To become a British Citizen these days is not simply a case of paying an administration fee like years back. In 2017 there are so many requirements, such as the Life In The UK Test Web PageLife In The UK Test and evidence of your English Language RequirementsKnowledge of the English Language. While there are genuine reasons for certain requirements, you cannot help thinking "It's all about the money". Becoming a British Citizen is so expensive now.
The actual British Citizenship Application FeesNaturalisation fee is currently £1,282 (where they got the £2 from is mind numbing. I don't know why they didn't just say £1,284 and 13p!). The 'Life In The UK' test is £50. The Official 'Life In The UK' test bookOfficial 'Life In The UK' Test Book is £12.99 and the British Passport FeesPassport Fee itself is £72.50 (32 page, adult, 10 year passport). You must also provide your biometric information (your photo and fingerprints), which cost £19.20. The Naturalisation fee of £1,282 includes the £80 Ceremony fee, which is refunded if you fail the 'Life In The UK' test.
One requirement of the naturalisation process to become a British citizen is to take the 'Life In The UK' test, which is also a requirement for those applying for 'Settlement In The UK' (Indefinite Leave to Remain / ILR). Other requirements means you:
You MIGHT also have to Prove Your Knowledge Of The English Languageprove your knowledge of the English language. If so, you will need to show either an English qualification at B1, B2, C1 or C2 level (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or a degree taught or researched in English.
The 'Life In The UK' test is a test of 24 random questions, with each question having multiple answers, that are based on British Traditions, Culture, History, Politics and Sport (among other subjects) whereby you MUST get at least 18 (75%) of those random questions correct, within a 45 minute period, in order to pass the test. The questions are based on chapters 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the 180 page Life in the United Kingdom: A Guide for New Residents, 3rd Edition paperback; which is still valid for the test of 2017.
If you fail the test you will need to wait at least 7 days, if not longer depending on the test centre's current bookings, before you can retake the test. So in theory you could retake the test every week but you will more than likely have to wait at least 3 or 4 weeks for a booking to be available. You will also need to pay for extra tests. Remember: You are not refunded a particular test fee (£50) if you fail that particular test.
It must be noted that the books circulating around the 'Life In The UK' test, including the official book - Life in the United Kingdom: A Guide for New Residents, 3rd Edition - and the previous official books (i.e. Life in the United Kingdom: Official Practice Questions and Answers, 2013 Edition and Life in the United Kingdom: Official Study Guide, 2013 Edition), are only practise books; just like driving books on the Theory Test are only practise books. In other words, they are NOT something you must buy and read. If you are confident about your knowledge of the UK, you could just take the test with no reading of those books.
The reason I point this out is because there are numerous 'Life In The UK' test websites that allow you to practise (mock test) based on official questions and answers. You also have Wikipedia for British History, Culture and Political subjects for example and YouTube videos of course. In other words, it is not necessary to buy £30+ worth of books when other media is available, for free. Sometimes the UK government is just making money.
Before you can actually book a physical 'Life In The UK' test, you MUST first register (create) an online Create A 'Life In The UK' Test Account.'Life In The UK' Test account; if you do not have one of these online accounts already of course.
NOTE WELL: There are only around 60 test centres in the whole of the UK. If a test centre is not close enough to where you live, you will NOT be allowed to take the test and your £50 test fee will NOT be refunded. Furthermore, at the test centre you will need to prove your identity and address. Failure to do so means you will not be allowed to take the test and you will not be refunded. Hence why it is worth reading the Terms And ConditionsTerms & Conditions and Identification RequirementsIdentification Requirements (both are PDF files) BEFORE you create an online account and therefore book an actual 'Life In The UK' test.
Another thing you should do before you Book A 'Life In The UK' TestBook A 'Life In The UK' Test, which should be obvious, is to practise the questions and answer found in the Official 'Life In The UK' Test book. You could also practise using this unofficial but excellent Unofficial 'Life In The UK' Test website'Life In The UK' Test website.
Assuming you have passed the 'Life In The UK' test and proven your knowledge of the English language: You can apply for British citizenshipapply to become a British citizen via naturalisation in one of three ways - Download and fill out Application Form ANApplication Form AN (be sure to Naturalisation GuidesNaturalisation Guides too), use a Nationality Checking Service (NCS)Nationality Checking Service (NCS) or use an agent or representative (such as a private company or individual that can help you with your application and give advice).
A nationality checking service (ncs) is an application help service run by a local authority (such as your county council or city council) whereby they are authorised to accept, check and forward your Form AN application to 'UK Visas and Immigration'.
When the nationality checking service is satisfied your application form has been filled out correctly and you meet the citizenship requirements, they will photocopy your documents (so you can keep your originals) before sending your application to 'UK Visas and Immigration'.
NOTE: If using a nationality checking service, it will be available by appointment only. Furthermore, the cost may vary between UK towns and cities (i.e. from £50 upwards) depending on the particular local authority you use and the particular services it provides. Here is a list of some NCS Local Authority ListNCS Local Authorities.
If you are making your own application, you should send your Application Form, Fee and any Supporting Documents to: UKVI, Department 1, The Capital, New Hall Place, Liverpool, L3 9PP.
After sending your application, you will receive a letter confirming your application; which can take up to 4 weeks. A decision about your application will usually be made within six months, but could take longer. Furthermore, you will be told if you need to give more information in order to process your application.
If your situation changes during the evaluation/assessment period, such as change of address or marriage, you should contact 'UK Visas and Immigration' as soon as possible.
NOTE: If you are called for an interview at any time, you will need to speak without an interpreter.
If your application is successful and you are 18 years old or older (at the time), you will be invited to book a place within a group Citizenship (Naturalisation) Ceremony; by contacting your local council. It is your local council that organises citizenship (naturalisation) ceremonies. Their ceremony fee is £80 whereby they allow you to take up to two guests. NOTE: You can ask for a private (individual) citizenship ceremony if you wish, but in either case you MUST take your invitation along to your citizenship (naturalisation) ceremony.
During your, individual or group, citizenship (naturalisation) ceremony you will have to make an oath of allegiance (or you can make an affirmation if you prefer not to swear by God) and a pledge. This means you will promise to respect the rights, freedoms and laws of the United Kingdom.
At the end of your citizenship ceremony you will be presented with your 'certificate of British citizenship' and a welcome pack. Some local councils will even take photographs or videos of the event for you to buy. Once you have your 'certificate of British citizenship', you MUST send your biometric residence permit back to the Home Office within 5 days of either going to the ceremony or receiving your 'certificate of British citizenship' (if it was sent in the post for example because you did not need to attend a citizenship ceremony).
NOTE: You need to cut up your biometric residence permit and put it in a windowless envelope with a note saying you are returning your permit because you have become a British citizen. Send it via Recorded Delivery or Special (Sign-For) Delivery, for piece of mind. The address is: Freepost RRYX-GLYU-GXHZ, Returns Unit, PO Box 163, Bristol, BS20 1AB.
Once you are a British citizen you can Apply For A British PassportApply For A British Passport. An Adult, 10 Year, 32-Page British Passport currently costs £72.50 (if done online) or £82.25 (if filled out, checked and sent by a post office).