What is the nationality checking service?

In partnership with the Home Office we offer a checking service to assist people who want to apply for British Citizenship.

The aim of the service is to help reduce unnecessary delays in the process of applying for British Citizenship. It is a fact that applications to the Home Office containing all the necessary information and correct documents tend to be resolved more quickly than those that are incomplete.

As part of the service we will:

  • Ensure that your application form is completed correctly.
  • Check, copy and certify your passport and other original documents.
  • Make sure that you have enclosed the right payment.
  • Send your application safely and quickly to the Home Office by guaranteed next day delivery.

Why use Newcastle?

Newcastle's checking service was one of the six local councils that helped to launch the nationality checking service scheme in 2005. Our checking service team is very experienced and all of our advisers have been trained and registered with the Office of the Immigration Service Commissioner (OISC). Over 90% of applications that we have checked do not need any more information from you.

Office of the Immigration Service Commissioner (OISC) logoYou do not have to use Newcastle's checking service. You can apply direct to the Home Office or use a solicitor or other agent. But if you do, make sure they are properly qualified to give you advice, are registered with the OISC and display this symbol.

Solicitors and others registered with the law society do not have to be registered with the OISC.

What happens during your nationality checking service appointment?

Your appointment will take between 45 and 90 minutes depending on how many people are applying. When you come in for your appointment you must:

  • Attend in person. If you are married or in a civil partnership and want to make a joint application, both of you must attend. Children under 18 need not attend.
  • Bring your completed citizenship application form.
  • Remember your original copy of your successful 'Life in the UK' test certificate.
  • Bring all the listed documents in the application form guideline notes.
  • Remember the citizenship application fee.

What does it cost?

Please see our register office fees page. The fee must be paid when you make your appointment. We charge the full fee for missed appointments unless seven days notice is given. We will accept any payment method for the checking service fee.

Please note that our checking service fee is separate to the Home Office fee. The Home Office fee will be posted off with your application so we cannot accept payment by cash. You can pay by postal order, cheque (made payable to "The Accounting Officer, Home Office") or by credit card.

For more information on Newcastle's nationality checking service, or to book an appointment, contact the Citizenship team.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Will Newcastle give me advice about immigration?
    The Nationality Checking Service is not there to give you advice on immigration matters. If you have any queries regarding your eligibility to apply for British Citizenship, you should consult with your legal advisers or the Home Office, or phone the Home Office help line on 0845 010 5200. Alternatively you can visit the OISC website.
  • Does using the checking service guarantee a successful application?
    No, your application will still be assessed by the Home Office. But by using the checking service you can be sure that your application will be complete in every detail, making it more likely that it will be processed more quickly. If the Home Office needs information about your application, they will contact you directly at the address given on your application form.
  • What is the 'Life in the UK' test?
    If you are applying for naturalisation as a British citizen, you will need to show that you know about life in the UK. You should take the test if you are applying for naturalisation as a British citizen and your level of English is ESOL Entry 3 or above. If you pass the test, you are given a letter which proves you have been successful. This is called your pass notification letter. You will need to bring your pass notification letter to your appointment.
    For more information, visit www.lifeintheuktest.gov.uk or phone 0800 015 4245.
    If your level of English is lower than ESOL Entry 3 and you wish to apply for naturalisation, you will need to attend combined English language (ESOL) and citizenship classes instead. Classes will be run at your local further education or community college.
  • What do I do if I want to give some feedback about the service?
    If you have a compliment, comment or complaint about the service, please let us know. There are three steps to do this.

    Step 1: Tell a member of staff immediately
    It is always nice to know we are doing our job well and, if we are not, simple mistakes or misunderstandings can often be sorted out straight away. If the adviser cannot help you then speak to the service manager.

    Step 2: Contact the Corporate Complaints team

    Step 3: Complain directly to the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner
    If you are still not happy with our response, you can contact the OISC

  • Contact us
Page last updated: 24 January, 2014