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Life in the UK Test

To apply for settlement in the UK or British citizenship, you must pass the Life in the UK Test and show your knowledge of British customs.

Do you have questions about the Life in the UK Test? Our immigration lawyers are here to help, simply call us on 0333 305 9375 for immediate help & assistance. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone or online.

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    What is the Life in the UK Test?

    The Life in the UK Test, also known as the British citizenship test, is a test that those making a British citizenship or settlement application are required to take and pass.

    The Life in the UK test allows you to demonstrate you commitment to British customs during the test you will also be asked a series of questions about customs and traditions in the UK.

    The Life in the UK test is multiple-choice examination, and you will have 45 minutes to answer a total of 24 questions.

    You need to book the test online, and all the items are based on the official British Citizenship Handbook, released by the UKVI.

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    Who needs to take the Life in the UK test?

    Those making either a British citizenship or settlement application in the UK are required 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 will need to take the Life in the UK test, this includes if you are:

    • Applying for legal residence after 5 years in the UK, for example, on a Skilled Worker Visa
    • 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

    Applicants for British citizenship are also required to pass the Life in the UK Test and will need to take the test prior to their application if they have not already taken and passed the test as part of a previous settlement application.

    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 to book the Life in the UK Test

    You can only reserve your place through the official tool provided by the Home Office on the government website. The test must be booked at least 3 days in advance.

    There are over 30 accredited Life in the UK test centres located across the UK, but you can only choose one of the five centres which are closest to where you live. If you submit your request to a test centre that does not meet this condition, you will not be allowed to sit the test.

    When you book your test you will need the following:

    • An accepted form of ID – this can include a valid passport, travel document with a photograph, biometric residence permit or biometric residence card. You cannot use an emergency travel document as your form of ID.
    • A valid email address
    • Your debit or credit card details

    When you book the test you can make special requests, for example if you need additional assistance or extra equipment due to a disability. To make a request you can contact the Life in the UK Test Helpline on 0800 015 4245.

    How to prepare for the Life in the UK Test?

    All questions in your test will be taken randomly from the official handbook released by the UKVI. This guide includes sample questions and answers, that you can use to practice the test. Your exam will cover the following topics:

    • UK history
    • The British government
    • UK geography
    • Local culture

    To prepare for your real test it is highly recommended that you obtain a copy of the official Life in the UK Test book and that you take some practice tests. The Official Life in the United Kingdom – A Guide for New Residents (3rd edition) handbook is the current official guide and covers all the essential knowledge you need to pass your test.

    As well as the official guide, the Home Office also offers an e-learning subscription that can help you to prepare for the test.

    Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to learn more about the Life in the UK Test. Contact Us

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      What happens during the test?

      It is essential to arrive on time on the day of your test, otherwise you will not be allowed to sit the exam.

      Do not forget to bring one of the accepted forms of identification with you (such as your passport or your Biometric Residence Permit) and a valid proof of address. This must show your name and your postcode, and must be dated within three months of the day of the test.

      If you fail to present these documents, you will not be able to take the test.

      You should not bring and dependents or children with you.

      The test is taken on a computer and you will have 45 minutes to complete it. During the test you will be asked 24 questions that cover different topics such as the history of the UK, customs and traditions and the UK’s laws and political systems. All of the questions are chosen at random by the computer.

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      What happens if I pass my Life in the UK Test?

      Once you finish the test, you must remain in the building until the results are available.

      If you pass the test you will be given your Unique Reference Number (URN) at the test centre. You will need your URN when applying for British Citizenship or settlement and the Home Office will use it to check that you have met the Life in the UK Test requirement.

      Please note that if you leave the centre before you are given your results, your test will be invalidated.

      If you passed your test before 17th December then you will not have a URN, instead you will have a pass notification letter with a test reference ID that you will use instead.

      If you pass the test you can proceed with your citizenship or Indefinite Leave to Remain application providing that you have met the other requirements.

      What happens if I fail my test?

      If you don’t pass the test, you will be unable to progress with your settlement application. You can retake the test after seven days, and you can resit it as many times as is needed.

      If you decide to retake the test again then you will need to book the test using the same process and you will need to pay the £50 fee again. You will need to do this for each time that you take the test.

      You can only progress with you settlement or citizenship application once you have passed the test so you will need to continue to sit it until you do if you intend to proceed with your application.

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      How much does the Life in the UK Test cost?

      It costs £50 to sit the test. If you fail the exam, if you were late to the test centre, or if you do not attend to your exam, this fee will not be reimbursed.

      You are entitled for a refund only if you cancel your test at least 3 days in advance of your test date or if the test centre cancels the exam.

      To cancel your test you must log in to your Life in the UK test account Click on ‘Confirmed tests‘ and select the ‘cancel test’ option. After this you will receive a refund to the account that you paid for, you don’t need to contact UK Visas and Immigration to get this.

      If the test centre cancels your exam then you must request a refund within 3 months of the test date.

      How long is the Life in the UK certificate valid?

      The Life in the UK Test does not have an expiry date so once you have passed the test this will be valid for life.

      This means that you can use your test for multiple immigration applications, for example you can use it initially as part of an Indefinite Leave to Remain application and then if you decide to apply to become a British citizen then you will not need to take the test again and can instead use the same test pass result for your citizenship application.

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      We can help you prepare for your Life in the UK Test, get in touch to find out more Contact Us

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        How can IAS help?

        Our expert lawyers can support you with your Life in the UK test.

        They will help you prepare through offering guidance and by providing revision materials, if necessary.

        They can also offer support in booking the test should you need this.

        Get in touch and book your first advice session with one of our immigration lawyers to learn more.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  The pass rate for the test is 75%, meaning that you must get at least 18 correct answers out of the 24 questions.

                  The Life in the UK Test can be very challenging as it will test your knowledge on all aspects of British history, customs and traditions.

                  The questions are split into 5 different categories, these include:

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

                  The test can be very hard if you do not prepare enough so its important to revise all of the categories thoroughly. Reading the official guide book and taking practice tests can help to make the test easier.

                  The Life in the UK Test must be sat at one of the official test centres. The test is taken on a computer at the test centre.

                  You must book a test online.

                  Yes, the Life in the UK Test consists of 24 multiple choice questions. You must answer at least 18 correctly to pass the test.

                  Yes, you may be able to use your degree to meet the English language requirement for your citizenship or ILR application but you will still need to take the test to prove your knowledge of UK history, customs and traditions.

                  You must submit either your pass letter or your Unique Reference Number when making an application for settlement or British citizenship as the Home Office will use this to verify your test result.

                  If you have lost your pass notification letter or Unique Reference Number then the Home Office advised you to send a letter explaining this alongside your application.

                  If you cannot provide a Unique Reference Number you may be required to take the test again.