On 14 July UKVI advised Local Authorities that they can reintroduce citizenship ceremonies where they can do so safely in accordance with health and safety guidance. Ceremonies will be limited to the legalities and the number of attendees allowed will be restricted in order to reduce the risk of infection.
We are putting arrangements in place so that we can safely hold several small ceremonies towards the end of August. Citizens whose certificates were issued before lockdown and are still currently held in the Register Office in addition to citizens whose certificates are being issued this week will receive an invite to one of these ceremonies in due course.
Under the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, all applicants aged 18 years or over who are accepted for naturalisation by the Home Office as a British citizen must take a citizenship Oath or Pledge at a citizenship ceremony. Children under 18 who have applied with their parents are also invited to attend a ceremony with other members of their family. For more information about the Life in the UK test or becoming a British citizen visit the GOV.uk information pages.
Attending a Ceremony
When you are accepted for naturalisation the Home Office will send you a letter. At the same time your local Register Office will receive your naturalisation certificate and other documents. Your local Register Office will automatically send you a letter confirming the date of the next group ceremony. We will also send you a form which you should complete and return to us. The form will ask you to confirm if you wish to Swear the Oath or Affirm the Oath of Allegiance.
Oath or Affirmation?
Details of the wording of the oath and affirmation of allegiance as well as the pledge of loyalty are included in your letter. It is your personal choice whether you swear the Oath by Almighty God or make an Affirmation. Both forms of words accomplish the same thing, promising that you will give your allegiance to the Crown. The difference between the two is that the Oath is based upon religious principles and the Affirmation is not. The words used for the pledge of loyalty will be the same whether you swear or affirm allegiance.
Where and when will the ceremony take place?
Group ceremonies are usually held once a month in Newcastle Civic Centre.
What will happen at the ceremony?
- You will be welcomed into the community by the Lord Mayor of the City of Newcastle upon Tyne
- If you are over the age of 18 you will take the Oath or Affirmation of Allegiance and the pledge of loyalty
- You will be presented with your certificate of naturalisation
- You will receive a small gift from the Newcastle City Council
- You will be asked to sign the Newcastle City Council Register of Citizenship
- You can have a formal photograph taken with the Lord Mayor if you wish
- The National Anthem will be played
- Light refreshments will be served at the end of the ceremony
For further information, queries or if you want to book a private ceremony please contact us.