Another milestone achieved.

In the blink of an eye we have been living in the UK for almost 5 years now.  That also means our visa is expiring and time to apply for ‘Indefinite Leave To Remain’ (UK permanent residency).  My parents calls it ‘becoming the second class citizen’.

New requirements are imposed every now and then to apply for the ILTR.  Besides the standard submission of documents, we have to pass the ‘Life in UK’ test.  Prior to Oct 2011, only those applying for British citizenship need to sit for this test.  The test is suppose to test our English proficiency and knowledge of life in the UK.

The test itself is relatively simple – 24 multiple choice questions must be completed within 45 minutes.  All we need to do is read 5 chapters of the official handbook and memorise key historical dates and statistics (e.g. population, minorities).  Average time taken to finish the test is 10 minutes and that includes checking all questions several time.

However the time taken to sit for the test itself takes so long!!  Not only does the supervisor have to individually verify your identity by asking several questions and check your ID (to prevent fraud), after the verification they have to manually login to each desktop TWICE (one for practice run and another for the actual test) before we can start the test.  This whole process itself already took one hour. So even though the guidance says the test takes 45 mins, we were in the centre for at least 2 hours.

After the test we’re not allowed to leave until we get our results.  This is because they do not keep the results and there will only be one piece of paper provided as evidence that you’ve passed the test.  So if we misplace the paper then we’ll have to re-sit the test again and pay another £50.

We sat for the test last Friday and we passed. Phew!

I found a link to a sample test, feel free to test your knowledge of life in the UK here.

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