Lost Life in the UK Test Letter

Lost Life in the UK Test Letter

Applying to naturalise as a British citizen? Or in the process of applying for indefinite leave to remain? Lost your Life in the UK test letter? Here’s a guide on what to do next.

When applying for indefinite leave to remain or to naturalise as a British citizenship, the applicant must demonstrate that they have knowledge of the English language and knowledge of life in the UK (also known as the KOLL requirement). The is demonstrated by sitting and passing the Life in the UK test.

The Life in the UK test is test taken over 45 minutes, containing 24 questions based on British traditions and customs. The test is meant to test the applicant’s understanding of British civic-political duties, such as voting requirements. The test carries a fee, which is payable each time the applicant sits the test.

On the successful completion of the test, the applicant will receive a Life in the UK Test Pass Notification Letter. This letter must be kept sake. Why? Because a duplicate will not be issued.

There are quite a few instances of clients reporting of their lost Life in the UK test letter. After all, the letter appears quite flimsy and plain and can easily be confused with other household documents.

So what can an applicant do, when they are about to apply for indefinite leave to remain or British citizenship, and realises that they have either misplaced or lost their Life in the UK test letter?

If the Life in the UK letter is lost or misplaced, it will not be possible to obtain another copy, as stated above. Instead, the Home Office advise [https://www.gov.uk/life-in-the-uk-test/what-happens-test] the applicant to write a letter addressed to them, explaining that the Life in the UK Pass Notification Letter has been lost.

The letter should provide details of:

  • The applicant’s full name, nationality and date of birth;
  • Date that they sat the Life in the UK test and location; and
  • The test pass number.

It is important to state the Life in the UK test pass number, if this is known.

Once the letter has been drafted, the applicant should include it with their application for citizenship or indefinite leave.

Once the letter and application has been received by the Home Office, the Home Office will use the information to confirm whether the applicant has indeed passed the Life in the UK test.

This process has proven successful for a recent client. That client was extremely organised. And yet, she was baffled as to how her Life in the UK test letter came to be misplaced. Things happen to the best of us.

Still, the overall advice is to keep the Life in the UK Pass Notification Letter extra safe, or at the very least, take a copy of the letter.

And don’t let a lost Life in the UK test letter prevent you from applying for indefinite leave or British citizenship within your planned timescales. There is normally a solution!


Written by Carla Thomas – Managing Director at Thomas Chase Immigration.

Thomas Chase Immigration offer immigration assistance to individuals and families.

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Top 10 Q&A on British Citizenship

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Over time, I have received many questions from individuals seeking guidance on how to apply to become a British citizen. With that in mind, I have collated the top 10 questions and answers on all aspects of British citizenship.

  1. What is British Citizenship?

A British citizen has a right of abode in the United Kingdom (UK). In practice, if you have British citizenship, you have the right to permanently live and work in the UK without any immigration restrictions. And you will not need permission from an Immigration Officer to enter the UK

  1. Who can apply for British citizen?

Unlike some countries, you do not automatically become a British citizen because you were born in the UK. Under the British Nationality Act 1981, much will depend on your date of birth.

For instance, you will be a British citizen if you were born on or after 1 January 1983, and your mother or father was either:

  • a British citizen when you were born
  • ‘settled’ in the UK when you were born

It is typical for you to be a British citizen if one of your parents was born in the UK or had become a British citizen at the time of your birth.

Different provisions apply if you were born outside the UK or were born in the UK before July 2006. Where you fall within the latter, your father’s British nationality will normally only pass to you if he was married to your mother at the time of your birth.

Likewise, if you are an overseas national, Commonwealth citizen or national of the European Economic Area (EEA), you will not automatically acquire British citizenship merely because you have lived in the UK for a lengthy period of time.

However, there are a number of ways to become a British citizen. One of the main ways is to naturalise as a British citizen.

To apply to naturalise as a British citizen, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be over 18 years of age
  • Meet the residence requirements
  • Have passed the Life in the UK test
  • Have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) grade of at least B1, or an equivalent level qualification, such as a degree taught or researched in English or be a national of a majority English speaking country
  • Be of good character
  • Intend to make the UK your permanent home

The residence requirement is very important and you must show that you:

  • Have lived in the UK for at least 5 years before the date of submission of the application
  • Have settlement (indefinite leave to remain) or permanent residence for at least an additional 12 months preceding the date of the application
  • To have spent less than 450 days outside the UK during those 5 years
  • To have spent less than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months
  • Not have been in breach of the immigration laws during your time in the UK

Applications on the basis of marriage or civil partnership to a British citizen is a frequently used route also. The key differences are:

  • You must evidence that you have lived in the UK for at least the 3 years before your application is submitted
  • You must have pent no more than 270 days outside the UK in those 3 years
  • You must have spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months
  • You must not have broken any immigration laws while in the UK

It is also possible to register to become a British citizen if:

  • You have another form of British nationality
  • You were born before 1 January 1983 to a British mother
  • You were born to a British father, even if he was not married to your mother
  • You were born in the UK on or after 1 January 1983
  • You are under 18 and do not fit into the other categories
  • You have a connection with Gibraltar or Hong Kong
  • You are stateless
  1. Are British citizens allowed dual citizenship?

