The United Kingdom has long been one of the world’s most prominent countries, and people in nations both near and as far away as possible often keep in touch with the country’s affairs, as well as its politics. When immigrants enter the country, they may arrive with some ideas already in place about how the nation is run and how its history may have an impact on its present and future. At the same time, newcomers may have very poor knowledge of the UK, but may still understand the occasional basic fact about how the country is run and what its hopes are for the future. No matter the depth of understanding of the finer points of the UK’s operation, the majority of newcomers are likely to have observed the very national administration that serves them once they’ve arrived in the country. Once newcomers have established themselves in the UK, they sometimes still remain casual observers, even though some of the policies and practices administered by the government affect them directly. Through obtaining British citizenship, those who hope to live and work in the UK on a permanent basis can enjoy a transformation from observation to participation –something that may extend beyond politics to touch upon other areas of life, as well.
While many people admire the structure and operation of the UK government, and praise the social programs and other systems arrange to help make life easier and more enjoyable to the country’s populace, not everyone decides to contribute to the country through voting and otherwise being an active resident. As the UK’s system depends heavily on the opinions and actions of its residents, it can suffer substantially from the refusal of residents to join in and be a part of the country’s administration. Immigrants in the United Kingdom may feel an urge to get involved with voting and other state-run opportunities, but citizenship is required in order to have one’s voice fully and truly heard. Taking the UK citizenship test and applying for permanent resident status through the avenue of citizenship can be daunting, but for people truly interested in becoming a part of the UK’s national landscape, the effort is well worth it once the citizenship ceremony has been conducted and new citizens can join in on the rights and privileges enjoyed by natives.
When observers make the leap to become participants through obtaining citizenship and the right to vote, they often find that participating in the country’s affairs in other ways is easier, as well. Getting involved with local community groups and programs is an excellent way to help effect positive change in the UK, and participating in parent meetings at schools or even networking with others in one’s professional field can be personally rewarding beyond their immediate benefits. By opting to become a British citizen, immigrants can transform their observations into powerful actions that reward the self as well as the country.