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Naturalisation: Assessments

Volume 472: debated on Monday 25 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many failed citizenship tests there were in 2006-07; what happened to the failed applicant in each case; and if she will make a statement. (185321)

During 2006, there were 50,476 Life on the UK tests taken that resulted in failures and 93,421 during 2007.

Candidates who fail the test are not tracked through the system so it is not possible to state what action candidates took following a failure. There is no limit on how many times a candidate may take the test.

Candidates who fail the Life in the UK test and who still want to apply for permanent settlement or nationality must either retake and pass the test to satisfy the Knowledge of Life requirement or successfully complete an appropriate ESOL course.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much providing citizenship tests in Essex cost the public purse in the last year for which figures are available; and how many such applicants were successful. (185322)

The Department has a commercial contract with the University for Industry (Ufi) to provide the Life in the UK test. Candidates taking the Life in the UK test pay a fee of £34 to the test centre. There is no limit on how many times a candidate may take the test and the fee is payable each time a test is taken. The fee is set at a level to meet the costs of delivering the overall testing service. There are currently no plans to change the fee.

Test results are recorded against the test centre where the test is taken, but it is not possible to provide a breakdown of the figures for Essex. Candidates may take the test at any test centre, but it is known that many candidates take the test at a location convenient to their place of employment rather than their place of residence.