Citizenship ceremonies

 

If your application to become a British citizen is successful, and you are 18 or over, you are required by law to attend a citizenship ceremony.

At the ceremony you will receive a naturalisation certificate, which proves you are a British citizen with the right to have a British passport and to vote. Once you are a British citizen, you can also live and work anywhere in the European Union.

Frequently asked questions about citizenship ceremonies

I have been awarded British citizenship by the Home Office. What is the next step?

You will receive a citizenship invitation letter from the Home Office.

If you live in Hackney or stated in your application form that you wished to have your citizenship ceremony in Hackney, the Home Office will also send your certificate to Hackney Register Office.

We will then invite you and up to four guests to the next available group ceremony. The invitation letter will give you instructions on how to finalise your citizenship as well as the time, date and location of the ceremony. If you wish you can book a private ceremony so that you can invite more family and friends.  

What happens when I attend a citizenship ceremony?

At the ceremony you will take an oath or affirmation of allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen, and make a pledge of loyalty to the United Kingdom.

You can choose to take an oath or affirmation. The difference is that in the oath you swear to God, in the affirmation you do not. Some people like to practise the wording before they come to their ceremony. Here is what you have to say:

The oath: "I (your full name) swear by Almighty God that on becoming a British citizen, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her Heirs and Successors according to law."

The affirmation: "I (your full name) do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that on becoming a British citizen, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her Heirs and Successors according to law."

Everyone present then has to make the below pledge:

The pledge: "I will give my loyalty to the United Kingdom and respect its rights and freedoms. I will uphold its democratic values. I will observe its laws faithfully and fulfil my duties and obligations as a British citizen."

The Superintendent Registrar conducts the ceremony, which lasts approximately one and a half hours. The Speaker of Hackney gives a welcome speech and presents you with your citizenship certificate.

Each new citizen will receive a commemorative gift. There will also be an opportunity for photographs to be taken with the Speaker at the end of the ceremony (you can buy photographs taken by our professional photographer).

Who can come with me to the citizenship ceremony?

  • if you would like to have your family or friends present, you may bring up to 4 guests. They must be over the age of 16
  • if you are applying for citizenship for children, please note that there is no legal requirement for applicants under the age of 18 to attend a citizenship ceremony
  • the ceremony is not suitable for young children as they can disturb the proceedings for others. If you do need to bring your child make sure there is an adult who is not participating in the ceremony to look after them

What documents do I need to bring to my citizenship ceremony?

You will need to bring the following 2 documents to your ceremony:

  • your Home Office citizenship invitation letter
  • original photo identification (for example a passport or driving licence)

Unfortunately if you do not bring these documents with you, you will not be able to attend your ceremony.

Are there any costs for attending a group citizenship ceremony?

There is no charge for attending a group ceremony. However, if you would like a private ceremony, where you can invite more guests, some fees do apply (please see below).

Can I book a private citizenship ceremony?

If you want to celebrate obtaining British citizenship in a more personal way, or cannot attend a group ceremony, we can arrange a private ceremony for you. There is a fee required in advance for this:

Monday to Friday
Individual: £105
Family: £155

Saturday
Individual: £140
Family: £195

To book a private citizenship ceremony, please contact us.

Page updated: 19/03/2016 17:26:41

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