ArticleSettlement for refugees and those with humanitarian protection

In the evolving landscape of UK immigration, one significant pathway for individuals granted refugee status or humanitarian protection is the route to indefinite leave to remain. This process, governed by Appendix Settlement Protection, offers a structured approach for those who have resided in the UK under protection for five years to secure their future in the country. Here, we delve into the intricacies of this settlement route, outlining the requirements, procedures, and potential challenges.

Understanding Appendix Settlement Protection

Eligibility and Application Process

Individuals granted asylum or humanitarian protection in the UK are initially given five years of leave to remain. Upon completion of this period, they become eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR). The application must be made using the specified form SET (Protection Route) or SET(P), with all mandatory sections completed. Applicants must provide their biometrics and prove their identity and nationality, typically through their biometric residence permit (BRP) or travel document.

Validity Requirements

Applications must be made online, and it is crucial to apply before the initial leave expires. This ensures that the conditions attached to the leave, such as the right to work and access public funds, are preserved during the application process. While late applications are accepted, timely submissions are highly recommended to avoid any disruptions.

Suitability Checks

Upon receiving a valid application, Home Office caseworkers conduct suitability checks, focusing on criminal convictions. Any conviction resulting in a non-custodial sentence will lead to mandatory refusal unless a specified period has passed since the completion of the sentence. Serious convictions may also trigger deportation considerations.

Even if an applicant falls foul of suitability requirements, their eligibility for protection status will still be assessed. This ensures that those who still require protection or qualify as dependents are granted further permission to stay in the UK.

Eligibility Requirements

The eligibility criteria under Appendix Settlement Protection are relatively straightforward. Applicants must have spent a continuous period of at least five years in the UK with refugee status or humanitarian protection, and their status must not have been revoked or renounced.

The Safe Return Review

A critical aspect of the settlement application is the “safe return review.” This review assesses whether the applicant still needs protection. The review is based on factors that mirror Article 1C of the Refugee Convention, which outlines conditions under which the Refugee Convention ceases to apply.

Factors Considered

  1. Re-applying for a National Passport: Refugees should not use or apply for their national passport as it can be seen as re-availing themselves of their country’s protection, potentially leading to revocation of refugee status.
  2. Return to Country of Origin: Returning to their home country may indicate they no longer need protection. However, compelling and compassionate reasons for short visits may be considered.
  3. Significant Changes in Country of Origin: The Home Office assesses whether substantial, non-temporary changes in the applicant’s country have occurred, potentially eliminating the need for protection.
  4. Changes in Personal Circumstances: Personal changes that impact their need for protection are also reviewed. Protection may continue if they still face risks in their home country.
  5. Misrepresentation: If the original grant of protection was based on misrepresentation, the Home Office will evaluate whether protection is still needed for other reasons.

Dependents and Family Considerations

The settlement application process extends to partners and children who have been granted leave to remain as dependents. Partners must prove their relationship is genuine and subsisting, while children must meet specific relationship requirements. Children born in the UK after a parent is granted settlement are entitled to British citizenship.

For those granted protection status in the UK, the path to settlement under Appendix Settlement Protection is crucial for securing a stable future. While the process involves stringent checks and the possibility of a safe return review, thorough preparation and understanding of the requirements can facilitate a successful application.

By staying informed and seeking professional advice, applicants can ensure they meet all the necessary criteria and address any potential challenges proactively. This pathway not only offers security and stability but also reaffirms the UK’s commitment to protecting those in need.

Get in touch:  For a comprehensive understanding of your options or queries on UK immigration matters, contact GigaLegal Solicitors at 02074067654 or click here to book a no-obligation consultation with an immigration expert.