On this page, we will explain everything you need to know about the Life in the UK Test, whether you are aiming for permanent settlement or citizenship in or after 2021.
The Life in the UK Test is one of the very last hurdles foreign nationals must overcome to gain settlement or citizenship in the UK. If you are in any way concerned about the Life in the UK Test, don’t be. With preparation and an understanding of how the test is run, you will be able to pass with flying colours. And remember, if you don’t pass the first time, you can repeat the test as many times as you need to until you do. On this page, we will explain everything you need to know about the Life in the UK Test, whether you are aiming for permanent settlement or citizenship in or after 2021.
The Life in the UK Test must be taken by migrants in the UK as part of the citizenship or indefinite leave to remain (ILR) application process. You will need to take the test if you are aged between 18 and 65. If you are under 18 or over 65, you will not need to take the Life in the UK Test. Also, if you can prove that there are special circumstances that mean you cannot take the test, such as a physical or mental condition, you may be exempted.
No, the Life in the UK Test only needs to be completed once. So, if you passed as part of your indefinite leave to remain application, you will not need to complete the test when you apply for UK citizenship.
The Life in the UK test is by no means easy. In fact, many British citizens struggle to answer the questions asked in the test, much to their embarrassment. But with preparation and practice, the Life in the UK test is not hard. Thousands of people pass the test each year, even where English is not their first language.
No, the Life in the UK test must be taken at an approved life in the UK test location. There are over 30 Life in the UK test centres spread across the whole UK. You will be able to pick your nearest Life in the UK test centre when you book your test. There are several Life in the UK test centres in London catering for candidates in all parts of the capital, whether they are located centrally, in the North, South, East, or West of London.
Your Life in the UK test must be booked on the official government booking website. To book, you will need to provide your email address, debit or credit card details for payment, and an accepted form of ID. The test must be booked at least three days in advance. Accepted forms of ID include one of the following:
When booking, it may also be possible to arrange a short notice test or a Sunday test.
The Life in the UK test fee is currently £50, however, this is always subject to change. To see the current fee, check on the government website. The fee will be refunded if you cancel your test at least three days in advance. The fee is also not refunded if you do not pass the test, and you will need to pay again if you need to retake the test.
We are often asked, “How long does it take to prepare for life in the UK test?” and “Which book should I use to study for the life in the UK test?”. In terms of how long to allow, this really depends on your English language skills and your current knowledge. We would recommend allowing one to two months to prepare for your Life in the UK test. Some candidates may need much less time if they are familiar with UK culture, history, and the English language.
We recommend getting a copy of the official Life in the UK test book, as this is the source of the questions you will need to answer. The questions are taken at random from the book, hence it is important to cover all areas.
To prepare fully, we recommend taking as many practice tests as you can find (there are many on the internet), as this will test your knowledge and ensure you are ready for your test.
No, if you pass, you will receive an electronic unique reference number (see below for more details). The Home Office stopped issuing pass letters on 17th December 2019. If you have not received your Life in the UK test pass electronic unique reference number, then contact the Home Office directly on 03001 232 253.
If you have lost your Life in the UK Test pass electronic unique reference number, the Home Office advises that you “send a letter explaining that you have lost it with your citizenship or settlement application”.
You must score 75% or more to pass the test.
If you pass, you will receive a ‘unique reference number’ electronically, which can be used to prove you have passed the test when you complete your citizenship or settlement application. UK Visas and Immigration state, “When you have completed the test, we will ask you to wait in the waiting area until we give you your URN. Your URN is your unique reference for your test result and must be quoted in all correspondence with the Home Office in regard to the test result”.
The UK Life in the UK test does not expire. Once you have passed the Life in the UK Test, it remains valid indefinitely. As a result, you can take the test at any time before you apply for settlement or citizenship.
If you do not pass your test, you will then need to wait at least seven days before you take the test again. You will need to make a new booking and pay the application fee each time.
If you are under 18 or over 65, you will not need to take the Life in the UK Test. Also, if you can prove that there are special circumstances that mean you cannot take the test, such as a physical or mental condition, you may be exempted.
If you believe you are exempt from taking the Life in the UK test, you will need to ensure a ‘Waiver request for the knowledge of language and life in the UK requirement: medical opinion’ is completed by a medical practitioner. This form can be found on the Home Office website. The Home Office guidance states, “This form is to support a request for waiver from the knowledge of language and Life in the UK requirement, for a person applying for settlement in the United Kingdom or naturalisation as a British citizen. It must be completed by a General Medical Council registered medical practitioner who is able to comment on the individual’s condition”. On this form, the following details will need to be completed:
In addition to the above exemptions, if you have previously passed the test when applying for settlement, you will not need to take the Life in the UK test when applying for citizenship.
The fee will be refunded if you cancel your test at least three days in advance. The fee is not refunded if you do not pass the test, and you will need to pay again if you need to retake the test.
To cancel your test and get a refund, you will need to:
If you are eligible for a refund, your £50 fee will be refunded to the same card you used to book the Life in the UK test. This will happen automatically, and you will not need to contact UK Visas and Immigration to request your refund.
There is no set study time for the Life in the UK test, and the amount of time it takes will depend on the individual. If you are very new to British culture and history and/or your English language is at beginner or intermediate level, it is recommended that you allow more time. You may choose to start studying and only book the test when you are ready. We recommend allowing at least one to two months to study for the Life in the UK test.
You will be given a total of 24 questions and 45 minutes to answer them. As the pass mark is 75%, this means you must answer at least 18 correctly. We recommend taking your time to answer each question rather than answering as quickly as you can.
The pass mark for the Life in the UK test is 75%; this means candidates must answer 18 of the 24 questions asked correctly.
If you need to change the date of your Life in the UK test, you can log in to the official Life in the UK test website and alter your booking at no charge. You will need to do this at least three days before your booking date. If you have any questions regarding your booking, call the official Life in the UK test helpline on 0800 015 4245 (this is open Monday to Friday, 8 am to 8 pm).
Log in to the official Life in the UK test website, click the results tab, and your results will be shown.
The Home Office website advises that candidates for the Life in the UK test need to take the photo identification used to book the test. There is no requirement to take any proof of address with you to the Life in the UK test. UK Visas and Immigration state, “You will need to bring the photo identification you used to book the test. If you do not bring it, you will not be able to take the test and will not get a refund. You will need to consent to a passport-style photograph being taken before taking your test, you will not be able to take the test without this. If you have any concerns about having your photo taken, please speak to the Test Centre Manager on the day of the test”.
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