UK immigration test reportedly undergoing changes

02 Jul 2012 | Posted by Carl Thomas

Reports suggest that the UK immigration test is due to undergo a number of changes in the coming months.

The Life in the United Kingdom test was initially introduced by Labour back in 2005, but current home secretary Theresa May is said to be overseeing its revision at the moment.

The Sunday Times states that UK visa applicants and other immigrants will have to learn the first verse of the national anthem before they are permitted to acquire citizenship. Other changes will see the test focusing less on the practicalities of living in Britain and more on knowledge of the country's history and achievements.

Shakespeare, the Duke of Wellington, Byron and other historical and cultural figures will take a more prominent position, with a new handbook expected to be issued in autumn to sum up the important areas of knowledge. It will cover the topics included in the 45-minute test.

Speaking to the BBC, a Home Office spokesperson remarked: "Putting our culture and history at the heart of the citizenship test will help ensure those permanently settling can understand British life allowing them to properly integrate into our society."

The changes have been met with mixed reactions as some have suggested they will increase the already substantial barrier to allowing people to settle in the UK, while others have said the test represents an important part of an individual's commitment to contributing to and settling in in the UK.