There are many things about the UK that attract people to the country, whether as tourists or as immigrants. The nation’s long and rich history and involvement in many of the wars and other decisive actions that have shaped modern western society are interesting to some, while others are partial to the trendy cities and fun past times enjoyed by the residents. From charming traditional homes and architecture to world-renowned museums and other cultural staples, the UK offers enlightening and enriching experiences to anyone with a passion for getting to the bottom of what makes the western world tick. Yet for many of the people who decide to invest themselves in the nation, the ability to be truly heard as a UK citizen is a major advantage of being a Brit, and participating in the representation of the country to the world is an opportunity as well as a responsibility that many find endlessly enjoyable.
In some parts of the world, citizenship may afford the ability to legally stay within a country without offering much more. Taking advantage of social programs may be especially difficult, and voicing personal opinions and perspectives may be a challenge as oppressive or incompetent administrations undermine the importance of the roles of citizens. In the UK, by sharp contrast, personal opinions and perspectives are serious personal traits that can be used to help influence the course of the country and its populace. Though this concept may be quite novel to some newcomers, others may seek residency and citizenship in the UK precisely in order to take advantage of this capability. Being heard, appreciated, and counted as a British citizen is not always experienced as a major difference from experiences in a former country of residence, but appreciation tends to be abundant when new UK citizens realize that their ideas and opinions are truly valued and can help make important national changes.
Immigrants who do not take the citizenship test and o through the other steps necessary to obtain permanent residency status are less likely to find a favorable experience with expressing themselves and receiving a fond reception. While most British citizens are open to the benefits that immigrants bring to the country, there is less opportunity for those staying on temporary visas or who are in the country illegally to have their voices heard and taken into account. Not everyone who achieves citizenship status in the UK becomes involved with the country’s operation, of course, and a large number of people choose not to vote or otherwise participate in national affairs. Yet for new citizens, becoming an integral part of the national decision-making process and helping to influence points of view are essential experiences that make living and working in the UK a true pleasure. Through speaking and being heard as a UK citizen, newcomers ensure that they add to the prosperity of the country while complimenting their own.