Who Has To Take The British Citizenship Test?
If you are looking to obtain U.K. citizenship, you are required to take the British citizenship test. The test aims to assess whether you are well versed with the British way of life, including the history, customs, and culture. The good thing is that if you do the test and pass, you are not required to do it again. The test has a total of 24 questions, and you are supposed to get 18 of them right.
So, who is supposed to take the test?
You should take the test if;
- You are seeking an indefinite leave to remain in the U.K. (ILR)
- You have applied to be a British citizen through naturalization
- You have reached the ESOL Entry 3 level of English proficiency
The three categories also include HSMP visa holders who are looking to obtain British citizenship.
You are eligible to take the British test if;
The U.K. is your motherland
If the U.K. is your country of birth, it does not automatically qualify you to be a U.K. citizen. However, you are eligible to take the British citizenship test to confirm your status as a citizen, recognized by law. This means you can also apply to do the test if you are not a British citizen, but the U.K. is your country of birth.
You Moved to the UK
The U.K. government allows you to apply for British citizenship by naturalization. Therefore, if you are looking to be naturalized as a British citizen, you are eligible to apply for the British citizenship test.
You’re Seeking an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)
If you have been in the U.K. for 5 years and above, you can decide to make your stay permanent. In that case, you are required to complete for the test to confirm you are familiar with the British way of life.
You Have Attained the Permanent Residence Status
If you or one of your closest family members comes from Switzerland, EEA, or E.U., and have lived in the U.K. for 5 years, you acquire the permanent resident status. In that case, you are free to obtain citizenship. However, you will need to do the British citizenship test to confirm your knowledge of British life and the English language.
You’re in a Civil Partnership or Marriage With a U.K. Citizen
If you have lived in the U.K. for at least 3 years with your spouse, and are now seeking British citizenship, you will have to complete the life in the U.K. test.
However, you will have to produce the following documents;
You can also apply for the British citizenship test if:
- One or both of your parents is British
- You’re stateless
- You renounced your citizenship
When you are looking forward to being a British, it’s good to know that there are very few exemptions. For example, if you were exempt when seeking U.K. settlement, you will still be required to take the test. Remember, it is a requirement by law to take the British citizenship test, hence only minimal considerations can be allowed.
However, you will be exempted if;
- You are above 65 years of age or under 18
- You demonstrated a full knowledge of life in the U.K. and English language when applying for settlement
- You have a permanent mental or physical health condition that cannot enable you to study or take the test
To be exempted from doing the test because of a health condition, you must provide proof. Your condition must either be;
- One that severely restricts your movements and ability to learn the English language; or
- One that involves a mental impairment, in which case, you cannot learn another language
This means that you will not be exempted from doing the test if;
- You are going through stress or depression
- You have a hearing or visual impairment that does not affect your ability to learn English
Most test centres have up-to-date equipment that can assist people with various conditions. You should check the test centre in your location to see if it well equipped to accommodate you.
You cannot avoid the British citizenship test if you are looking to obtain U.K. citizenship or stay in the country permanently. If you meet the eligibility criteria, it is recommendable to take the test as soon as you feel ready. With adequate preparation, you can pass the test with your first attempt.