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Life in the UK test from October 28, 2013: Are there any changes?

Life in the UK test

According to the Home Office, all individuals wishing to settle in the UK should demonstrate their commitment by learning English and by having an understanding of British history, culture and traditions.

Therefore, from 28 October 2013, unless they are exempt, all applicants for settlement or naturalisation as a British citizen will need to meet the knowledge of language and life in the UK requirement by:
– passing the life in the UK test; and
– having a speaking and listening qualification in English at B1 CEFR or higher, or its equivalent.

Many people are wondering if these changes are affecting the Life in the UK test itself. So it is important to note that the test itself has not changed. The test has the same format, and is based on the same study guide (“Life in the United Kingdom: A Guide for New Residents”) as before October 28, 2013. So just to be clear: no changes have been made to the test. The requirements (for settlement or naturalisation) have changed, but not the test itself.

According to the Home Office, a certain level of English (speaking and listening) is necessary for a successful integration into the British community. It is true that being able to communicate with the wider community (not just your own community) is essential for many practical reasons, to find a job, to understand all kind of administrative/official procedures, to start a business, to travel around, and so on. The Home Office will accept a range of English language qualifications as evidence that your speaking and listening qualification in English is at B1 CEFR or higher.

Also, according to the Home Office, it is essential that people who want to live permanently in the UK have a minimum understanding of British traditions, culture and history. The Life in the UK test is the way to test this knowledge of life in the UK.

For a full overview of these new requirements, go to https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/182545/statement-of-intent-koll.pdf

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237 replies on “Life in the UK test from October 28, 2013: Are there any changes?”

  1. Hi, My mother is 51yrs old and she is on PIP (disability allowance)
    Does she required to take life in the uk test or she is exempt from the test? she currently holding her ILR.

    Regards,
    seez

    1. For any questions regarding the Life in the UK test and the requirements for this test, please contact the Life in the UK test helpline at 0800 0154245 (Opening hours for the helpdesk is Monday to Friday 8-6.)

  2. I have passed my Life in the UK test this week. I also have a Cambridge First Certificate in English (B2) but did it in 2001. Living in UK since, have been class teacher in English Primary schools for years and have an English husband.
    Do I still have to pay for another English exam that is recent?
    Thanks.

  3. Hello

    I got my IDL in 2011 and for my application I used my level 2 esol certificate. I am now applying for citizenship I have passed the life in UK test but see the entry levels of english have changed. Will I. Now need to do level 3?
    Kind regarda

  4. Hi I’m a german citizen that lives in the UK since 1991 I was born deaf I have never spoken german but I now can talk English and use BSL and lip read do I need to do the Life in the UK test .I went to school in the UK and did all my exams here to. Please can you help me. My father is British and my mother is german. I was born in Germany.

    1. Your Life in the UK test should be still valid, but please confirm with the Life in the UK test helpline at 0800 0154245 (Opening hours for the helpdesk is Monday to Friday 8-6.)

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