Daily Archives: Monday, January 28, 2013

UK Home Office Published Updated `Life in the UK Test’

Life in the UK handbook

Life in the UK handbook

The United kingdom Home Office has published details of their newly revised third edition of the `Life in the UK’ handbook.  The information below is taken form the Home Office press release on Sunday 27 January, 2013 entitled: British culture and history at heart of new Life in the UK test:

An updated Life in the UK test handbook that focuses on British culture and history will be released tomorrow.

The new book is essential reading for candidates sitting the revised Life in the UK test, which is being introduced in March.

The new handbook and test are part of the government’s reforms to the immigration system to help reduce net migration to sustainable levels while ensuring that Britain continues to attract the brightest and the best migrants from across the world.

Life in the UK

The Life in the UK test is taken by migrants wanting to settle permanently in the UK who already speak English to a sufficient standard.
The test and handbook have been completely re-written, removing questions on topics that those living in the UK should already be aware of like public transport, credit cards and job interviews. Instead it focuses on British culture, history and traditions as well as the events and people who have helped make Britain a great place to live.

Minister for Immigration Mark Harper said: ‘We’ve stripped out mundane information about water meters, how to find train timetables, and using the internet. The new book rightly focuses on values and principles at the heart of being British. Instead of telling people how to claim benefits it encourages participation in British life.


‘We have made radical changes to the immigration system and are determined to reduce net migration from the hundred of thousands into the tens of thousands by the end of the Parliament. The latest figures show these reforms are working, with net migration falling by a quarter in the last year.’

In the past, historical information was included in the book but was not tested, meaning that migrants did not have to show they had an understanding of how modern Britain has evolved. The new book and test will focus on events and people who have contributed to making Britain great.

This includes writers like William Shakespeare and Robert Burns, the great scientists Isaac Newton and Alexander Fleming, engineers and industrialists like Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Richard Arkwright and politicians including Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee.

The official title of the new publication is: Life in the United Kingdom: A Guide for New Residents, 3rd Edition and this is now available to order, along with official Life in the United Kingdom: Official Practice Questions and Answers, 2013 Edition from The Stationary Office (TSO) website.  The publication includes:

Ensure you are fully prepared for your Life in the UK test with the new 2013 3rd edition of the Life in the UK handbook. This is the only official handbook for the new Life in the UK tests taken on or after 25 March 2013. It contains all the official learning material for the test and is written in clear, simple language – making it easy to understand.

This essential handbook covers a range of topics you need to know to pass your test and apply for UK citizenship or permanent residency, 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

There has also been extensive press coverage of this in the UK media this morning, and articles investigating this issue are detailed as follows:

UK Home Office – British culture and history at heart of new Life in the UK test

The Independent – From Admiral Nelson to Morecambe and Wise: A basic guide to British life for immigrants

The Guardian – British citizenship test: values and principes of the UK

The Guardian – The all-new British citizenship test – take the quiz

The Guardian – Want to become a British citizen? Better swot up on Monty Python

The Telegraph – Margaret Thatcher rewritten as economic reformer in new test for migrants

The Telegraph – Can you pass the British immigration exam?

Metro – Take the new citizenship test, now featuring more historical and cultural questions about the UK

Mail Online – From Cromwell to Kipling and Ennis, a new ‘patriotic’ test on Britain’s culture for migrants

Daily Express – Citizenship test changes revealed

Equal and Diverse – New citizenship test has its limits

BBC – UK citizenship test ‘to cover Britain’s greats’



The UNHCR reported on 15 January 2013 that “[a] record 107,500 African refugees and migrants made the dangerous journey from the Horn of Africa to Yemen in 2012. This is the largest influx into Yemen since 2006 when UNHCR began compiling these statistics. The previous record high was in 2011 when more than 103,000 people arrived in Yemen by sea.”  UNHCR estimates that 80% of the persons making the crossing are Ethiopian and the remainder Somali.   UNHCR estimates that approximately 100 persons drowned in 2012.  “Boats crossing to Yemen are often packed beyond capacity and smugglers, in order to avoid the Yemeni coast guard, force passengers into the water, often far from the shores and with tragic consequences.”

Click here for full UNHCR press release.

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