It is no wonder that British naturalization application is a complex process that has many requirements for any immigrant.
Once a candidate fulfills the residency requirements and immigration papers, 4 years after his legal entry to the UK, is when we start talking about British citizenship. In some cases these requirements my vary in relation to the immigrant status. For example if the applicant is married to a Briton the residency limits are lower than a regular immigrant.
The very first step towards citizenship is the Life in the UK Test. This is a mandatory stage since is needed to complete the AN form. The test is meant to assess the candidates English language level and knowledge of the life in the UK. By studying for the test the applicant learns social, historical, geographical and civic valuable content that relates to the UK every day life. The test material also includes every day life aspects such as housing, money and banking, health and education knowledge.
The support material for the test comes from the Border Agency and its called "Life in the United Kingdom: A Journey to Citizenship". The citizenship resource book is regionalized so careful where you acquire your copy. Also bare in mind that the material has been updated in 2007 so there is a second edition to the book. You can order it online or download it, local libraries hols copies too just remember that is tailored. The difference in the resource books are also present in the test itself so expect to be asked about your own region.
For non English speakers there is an English level requirement. UK has free courses intended to get you to the level needed to become citizen and sit for the test. The course needs to betaken before the test is booked. You need to reach a level 3 in the English for Speakers of Other Language course or better known as ESOL. It doesn't have a determined duration, the length of the course will depend on your English language skills. If you are not sure if the course is needed you can take a free English test at any ESOL office. The good thing about the course is that it holds both language and civic content, you get to study sections of the resource book while improving your English skills. There are no English grammar questions in the Like in the UK test.
The test is 24 multiple choice â true or false questions long. The passing score is set in 18 correct answers so a 75%. It is computer based so the test result is immediate after the candidate submission. If failed is common to have a retake on the spot, this varies if the Test center has availability at the moment. The test can be retakes as many times the applicant needs to get the passing score. There are a total of 27 centers for this purpose scattered all over the UK.
The Life in the UK test costs Â£34.00. When you pass you will be given a letter that holds the test unique serial number and the passing score. This is the letter you need to attach to the AN form to start the citizenship process. The Border Agency is not always able to reproduce the letter so keep it safe otherwise you will have to take the test again. Remember to add the ESOL certification to the form if necessary.
Once the application is submitted it takes around 7 to 9 month to get approved. Then you will be called to assist the oath of allegiance to the Queen, Elizabeth II, and be given the citizenship certificate. This is also a mandatory stage on the citizenship application. After that you can call yourself a Briton!