Immigrants have been travelling hundreds of miles to take their ‘Life in the UK’ citizenship test – a requirement for gaining British citizenship – at a centre that was fixing the results, guaranteeing all applicants passes. The revelation comes a year after an English language testing centre was caught selling passes for £500.
The Life in the UK test is a multiple choice exam on aspects of British history, law and public services. A pass is essential for all those wanting to become British citizens. Administered by Learn Direct on behalf of the Home Office, applicants were able to take the test at any centre they wanted.
However, according to a report released yesterday, officials grew suspicious when they realised that “applicants were travelling significant distances to complete their test at a specific centre,” sometimes driving hundreds of miles to get there.
“Investigations concluded that the staff at the centre were colluding with applicants in committing fraud,” the report said, according to the Daily Mail . It continued: “As a direct result, the booking system was strengthened to give applicants the option of only five centres where they could take the test, based on a postcode check.”
The exam is taken via computer, supposedly under strict conditions. As a result of uncovering the fraud, the Home Office has now introduced further security measures, such as insisting on applicants being fingerprinted so that their identity can be verified.
Earlier this year, a scam being run by London based ‘Learn, Pass, Succeed’ which administered English language tests in four branches across the capital was uncovered. The citizenship process includes a requirement to speak English to a basic level, but investigations by the Mail revealed that the organisation was selling pass certificates to migrants without even requiring that they attend, for the sum of £500.