In 2013 Garuda Publications made a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the Home Office.
We asked for release of the official questions and answers for the Life in the UK test in operation prior to March 2013 – the old test. We also asked for the overall candidate success rates against those questions. We felt that would have improved the effectiveness of public scrutiny of the test.
The request was ultimately unsuccessful. However, the reasons given for that refusal (in July 2013) remain informative.
“It was considered that disclosure of information under this Act would be likely to prejudice the operation of the immigration controls. It has been determined that the release of the questions and answers would prejudice the operation of the current Life in the UK test as the tests have minimal variation in some parts.”
The attached pdf contains the correspondence together with the Home Office response. We took the FOI to internal review but did not refer to the Information Commissioner.
While we have sympathy with strands of the Home Office decision not to release the information we do believe that there remains a need for more transparency on the workings of the test in the interest of fairness of the residence tests being applied to migrants.