A Comprehensive Guide to the British Citizenship Ceremony
What is the British citizenship ceremony?
Attending a citizenship ceremony is an extremely exciting time for many and the final stage of becoming a British citizen. Once an individual gains citizenship either through naturalisation or registration they will be invited to a citizenship ceremony. This is a formal ceremony celebrating an individual’s right to citizenship. It is also seen as a way of demonstrating your loyalty and respect for the United Kingdom.
How do I book my citizenship ceremony?
Once your application has been approved, you will receive an invitation letter from the Home Office detailing how to book your ceremony. You will be required to contact your local authority who informs you where your ceremony will take place. You must book your ceremony within 3 months of receiving your invitation letter or you risk expiration of your invitation. However, as a consequence of COVID-19, this has been extended to 6 months. If you are unable to attend your citizenship ceremony or in the unfortunate event of your invitation expiring you must contact the Home Office.
How much does the ceremony cost?
Standard British Citizenship ceremonies tend to be held as a group. The cost of a standard group ceremony is £80. This £80 fee is included in the application payment for the citizenship application.
Although citizenship ceremonies are usually held as a group there is a choice to have an individual ceremony. Those you wish to opt for an individual ceremony can arrange this with their local authority. There is an additional cost of £100+ involved if you decide to have an individual ceremony. The exact cost varies depending on your local authority and the day of the week. To find out the exact price of individual ceremonies be sure to check with your local authority if this is something you would like arranged.
How should I prepare for my citizenship ceremony?
It is important to be prepared on the day of your ceremony. All individuals are required to show on the day of their citizenship ceremony, both their invitation letter and a form of ID. Those who do not have this present on the day of their ceremony risk postponement of their ceremony.
What happens during the ceremony?
On the day of the UK citizenship ceremony, you will be required to take an oath or an affirmation of allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen. You will be given the option of either taking an oath or affirmation depending on your preference. This is seen as a formal promise to Her Majesty the Queen and the UK.
At the end of the ceremony, you will be awarded your certificate on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen and the government. Those who are attending virtual ceremonies as a result of COVID-19 will be sent a copy of your certificate.
Most local authorities provide individuals with the opportunity to buy professional photographs and videos of the ceremony.
Is it compulsory to attend my citizenship ceremony?
All individuals over the age of 18 are legally required to attend a british citizenship ceremony. Children under the age of 18 are not required to attend the citizenship ceremony. However, if they do not attend, a family member must collect the certificate on behalf of the child.
An individual is not legally required to attend a UK citizenship ceremony if they are registering to become any of the following:
- British subject
- British overseas citizen
- British overseas territories citizen
Citizens who are not living in the UK should get in contact with the embassy and ask the embassy to arrange a ceremony.
Am I allowed to invite guests at my citizenship ceremony?
Yes, when booking your ceremony over the phone you will be asked whether you want guests and how many guests you would like to attend. If this is something you would like at your ceremony ensure you let your local authority know when booking your citizenship ceremony.
How can NA Law Solicitors help?
For expert advice or assistance, please feel free to contact our immigration team here at NA Law Solicitors on 0203 617 9173.