As of Monday, 02 April 2007, anyone wishing to gain permanent residence in the United Kingdom - properly known as Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) - will be required to take a test that assesses their knowledge of British life and culture. They will also be required to have proficient knowledge of the English language.
A potential permanent resident will be required to gain an English for Speakers of Other Languages qualification if they do not meet the requisite level of English language ability. If the potential permanent resident has sufficient knowledge of the language, the can skip ahead to the test of British values, society, and culture.
Called "Life in the UK", the test is designed to encourage people to learn English and also to learn about British law, democratic processes, and traditions. The hope is that migrants will fully integrate themselves into British society earlier, before becoming full citizens.
Previously, the Life in the UK test had only been a requirement for gaining British citizenship. People applying for naturalization also must take the test.
Related:• UK Home Office publishes new immigration schedule of fees
• New rules for UK permanent residence on 2 April 2007
• UK - Major Immigration Changes in 2006 and beyond
• Spouses of UK immigrants may need English language test
• Community service to be required for prospective UK citizens?
• New UK citizenship test to start on 1 Nov. [ 2005 ]
• Australian citizenship test gets new study guide