Life in the UK Test

Passing the life in the UK test is an important part of the journey to British citizenship or Indefinite Leave to Remain. Sometimes known as the UK citizenship test, this test is a compulsory requirement for anyone applying for permanent residence in the UK. It is a multiple choice test that will assess your knowledge of history, politics and culture in the UK.

Who needs to take the life in the UK test?

If you are applying for indefinite leave to remain after living in the UK for a length of time, you may need to take the Life in the UK test. The following applicants will need to take the test:

  • Applying for legal residence after 5 years in the UK, on a Tier 2 work visa, for example
  • Applying for legal residence as the spouse or partner of a British citizen or settled person
  • Applying for legal residence after 10 years in the UK

Who is exempt from the life in the UK test?

There are certain people who will not need to complete the UK citizenship test as part of their application. If you meet any of the following requirements, you will not have to complete the like in the UK test.

  • are under 18 or over 65
  • have passed it before – for example, if you’re applying to become a citizen and already passed it as part of your settlement application
  • have a long-term physical or mental condition – you must provide either a form or letter from a doctor confirming your physical or mental condition

How do I study for the UK citizenship test?

The questions are split into 5 different categories:

  • UK values and principles
  • Geography of the UK
  • History of the UK
  • Society in the UK
  • UK Government and your Role within this

As you can see, the questions cover a wide range of topics related to life in the UK, so it’s important that you study everything in detail as there is no way to know which questions will be asked of you. There are study guides available and you can try taking the life in the UK test online to test your knowledge.

What else do I need to provide for ILR application?

Alongside knowledge of life in the UK, you will also need to demonstrate knowledge of the English language. Applicants can prove knowledge of the English language by either having:

  • An English qualification at B1, B2, C1 or C2 level
  • A degree taught or researched in English

There are a few exceptions to the knowledge of the English language requirement. Applicants over 65 or anyone who is unable to as the result of a long-term physical or mental condition will not have to provide this evidence. You will need to provide a doctor’s note confirming your condition.

If you are a resident of any of the following countries, you will be automatically exempt from the English language requirements, but you will still need to pass the Life in the UK test.

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • The Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • The Republic of Ireland (for citizenship only)
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • USA

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