The naturalisation process in the UK includes, as a first step, the “Life in the United Kingdom” test, which must be attached to the application for citizenship. The test is intended to assess the level of English and British experience of the applicant in everyday matters, as well as in politics, economy and historical facts. The test is a compendium of civil rights which prepares the future citizen to take on the duties and privileges as a citizen of the United Kingdom.
As an alternative to the test for immigrants from non-English-speaking countries there are sections of the courses called ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) The course contains “language with civic content”, in a sense it is a step-by-step resource book for immigrants. At the end of the course, you will be rewarded with a certificate that is sufficient to have the English language skills necessary to apply for citizenship and enable you to take part in the Life in the UK test.
The test may be carried out by the applicant as many times as necessary. The pass mark is 75% of the correct answers (18 out of 24). The questions are based on the book Life in the UK, the second edition of “Life in the United Kingdom: Journey to Citizenship”. The testable content has moved from chapter 2 to chapter 6 since 2007, where the test book has been enriched with daily matters such as housing, health, money and educational aspects of life in the UK. The test can be conducted in three languages: English, Scottish and Welsh at the request of the applicant, but is more often conducted in English.
You can buy a book about British citizenship from local library shops or online on the Border Agency website. Please note that the test is regionalised, as is the resource book. For example, candidates from Wales will be asked about the Welsh Assembly and not the Scottish Parliament. The tests are also tailored to the needs of individual regions. We strongly encourage you to read the latest version of the book of resources in the candidate’s area of residence.
The test itself is also charged £34.00 per session. The candidate must book the test at one of 27 centres spread across the UK through the website or by calling the call centre. 24 questions come from a confidential pool of 300 of the 24,000 words of tested content in the resource book. The test highlights citizenship responsibilities such as participation in elections and police enforcement.
The applicant has 45 minutes to complete a computer test of 24 questions. The results are immediate, so the applicant can take the sport test again if a centre is available at any given time. The failure of the test does not affect the applicant’s residence status or VISA at any level. The applicant will receive a letter with the result of the test and a code that must be added to the naturalisation form in order for the citizenship process to start. Keep the notification letter secure, the UK Border Agency may not be able to reproduce the letter, which would mean that the applicant would have to take the test again if the letter is not in his possession.
You should also add the completion of the ESOL course if you have completed it. The Life in the UK test does not contain any additional language or grammar questions in English. The ESOL course or the only understanding of English used to create questions is sufficient proof that you have the level of English to become a citizen.
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