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Citizenship ceremonies

What citizenship ceremonies are, do you have to attend, do children have to attend, where are they held, what is a group ceremony, do you have to pay, where to hold a private ceremony, pre-booking, does it need to be in the district you live, what happens and how to apply for British citizenship.

What is a citizenship ceremony?

A citizenship ceremony is the final step in the process of becoming a British citizen. Applicants have to take part in a citizenship ceremony within 3 months of the Home Office granting citizenship. 

Do I have to have to attend a citizenship ceremony?

Under the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, all applicants aged 18 years or over who are accepted for a naturalisation or registration by the Home Office as a British citizen, must take a citizenship oath and pledge (promises to be a good and loyal citizen) at a citizenship ceremony.

Do children have to attend a ceremony?

Children who are granted citizenship do not have to take a citizenship oath or pledge, or have to attend a ceremony. If you have reached the age of 18 by the time your application has been agreed you will have to attend a ceremony even if you made your application as a child. If applications for children under the age of 18 have been made as part of a family group, they will be invited to attend the citizenship ceremony with their parents.

Where are citizenship ceremonies held?

East Riding registration and celebratory services offer monthly group ceremonies in the registration office at Goole and occasionally in senior schools throughout East Yorkshire. Private ceremonies may be arranged to take place in the registration offices at at Beverley, Bridlington, Pocklington, Goole. Find your nearest registration office 

What is a group ceremony?

Group ceremonies may involve up to 10 new citizens, each may be accompanied by two guests. You may prefer to have a private ceremony just for yourself and your family; you may bring more guests to a private ceremony. A private ceremony can be arranged for an additional fee

Do I have to pay for a group ceremony?

The fee for a group ceremony is included in the fee paid to the Home Office at the time of your application.  A list of the fees for ceremonies is available on the citizenship ceremony fees page 

Where can I hold my private ceremony?

In addition to the registration office, you may have to pay an additional fee to hold your private citizenship ceremony in one of a number of venues approved by the council.  

East Riding of Yorkshire approved venues for ceremonies

Do I need to pre-book my ceremony? 

We will receive paperwork from the Home Office informing us that you need to attend a ceremony. We will invite you to the next available group ceremony. You 
may choose to have a private ceremony at this stage.

When you receive your invitation letter from us you must telephone 01482 393590 to arrange a date for your ceremony.

Find your nearest registration office 

Do I have to have my ceremony in the district where I live?

No, you can choose to have your ceremony in any registration district in England or Wales. You must tell the Home Office if you wish to hold your ceremony in another district in order for your certificates to be sent there in time for the ceremony. 

What happens during a ceremony?

When you arrive at the ceremony, the registrars will check your identity and confirm that the personal details entered on your certificate are correct. You will be asked to bring some photo identity with you, together with your home office letter and our letter confirming your attendance at the ceremony.

During your ceremony you must make an oath of allegiance, or you can make an affirmation if you prefer not to swear by God and also a pledge. These are promises that you will be a good and loyal citizen of the United Kingdom. The registrar will read out the words that have to be spoken and you will be asked to repeat them.

Local dignitaries may attend the ceremony to offer a welcome on behalf of the Council and the Queen. Everyone will then be asked to stand while the national 
anthem is played. At the end of the ceremony you will be presented with your citizenship certificate and a small gift from the council.

Afterwards, you will be invited to join us in an informal celebration with light refreshments. You have the opportunity of having your photograph taken with your guests and the dignitaries present.

Anyone wishing to renew their oath of allegiance may do so in one of these ceremonies. 

How do I apply for British citizenship?

You will have to meet a certain criteria in order for your application for British citizenship to be considered.  

The UK Border Agency provides information about how to apply for a British citizenship.

Home Office UK Border Agency (external website)