‘Art of queuing to be part of citizenship test for immigrants’

 ‘Must answer 75 percent questions correctly’

14th February 2010

The immigrants coming to UK will be taught the art of queuing, as the ministers are working out modalities to introduce the topic to be a part of the citizenship test for settlers. The outsiders applying for immigration in the UK will have to learn about the valued British practice of forming an orderly line for everything from buses to sandwiches.

The ministers insist, they are entirely serious and want to train migrants more effectively into the British way of life. The ministers are of the opinion that a lot of tension in communities is caused by immigrants not understanding that they must wait in line for services rather than barging to the front. The critics however argue that the system amounts to little more than a memory test and is not a useful measure of whether or not an immigrant is truly committed to the British way of life.

The Immigration Minister, Phil Woolas, confirmed that he was pushing the idea as part of moves to ensure immigrants integrate properly. "It is central to the British sense of fair play and it is also better for everyone. Huge resentment is caused when people push in,” he asserts.
Woolas adds, "Most immigrants in my experience want to play fair." The prospective citizens will be supposed to answer at least 75 per cent of the questions correctly to pass, but they are allowed to retake the test until they do so. 

The applicants can get the answers in a 150-page book- Life in the UK. The applicants are advised to study the book before taking the exam. The book already addresses the pointed question of what you should do if you spill someone’s pint in the pub, with the correct response being to buy them another one.

The ministers say it is not entirely the fault of immigrants, but happens because in less-wealthy countries the only way to get access to necessities is to push you forward. But to elderly people waiting in bus queues, for example, such behavior can be upsetting and scary.

Since 2005, foreign nationals applying for UK citizenship – which confers the right to a British passport – have been required to sit a written test at one of the 90 centers across the country before taking part in a formal citizenship ceremony.

The 45-minute test, introduced by David Blunkett, the then-home secretary, has questions on various aspects of the British way of life from politics to pop music.

Sample questions published by the UK Border Agency to help applicants revise for the test include: "UK citizens can vote at age 18 – true or false?" (true); "Are Scottish banknotes valid throughout the UK?" (yes); "Where is the Prime Minister’s official London residence – Downing Street, Parliament Square, Richmond Terrace or Whitehall Place?" (Downing Street); and "Which two places could you go to get a National Insurance number – social security office, education department, Home Office or Jobcentre Plus? (social security office and Jobcentre Plus).

‘Check before you travel on February 20 and 21’

Guide on queueing… to help integration