Britain is a great place to settle down. It is a country with a rich and prolific past with a modernised and progressive society. The UK takes pride in admitting that it welcomes new migrants with the view that it makes national life more dynamic and diverse.
It is an important and serious decision to apply for permanent residency or citizenship in the UK. Once selected, a person agrees to be a responsible citizen and to comply with the laws of the United Kingdom. There are handbooks available which contain all necessary information required to prepare for the UK Citizenship Test. These handbooks contain information about the culture and traditions of the UK and also tell about the laws and history.
Values and Principles
British society has a strong foundation on what is known as “values and principles”. These must be valued and supported by all UK residents. These values and principles have their origin in British traditions and history and they are protected by law. British society does not entertain intolerance or extremism.
Given below are the fundamental principles of British life:
- The rule of law
- Individual liberty
- Tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs
- Participation in community life
In line with the fundamental principles is the citizen’s pledge for these values to be upheld. The gist of this pledge is that the citizen will be loyal to the UK, respecting all rights and freedoms. Democratic values will be upheld and the citizen shall obey all laws and discharge the duties and obligations as required by a British subject. This pledge is taken during the citizenship ceremony.
Results of Following Values and Principles
A British citizen who follows these values and principles is expected to respect some basic responsibilities and freedoms. One should respect and obey the law. Everyone has a right to their individual opinions but in doing so, others should be treated fairly and the rights of others need to be respected. British citizens are expected to look after themselves and their families and also take care of the area and environment in which they live.
If Values and Principles are observed, then the UK offers certain freedoms like freedom of speech, religion and freedom from unfair discrimination. The citizen also has a right to a fair trial and to join in the electoral process for forming a government.
Requirements for becoming a UK Citizen
In order to become a full-fledged UK citizen, the first two basic requirements are that a person should be able to read and speak English and should have an adequate understanding of life in the UK. From January 2013 onwards one can become a UK citizen through two ways:
A person has to pass the Life in the UK test. In order to pass this test, knowledge of English is essential. The English language section of the Life in the UK test is modeled on the course entitled English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Entry level 3 which means that there is no need to take a separate English test. A person in the UK on a work visa as well as those on “Tier 1” and “Tier 2” need to pass the Life in the UK test in order to be eligible permanent British citizenship.
One can also become a permanent resident of the UK by passing an ESOL course, mandatory for people whose score is less that required for ESCOL Entry level 3. Taking this test will improve the candidate’s English and provide more information about life in the UK.
On passing the test, a person can fill an application for British citizenship or permanent residence. The type of form depends on individual personal circumstances.
With effect from October 2013, to qualify for permanent residence, in addition to passing the Life in the UK test, valid documents must be produced proving competency in English at B1 of the Common Framework of Reference which is equal to ESOL Entry Level 3.