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You may be able to apply for indefinite leave to remain if you have permission to remain as a refugee or a person with humanitarian protection. This status gives you the right to live, work and study for as long as you want and also claim public funds. You can also use this status to apply for British citizenship.

How much will it cost?

There is no fee if you have a refugee or humanitarian protection status. This will also apply to your partner’s child.

How do you make the application?

Applications must be made online on the specified form SET (Protection Route) or SET (P). All mandatory sections of the form must be completed. Applicants must provide the biometrics and must prove the identity and nationality by submitting their BRP or travel documents. Applicants must be in the UK on the date of the application and will not be able to travel until further leave to remain has been granted.

What is the earliest I can make the application?

Applicants can make an application 28 days before their leave expires. Although applications made after the expiry of the initial five years leave to remain will be valid, it is important to make an application before the initial leave expires whenever possible. Doing so ensures that the conditions attached to the leave are extended during the time it takes the application to be decided, which can be up to six months. This, for example, would preserve your right to work and access public funds.

What are the suitability requirements?

A caseworker will make checks to ensure that you do not fall foul of the suitability requirements. This relates to criminal convictions. Any criminal convictions, including those resulting in a non-custodial sentence, will result in a mandatory refusal of the settlement application. This is unless a specified period has passed since the completion of the sentence, the length of which depends on the length of the sentence. Applicants with serious criminal convictions may also have their status revoked, on the basis that they should be excluded from the Refugee Convention under paragraphs 339ae or 339ac of part 11 of the rules.

What is the safe return review?

The settlement protection policy guidance says that they will conduct a safe return review as part of the eligibility considerations of every application. The caseworker at the Home Office is required to consider whether there are any reasons why a grant of settlement or further leave to remain may no longer be appropriate because the applicant no longer needs protection. The settlement protection policy guidance sets out the information to be considered as part of the safe return review. It states five circumstances which might lead to the refusal of settlement following the review.

What are the examples?

Reapplying for national passport

A person who was granted refugee status would be eligible for Refugee Convention travel documents. They should not apply for a national passport. Obtaining or renewing a national passport is likely to be considered as reavailment of the protection of their country of origin, leading to revocation of the refugee status or refusal of settlement.

Return to the country of origin

Returning to the country of origin may lead to a refusal of settlement on the basis that the applicant no longer is at risk of persecution or serious harm.

Significant and non-temporary change in the country of origin

The caseworker will consider the situation at the time in the applicant’s country of origin. That will be done by referring to the country policy and information notes.

Changes in personal circumstances

The caseworker will also consider whether there have been changes in the applicant’s personal circumstances that mean they could return safely to their country of origin.

Evidence that the original grant may not have been correct

This will only be relevant if there is evidence to suggest that there has been a case of misrepresentation on behalf of the applicant in relation to material facts, which must have been decisive in the decision to grant him or her refugee status.

Danielle invites you to take a look at her blog, where you will see the diverse range of clients that she has helped.

If you have any questions about the process or would like to apply for refugee settlement please contact Danielle or call on 020 7267 4133. Danielle will only charge you for the first consultation if you decide to become her client and if she can assist you.

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