Find out about the citizenship ceremony and what to do before and on the day.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) update

New citizens would normally be expected to book their citizenship ceremony within three months of being sent an invitation from the Home Office. Due to the current pandemic circumstances UK Visas and Immigration have extended this period to six months and will keep this under constant review. UK Visas and Immigration have advised us that no adverse decisions will be made on applications because of delays caused by Coronavirus.


Covid adaptations for ceremonies

Ceremonies are currently face-to-face private ceremonies at any Registration Office and are free of charge. Joint applicants can attend together if they are part of the same household. Guests are allowed at every venue but this is currently limited to one guest.

Virtual Ceremonies will continue to be offered free of charge for the time being to those who are vulnerable, high risk, unable to have a vaccine or unable to attend in person e.g. isolating or would prefer not to have face-to-face contact. Please let us know when you contact us if you feel you are require one of these ceremonies.

From 1 September 2021

Group face-to-face ceremonies will return at Northallerton, Harrogate, Selby, Skipton and Scarborough. There is no charge for these citizenship ceremonies; the fee you pay to the Home Office includes the cost.

Individual Face-to-Face and virtual ceremonies will continue to be offered free of charge for the time being to those who are vulnerable, high risk or unable to have a vaccine. Please let us know when you contact us if you feel you are require one of these ceremonies.

To Book you Ceremony please call 01609 533858.

Preparing for the ceremony

You will be asked to decide on the options for your ceremony. You will also be asked if you wish to bring guests (there will be a restriction on numbers). If you wish, please bring a holy book of your choice.

The day of the ceremony

On the day of the ceremony, bring the letter of invitation from the Home Office, plus ID documents that we will discuss with you when you call. Without these, we will be unable to go ahead. The ceremony takes about 30 minutes. Please arrive promptly, as we will have a short interview with all new citizens before the ceremony starts.

The council chairperson would ordinarily attend group ceremonies but at the current time cannot due to Covid restrictions. The Registrar will make a short welcoming speech before you have a choice of either swearing an oath or affirming your allegiance, and you will also be asked to make a pledge of commitment. All new citizens will be called forward at the end to receive their citizenship certificates, information pack and a small gift from us. There is time for photographs at the end of the ceremony.

Frequently asked questions

A citizenship ceremony may vary slightly depending on where it is held but all ceremonies will contain several common elements, such as a speech made by the registrar, an oath of allegiance or affirmation of an oath and a pledge of commitment.

The oath

All new citizens will be asked to either swear the oath or affirm the oath. If you decide to swear the oath you will be swearing to God, while affirming the oath does not have any religious context.

Swearing 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.

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.

Pledge of commitment

After swearing or affirming, you will then make the pledge of commitment:

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 group will repeat both the oath and pledge after the registrar, so you do not have to memorise anything.

No, the Registrar will guide you through the above statements, you are not expected to learn the words you will need to say.