British citizens are allowed to hold dual nationality. Nevertheless, some countries may treat the acquisition of another citizenship as a renouncement of their original nationality.

To avoid this happening to you, it is crucial to verify, with your country of origin, the potential implications of applying for British citizenship before an application is prepared and submitted.

  1. What is the British citizenship test and where can I sit the test?

Details of the British citizenship test, or Life in the UK test, can be found in my previous blog.

  1. What does British citizenship cost?

The application fee payable to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will depend on how you qualify to become a British citizen. For instance, as of 18 March 2016, fee for British citizenship based on:

  • Naturalisation as an adult: £1,236
  • Registration as an adult: £1121
  • Registration as a child: £939
  1. Who can sign British citizenship application form?

As part of your application process, you must nominate two referees, one of which may be of any nationality and has professional standing in the UK.

The other referee must be a British citizen and hold a valid British passport. That person must be either a professional person or over the age of 25.

In addition, your referees cannot be:

  • Related to you
  • Related to each other
  • Your solicitor or agent
  • Someone who has been convicted for an imprisonable offence during the last 10 years

UKVI will make contact with your referees to verify your identity so it is important that your referees are able to respond in a timely manner to UKVI’ queries. Doing so will avoid delays to the application and at worse, a refusal.

  1. Can I apply for British citizenship if I have a driving conviction or criminal record?

UKVI had introduced a revised ‘good character’ requirements for all decisions made on or after 11 December 2014. As a result, UKVI will look at your previous conduct to assess whether you are likely, in future, to show ‘respect for the rights and freedoms of the United Kingdom’, observe national laws and fulfil your duties and obligations as a resident of the UK.Thomas Chase Immigration - British Citizenship

In doing so, UKVI will carry out criminal and civil record checks. All criminal offences, regardless of how minor the offence or when and where the offence was committed, will be considered by UKVI. This is because UKVI is not bound by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. Therefore, previous offences such as theft, drink driving, using a mobile phone while driving or driving while disqualified may likely prevent you from becoming a British citizen until there is a sufficient gap between the date of the offence and the date of the application.

Your immigration history will also be taken into account by UKVI when considering your application. For instance, if you entered the UK illegally, assisted in illegal migration or evaded immigration control, you will be prevented from making a British citizenship application until at least 10 years has passed from the date of entry to the UK. This will have a significant impact if you are a refugee who had used one of the above methods to gain entry to the UK. Similarly, if you overstay your visa for a relatively small period, your application for British citizenship may be refused.

And the tentacles of the good character requirements stretch even further so that financial issues such as bankruptcy or failure to pay your council tax can also have an adverse impact upon your application.

In light of the good character requirements, it is crucial to seek expert immigration advice if any of the above applies to you.

  1. Where should I send my British Citizenship application form?

Completed application forms should be sent to:

UKVI 
Department 1 
The Capital 
New Hall Place 
Liverpool 
L3 9PP 

The application must be accompanied by the correct application fee and supporting documents.

  1. How long does a British citizenship application take to be processed?

Applications are acknowledged within 2 weeks of receipt. UKVI aims to consider the application within 6 months. UKVI will retain all documents during that time including your passports. That said, it is possible to request the return of your passport although UKVI can request that it is resubmitted for further scrutiny.

10.Where are British citizenship ceremonies held?

Once your application has been approved by UKVI, you will be invited to attend at a Citizenship Ceremony. At the ceremony you will be asked to affirm or swear an oath of allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen and to pledge your loyalty to the UK.

Ceremonies take place at your local authority, and your UKVI Approval Letter will provide details of what you must do next and who to contact in order to make the necessary arrangements.

 

Written by Carla Thomas – Managing Director at Thomas Chase immigration. Thomas Chase Immigration offer immigration solutions to businesses, individuals and families by looking at the bigger picture.

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Top 10 Questions on the Life on the UK Test

 

Top 10 Questions on the Life in the UK Test

Top 10 Questions on the Life in the UK Test
Passing the Life in the UK test, or as some people call it, the British citizenship test, is a key requirement for settlement and British citizenship applications. Yet it is one of those areas that seem to raise the most questions (and resentment) from applicants. Here, we answer the top 10 client questions about the Life in the UK test.

  1. What is the Life in the UK Test?

The Life in the UK test requires applicants seeking to reside in the UK permanently or to naturalise as British citizens to demonstrate a certain level of understanding of British life and society.

To truly understand the purpose of the Life in the UK test, it is necessary to briefly capture the political landscape at the time.

In 1997, the Labour government had been voted into government ending 18 years of Conservative government.

However, in 1998, the Labour government saw net migration jump from 48,000 to 140,000.  Migration Watch stated that the rise ‘was largely due to factors outside the government’s control’, but the Labour government faced criticism for its handling of immigration nevertheless.

As the Home Office grew under Labour (and from I was able to join the Home Office) so too did the rhetoric and legislative measures to control immigration or to make individuals ‘earn’ their status, including those already in the UK and were now seeking to make the UK their permanent home or naturalise.

