News story

New Life in the UK test goes live

The Life in the UK test is taken by migrants wanting to settle permanently in the UK

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The new Life in the UK test goes live today with British culture and history at the very heart of its revised curriculum.

It follows the launch of the new guidebook in late February, which removed questions on topics that those living in the UK should already be aware of like public transport, credit cards and job interviews. Instead, the new test focuses on British culture, history and traditions as well as the events and people that have shaped Britain into the country it is today.

Life in the UK

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 test 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.

This is just part of our work to help ensure migrants are ready and able to integrate into British society and forms part of our changes which have broken the automatic link between temporary and permanent migration.

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 third since 2010.


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 new test is part of the government’s reforms to the immigration system looking at helping reduce net migration to sustainable levels, while ensuring that we continue to attract the brightest and the best migrants from across the world.

In the past, although historical facts were included in the handbook, this information never featured in the actual test. From today this will all change, focusing on the works of Shakespeare and Burns, the scientific contributions of Newton and Fleming and the political persuasions of Churchill and Attlee.

The test also covers many aspects of British cultural and artistic heritage including the music of Purcell and the world wide influence of modern British composers, from Benjamin Britten to the Beatles and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Sport is not overlooked either with the influence of grassroots sport all the way up to the 2012 London Olympics featured.

Published 25 March 2013