Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK

Persons applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain or British Citizenship via naturalisation are required to fulfil the so-called KoLL requirement or Knowledge of Language and Life in the UK.

The Knowledge of Language and Life requires all applicants for ILR and British Citizenship to fulfil two requirements, unless exempt;

  • To pass the Life in the UK test; and
  • To have an English speaking and listening qualification at the correct level.

What is the Life in the UK Test?

The Life in the UK Test tests an applicant’s knowledge of the United Kingdom. It covers British customs and traditions. The test consists of 24 questions, and you have 45 minutes to answer them all. There is an official handbook that one can obtain to help prepare for the test.

You will need to score 75% or higher to pass the test. This means that at least 18 out of the 24 questions must be correct.

If you fail the test, you can sit it again. There is no limit on how many times you can do the test. However, you have to wait seven days to do so. You will have to pay the fee every time you take the test.

Read more on the Life in the UK test.

The English Language Requirement

Applicants who are nationals of majority English-speaking countries and those who have obtained a degree taught in English will not be required to undertake the separate English test.

Some nationals might be surprised to find out their country of residence is not on the majority English-speaking list. You can find the list of English-speaking countries here.

There are two ways to fulfil the English language requirement;

Applicants who have a degree from a UK institution will automatically fulfil the English language requirement. If taught in another country, and the applicant can prove that it is equivalent or at a higher standard than a UK bachelor’s degree and provide evidence that the degree was taught in English, the applicant will fulfil the requirement. Please speak to your BIC consultant for more information on how to provide this proof through the UK Ectiss process.

Alternatively, an applicant will have to pass an English-speaking and listening qualification with an approved provider. Ask your consultant to provide you with the correct level that you need to take the test.

It is important to note that the UK Home Office only accepts English Language tests done by approved providers. Please check with your BIC consultant for more information before you book and pay for your test.

Exemptions from the Knowledge of Language and Life requirement

Certain persons do not have to fulfil the KoLL requirement:

Children under 18 years of age;

Persons aged 65 years and older;

Applicants who have a physical or mental condition which restricts their ability to learn English and/or communicate and/or to take the Life in the UK test;

Visa holders on the adult dependent relative and retired person of independent means migration routes;

Spouses of British citizens or persons settled in the UK who have been victims of domestic violence or whose spouse has died.

How Breytenbachs can help you 

Please speak to your BIC consultant for more information on the Knowledge of Language and Life requirement.


Please note that the information in this article does not constitute professional advice. It is provided for general information purposes without any warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied.

Please contact us today for further information or applications.

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