Becoming a British Citizen
A Citizenship Ceremony is the final stage in granting British Citizenship to foreign nationals. The ceremony welcomes new citizens into the community, it confers rights and responsibilities to the new citizen and celebrates the significance of becoming a British Citizen. We ask each new citizen to make promises and say an oath to the Sovereign that they will be a faithful citizen. They must also make a formal and public pledge that they will be a loyal subject and observe the laws of the country.
The Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 includes provisions that require all applicants aged 18 or over who are accepted for naturalisation or registration as a British citizen are required to take a citizenship oath and pledge in the presence of a Registrar. Applicants under the age of 18 do not require to attend a ceremony or take the oath and pledge but may do so if desired.
Who do I contact to find out how to become a British Citizen?
The Home Office, UK Border Agency in Liverpool deal with all matters relating to applications and qualification for British citizenship.
With effect from 1st November 2005 any person making application will need to provide evidence that they not only speak the English language but also they can demonstrate knowledge of life in the United Kingdom.
You may contact the Home Office, UK Border Agency directly by post, telephone or website:
Postal applications should be forwarded to:
UK Border Agency
New Hall Place
Telephone Enquiries: 0870 606 7766
Website enquiries can be made through the following web page: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/britishcitizenship/
Information on English test requirements can be found through the following web address: www.lifeintheuktest.gov.uk
The Home Office, UK Border Agency will advise you whether your application has been successful. Fees are set by, and payable to, the Home Office, UK Border Agency.
If your application for Citizenship has been successful
- You will receive a citizenship invitation letter from the Home Office, UK Border Agency.
- You should thereafter contact the Registration Office specified on the letter within 14 days.
- The Registrar will ask you to confirm the 'Poll Number' and the 'Certificate Cover Note ' shown on the invitation letter.
- The Registrar will require to see the invitation letter before the Citizenship Ceremony can be arranged.
- Arrange a date and time for your Citizenship Ceremony with the Registrar (The ceremony must take place within 3 (three) months from the date entered on the invitation letter).
- The final step of becoming a British citizen is to attend a Citizenship Ceremony.
- You will receive your Certificate of Naturalisation or Registration directly after the ceremony.
Where and when will the Ceremony take place?
- The ceremony will normally take place within the Registration office during normal working hours.
- If you prefer a different venue, this can be arranged with the Registrar. However, an extra fee will be applied by the Council.
- Where several applications have been received at once, some ceremonies may be group ceremonies. If you do not wish to be part of a group ceremony, you will need to discuss this with the Registrar.
Attendance at Ceremonies
- All prospective citizens aged 18 or over are expected to attend a ceremony.
- Prospective citizens under the age of 18 do not require to attend a ceremony or take the oath and pledge. However, if they wish to attend a ceremony, or be present at their parents' ceremony, they are welcome to do so. Where they choose not to attend the ceremony personally, another member of the family may collect the certificate on his or her behalf.
- Guests may be invited to attend the ceremony. Please discuss this with the Registrar.
What will happen during the Ceremony?
- The Registrar will conduct the ceremony.
- The Lord Lieutenant of Clackmannanshire, the Queen's representative in this area, will normally be present.
- During the ceremony, each prospective citizen must either swear or affirm an oath of allegiance to the Queen and make a pledge of loyalty to the United Kingdom. This must be done in the English language.
- To swear an oath means to swear by Almighty God.
- To affirm an oath is suitable for those who are not religious or who do not want to swear by Almighty God.
- Holy books can be brought to the ceremony if so desired.
- Following the oath or affirmation and pledge, you will be presented with your Certificate of Registration or Naturalisation.
- All new citizens are invited to stand while the national anthem is played.
- Photographs can be taken after the ceremony has been completed.
I require more information
For further information on becoming a British citizen please refer to the Home Office British Citizenship website: www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk
You can also refer the Home Office's website Contact page.