.
  • Date and place of entry. This is when you first came to the UK to stay, it's not crucial to get this right and this information can be provided to the best of your recollection.
  • Not having the exact dates. The form is very rigid and expects a day, month and year for everything, if you can't remember the exact date, an approximate date can be provided and a note written in the cover letter. This applies to employment, trips, penalties, fines, etc.
  • Not remembering details of old convictions, fines, penalties, etc. If these were a very long time ago, you may not know each and every detail. This can be easily explained in the cover letter.
  • Tax returns for self-employed people. These are usually done only once a year, for the previous tax year. The Home Office will be aware of this and you wouldn't be expected to file your tax return early for the purpose of the application.
  • Overlapping employment: having more than one job or working and self-employed at the same time. Although the form doesn't allow overlapping dates, this can be easily explained in the cover letter.