What is the British citizenship test?

By Oshin Shahiean, managing partner and solicitor at OTS Solicitors 

When someone mentions a test to me, I automatically think of school examinations with tests administered by exasperated teachers in schoolrooms. As a London immigration solicitor, I meet many adults who hold similar memories of tests. However, one test that many top London immigration solicitor clients have to pass is the British Citizenship test.

What is the British Citizenship test? 

The British Citizenship test is a compulsory test that an applicant has to take when applying for British Citizenship.

In addition to the British Citizenship test, an applicant also has to possess an English language qualification at a specified level.

What is the Life in the UK test?

I am often asked if an applicant has to pass the British Citizenship test as well as the Life in the UK test. I am sure anxious migrants ask the best London immigration solicitors the same question. After all, the thought of taking one examination is bad enough, let alone two.

I am pleased to say that the British Citizenship test and the Life in the UK test are the same. Migrants, therefore, only need to pass one test.

The British Citizenship test and the Life in the UK test both refer to the compulsory assessment of the applicant migrant’s knowledge of the culture, geography, history and politics in Britain.

How can OTS Solicitors help?

OTS Solicitors are specialist in immigration law matters and recommended for immigration law in the Legal 500. OTS Solicitors have Law Society accredited solicitors status as trusted specialists in immigration law. For advice on British Citizenship and naturalisation please, call us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our experienced London immigration solicitors who will be happy to help.

What is the British Citizenship handbook?

The British Citizenship handbook contains the information an applicant needs to pass the British Citizenship test. Accordingly, the best London immigration solicitors recommend that migrants study the book and read the information on:

• UK history; and 

• The British government; and 

• UK culture; and 

• UK geography.

How do you pass the British Citizenship test?

The top London immigration solicitors will tell applicants that, as with all exams, there is no alternative but to study for the exam.

The questions in the test are taken from the British Citizenship handbook. The problem is that a migrant or a London immigration solicitor does not know what exact questions will be in the test. That is why it pays to study the handbook.

Is there a sample British Citizenship test that a migrant can take?

The British Citizenship handbook contains sample questions and answers. 

In addition to the sample questions, there are study guides that can help applicants pass the test. The best London immigration solicitors have found that applicants who practise questions from the handbook are more likely to pass the British Citizenship test.

British Citizenship test practice questions are also available online and migrants are encouraged to practise with online test question to prepare for the test.

How many questions do you have to answer on the British Citizenship test?

There are currently 24 questions about British life in the British Citizenship test. The questions relate to British customs, traditions, laws and the UK political system.

All the questions have multi choice answers. 

What is the pass rate for the British Citizenship test?

The percentage needed to pass the British Citizenship test is 75%.

Do all migrants need to pass the British Citizenship test?

top London immigration solicitors will tell applicants that if they want to apply for British Citizenship or to settle in the UK then they must take the British Citizenship test or Life in the UK test.

There are however a limited number of exemptions, namely:

• The migrant is under 18; or

• The migrant is over 65; or

• The migrant has a long-term physical or mental condition. Medical evidence will need to be provided.

How much does the British Citizenship test cost?

The British Citizenship test fee is £50.

This fee is not repayable, that means if an applicant does not pass the test they do not get a refund. It therefore pays to study for the British Citizenship test.

Where can you take the British Citizenship test?

The British Citizenship test cannot be taken online. That is because of the need to check the identity of the person taking the test.

There are about 60 test centres around the UK. The best London immigration solicitors will tell migrants that they are able to only select one of the five closest to where they live. 

Proof of address must be taken in order to take the test.

If the test centre is not close to the migrant’s address, they are not allowed to take the test. A refund is not given.

How do you arrange the British Citizenship test?

The British Citizenship test should be booked online at least 3 days in advance of the date of the test.

To book the British Citizenship test, an applicant needs to provide an email address, card details to process fee payment and proof of identity. The proof of identity is to prevent identity fraud. The identity paperwork can be:

• UK photo card driving licence; or 

• Convention travel document (CTD); or 

• Stateless person document (SPD); or

• Certificate of identity document (CID); or

• EU identity card; or

• Biometric residence permit; or 

immigration status document endorsed with a UK residence permit that has a photo; or

• Passport.

Not all the documents have to be in date. It is as well to check the document requirements to avoid being rejected from sitting the British Citizenship test.   

What happens if I pass the British Citizenship test?

If an applicant passes the British Citizenship test, they are able to use the test certificate to apply British Citizenship or Indefinite Leave to Remain.

How long does the British Citizenship test certificate last for?

The British Citizenship test certificate does not have an expiry date. 

If you fail the British Citizenship test, how many times can you retake the test?

If an applicant fails the British Citizenship test then it can be retaken. There is no limit to the number of times that the British Citizenship test can be taken.

The best London immigration solicitors say that an applicant must wait seven days to take the test again.

There is a new British Citizenship test fee to pay each time the test is taken.

If you have Indefinite Leave to Remain, do you need to sit the British Citizenship test?

If a migrant has passed the Life in the UK test as part of their Indefinite Leave to Remain application, then they do not need to take a British Citizenship test when applying for British Citizenship.

If a migrant has Indefinite Leave to Remain, they must submit their Life in the UK test certificate as proof they have completed the compulsory test.

How can OTS Solicitors help?

OTS Solicitors are specialist in immigration law matters. 

The firm is recommended for immigration law in the Legal 500. OTS Solicitors have Law Society accredited solicitors status as trusted specialists in immigration law.

For more information on British Citizenship, naturalisation or any aspect of personal or Business Immigration law, please call us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to speak to one of our experienced London immigration solicitors who will be happy to help.

 

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