The first chapter of the book, Life in the United Kingdom – A Guide for New Residents 3rd Edition, is called The Values and Principles of the UK. This chapter contains basic information on the benefits and responsibilities of citizenship or permanent residency. It also includes important information on how to register for the test itself.
There are three important categories of information. The first category is Fundamental Principles of British life. There are five principles, or values, that are most important in the UK. They are:
- Democracy, which is the British form of government.
- Rule of law. This means that Britain is a country with laws and it requires everyone to obey those laws.
- Individual liberty, or individual freedom.
- Tolerance of those with different faiths or beliefs. Britain has no official religion, and all faiths are welcome.
- Participation in community life.
These principles are based on Britain’s long history and many traditions. They are protected by its laws, upheld by its culture, and expected by its people.
The second category of information is Responsibilities of citizens and permanent residents. There are five:
- Respect and obey the law,
- Respect the rights of others including the right to have their own opinion, even if it differs from your own.
- Treat others with fairness.
- Look after yourself and your family
- Look after the environment and the area in which you live.
The third and last category is the Freedoms that citizens and permanent residents enjoy. Once again, there are five. They are:
- Freedom of belief & religion.
- Freedom of speech.
- Freedom from unfair discrimination.
- A right to a fair trial.
- A right to join in the election of a government.
This may appear to be a great deal of information, but if you look carefully you will notice that the information in each list is similar. For example, one of the Principles of British life is tolerance of those with different faiths or beliefs. Having this principle of tolerance means that you have the Responsibility to respect the rights of others and the Freedom of your own beliefs and religion. There are five items on each list. If you group them similarly you will find them easier to remember.
In addition to passing the test you will also need to give an oath at the citizenship ceremony. The oath is: “I will give my loyalty to the United Kingdom and respect its rights and freedoms. I will uphold its democratic values. I will observe its laws faithfully and fulfill my duties and obligations as a British citizen.”
The chapter also gives information on what the requirements are to begin the permanent resident or citizenship application. There are two basic requirements. You must speak and read English to the ESOL Level 3 and understand the basics of living in the UK.
There are two ways to demonstrate these requirements. You may either take and pass the Life in the United Kingdom exam, or you may take an ESOL course in English with Citizenship. The class may be the better choice if your English skills are not level 3, as you will learn more English while attending.
Lastly, this chapter gives some important information on how to arrange for the test. There are several things to remember. First, you must apply online to take the test! This is the only way you can reserve a seat and find the proper address for the testing center. Only take the test at an approved testing center, otherwise it will not be valid. Second, be prepared to bring identification that shows your name and your address. The website you use to book your seat will give you specifics.
The chapter study questions are at http://lifeuk.info/new-life-in-the-uk-test-chapter-1/ that you can use to test yourself. This will help you see what areas you may need to review further.