Who should get the chance to become a UK citizen? What should the requirements be?
Currently to become an English citizen you must either be born in the UK or meet certain requirements, such as taking the Life in the UK test. However, the requirements revolve around how much you earn/how long you’ve lived in the UK and the test focuses on statistics from the census. And not even the most recent one.
Last summer a Kiwi friend of mine took the test and passed with the help of a mutual English friend who ended being outraged with the questions. Turns out that a lot of the questions have “wrong” answers because the census the test is based on is out-dated and it doesn’t even cover parts of life that she considered “true Englishness”.
Recently Channel 4 filmed a two-part documentary that explored the Life in the UK test and what eight British citizens who failed the exam thought “Britishness” was in Making Bradford British. While I thought the show itself was lacklustre, it did raise some interesting points; if English people can’t even pass the test, how should foreigners be expected to? Obviously we’re* told to study the exam manual, etc., but is that enough?
I’d personally like to see that us foreigners could assimilate into the “British” culture by showing an understanding of British traits that may be inherently different to our own cultures (example: British reservedness), an understanding of EU and UK laws, a concrete knowledge of the current political scene in England and maybe even intricate knowledge of how the NHS or education system works. And, to be totally honest, I think it should be necessary to have personal recommendations from a set amount of current English citizens, such as coworkers and friends, who all agree that you should be a citizen. (You know, to show that you fit in with the culture and all.)
Obviously there’s loads of debate around this and it’s quite controversial and all I have is opinion so I thought I’d pose this question to you all: Who should be given the chance to become a UK citizen? What should the requirements be? Or do you think the system works great just the way it is?
Please put your thoughts in the comments below and I hope we have a great conversation around all this!
*I don’t currently qualify for citizenship so I’ve got no plans to take this test at any time in the near future!