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Foreigners settling in UK to face history test

Written by: Staff

London, Dec 5: Foreigners wanting to settle in Britain will be tested on their knowledge of British history and customs from next year, the Home Office said.

From April, applicants will be expected to answer questions on subjects ranging from Queen Elizabeth, to regional dialects and customs in the 45-minute ''Life in the UK'' test already taken by those applying to become British citizens.

The government says the test helps integrate migrants into British society.

''It is essential that migrants wishing to live in the UK permanently recognise that there are responsibilities that go with this,'' Immigration Minister Liam Byrne said in a statement yesterday.

Applicants will also be expected to demonstrate a knowledge of English. As well as questions on the workings of government, the test also expects applicants to know details of British history and also a wealth of statistical data.

Newspapers lampooned the Life in the UK test when it was introduced for those applying to be citizens last year, pointing out that most people born and bred in Britain would have difficulty answering many of the questions.

Sample questions include: * ''Name three countries that Jewish people immigrated from to escape persecution during the period 1880-1910?'' The answer is Belarus, Poland and Ukraine.

* ''What's the distance between the north coast of Scotland to south coast of England?'' - About 600 miles (1,000 km).

* ''If you were the first visitor of the new year to a Scottish home, what might you be expected to bring?'' - Coal, bread and whisky to ensure prosperity.


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