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Formal meeting (oral evidence session): The Life in the UK test

Justice and Home Affairs Committee
The Life in the UK test

Tuesday 17 May 2022

Start times: 10.00am (private) 10.00am (public)

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Lords Committee questions Home Office Minister on the Life in the UK Test

The Justice and Home Affairs Committee holds its final oral evidence session on the Life in the UK Test, which those applying for citizenship or settlement must pass. 

Meeting details

At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Inquiry The Life in the UK test
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Safe and Legal Migration) at Home Office
Head of Passport and Nationality Unit at Home Office

The Life in the UK Test is an assessment of civic knowledge required to obtain citizenship or Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. It covers British history and law, as well as the norms and values of contemporary British society.

The Committee is undertaking an inquiry into the Test’s effectiveness in measuring civic knowledge, how it is being administered throughout the UK and the experience of those who have undertaken it. As part of this inquiry, the Committee has taken evidence from national and international experts.

Possible questions include:

  • What progress was made towards the launch of a review of the Life in the UK Test and of its associated handbook? What will be its terms of reference? Who do you consider should be consulted? 
  • Who is responsible for the drafting of questions and handbook chapters? 
  • What guides the content of the handbook? 
  • What is considered the best way of assessing whether prospective citizens and permanent residents share British values?
  • What support is available to people with accessibility requirements who want to take the Life in the UK Test? 
  • What assessment has been made of the overall cost of taking the Life in the UK Test as part of an application (i) for Indefinite Leave to Remain and (ii) for citizenship? 
  • What are the most frequent complaints being lodged in relation to the Life in the UK Test? What steps have you taken to address them?

Ahead of the meeting, Baroness Hamwee, Chair of the Committee, said: “The Life in the UK Test is a significant step for those wishing to build a permanent life in the UK, either through Indefinite Leave to Remain or British citizenship. Given this significance, our committee is taking very seriously the concerns it has heard about the current version of the test. It is too often described as a ‘pub quiz’ and we regret that some people have been offended by insensitive content. 

“We will put our concerns to Mr Foster and hope to hear more about the Government’s plans for reform. Only by ensuring that the process is relevant and accessible can we as a country remain open and welcoming”. 

Further information


Room 3, Palace of Westminster

How to attend