  1. When was the Life in the UK Test introduced?

Some clients will often ask this question to mentally calculate if they could have avoided the test had they submitted an application sooner.

The Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Test 2002 (the Act), a huge piece of legislation that received royal assent on 7 November 2002, provided for knowledge of British society to be tested by way of a Life in the UK Test for settlement and naturalisation applicants.

The format and content of the test took some time for the specially formed Life in the United Kingdom Advisory Committee to agree upon and only became effective for settlement applicants from 1 November 2005 and naturalisation applicants from 2 April 2007.

  1. Do I have to sit the Life in the UK test?

Clients that have made the UK their home for a number of years can find the need to demonstrate an appreciation of British life and society, by way of a test, to be quite onerous and unreasonable.

At present all applicants applying for settlement or naturalisation as a British Citizenship must sit the Life in the UK test.

Applicants do not need to sit the Life in the UK test if they are:

  • Under 18 years; or
  • Over 65 years.
  1. How much does the Life in the UK cost?

As of today’s date, the Life in the UK test costs £50.

Life in the UK test refund can be obtained, if requested at least 3 days prior to the date of the test. A refund will not be given where the test is cancelled within 3 days of the test date.

  1. How long is the Life in the UK test?

The test lasts 45 minutes. There are 24 multiple choice questions and to pass, individuals must obtain 75% or more.

  1. What questions are in the Life in the UK test?

There is a great deal of information online. I suggest that individuals use the official handbook as it is their knowledge of this handbook that will be tested.  The official book covers a range of topics including:

  • The process of becoming a citizen or permanent resident
  • The values and principles of the UK
  • Traditions and culture from around the UK
  • The events and people that have shaped the UK’s history
  • The government and the law
  • Getting involved in your community

The book can be purchased in hard copy or in a number of formats from the TSO website.

As an aside, previous editions of the official Life in the UK book has been said to contain a few errors. Yet, there is no right of appeal or ability to challenge the accuracy of the information contained in the handbook.

There is also an official online practice test which gives a sense of what the test will be like and  official study guide book.

  1. When should I book the Life in the UK test?

My view, only book the test once they fee sufficiently prepared to sit and pass the test. Thereafter, the Life in the UK test can be booked least 3 days in advance.

The Life in the UK pass notification letter will be issued at the end of the test and will need to be submitted in the application bundle to the Home Office.

  1. How do I book the Life in the UK test?

Book the Life in the UK test online.

When booking the test, the following information must be provided:

  • Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) reference or passport number
  • Residential address details
  • Debit or credit card
  • Email address
  • Details of any special requests

Further guidance on the identity documents required to book the Life in the UK test, can be found in the Home Office’s identification guidance.

At the test centre, identity documents and address details will be cross referenced with the information provided when booking the test.

If there is a mismatch between the documents used when booking the test and those presented on the date of the test, the test cannot be taken and no refund will be given.

Should a mistake be made when booking the Life in the UK test online, this can easily be rectified up to one day before the test date. The details will need to be edited and saved within the Life in the UK test account.

There is a Home Office helpline for individuals requiring further help to book the test:

Life in the UK Test Helpline
Telephone: 0800 015 4245
Monday to Friday open 8am to 4pm

The test is taken at a Life in the UK test centre

  1. How long is the Life in the UK test valid for?

Currently, the Life in the UK pass notification letter does not have an end date and the test only needs to be taken once. This allows an applicant to use the same Life in the UK test certificate as part of their settlement application and again as part of their naturalisation application.

One of my clients is applying for British citizenship. She settled in the UK in 2003 and had sat her Life in the UK test in 2006 but, for a number of reasons, decided against pursuing the naturalisation application at that time. Fortunately, her Life in the UK test certificate from 2006 is still and can form part of her naturalisation application. She will need to sit an English Language test however.

  1. What if I fail the Life in the UK test?

The test can be retaken 7 days after the unsuccessful test result. The test will need to be booked online using the process highlighted above.

And another thing….

The Life in the UK pass notification letter is presented in a form of a simple letter. It is very important that the pass notification letter is kept safe as duplicate copies will not be issued by the test centre or Home Office.

Should the Life in the UK pass notification letter be misplaced or lost, the Home Office can be contacted for guidance on 03001 232 253. There is a charge for calling this number.

Conclusion

Passing the Life in the UK Test is a key requirement for settlement and British citizenship applications. It can cause anxiety, panic and sometimes resentment by individuals who have immersed themselves in British life and society and find the test a pointless administrative exercise. In this blog, I have attempted to answer the top 10 questions raised by clients over the years. Hopefully, the answers have provided some clarity about test and I would welcome any tips, experiences that you may have.

 

Written by Carla Thomas – Managing Director at Thomas Chase immigration. Thomas Chase Immigration offer immigration solutions to businesses, individuals and families by looking at the bigger picture.

Call to action

If you would like further guidance or assistance with an application for settlement or British citizenship, contact us at Thomas Chase Immigration to arrange a consultation. Or learn more about immigration from our blogs.

You may also like: Top 10 Q&A on British citizenship and Permanent Residence to British citizenship: Is it worth it?