Thursday, 18 November 2010

Council settles in to new system

Leeds City Council is introducing a new checking service this week to help anyone planning to settle in the UK.

The council is one of 12 local authorities working with the Home Office to build on the success of the existing nationality checking service with this new pilot scheme.

By extending the services already offered to include checking applications for those people wishing to settle in the country, the council will be able to help process applications more quickly and efficiently.

For the first part of the pilot, which starts on Thursday (18 November), only customers applying for settlement as a spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner/same-sex partner of a British citizen or person settled in the UK will be eligible to use the service.

The service operates on an appointment only basis and registration service staff at the council are trained and registered to check all aspects of form and forward all applications to the UK Border Agency. The checking service will help get the applications correct first time and avoid unnecessary delays.

John Mulcahy, head of licensing and registration for Leeds City Council said:

“The settlement checking service should allow for the application process to be a lot quicker, and can offer people a chance to speak face-to-face to one of our officers about their application and get any help that they need.

“We offer the same service with nationality checking, and it has proved to work very well, so expanding this process is the natural next step.”

The fee for the settlement checking service is £90 inclusive of dependants. The service is not a priority or premium service. For more information on the service visit http://www.leeds.gov.uk/Jobs_and_careers/Equality_and_diversity/Citizenship_ceremonies/Settlement_checking_service.aspx

The service operates on an appointment only basis. To make an appointment you should ring (0113) 2224408 or email register.office@leeds.gov.uk.


Ends

For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk