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.
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.
You 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.
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.
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.
From 30 January 2018 the Joint Checking and Passport Service will only be available to Nationality Document Return Service customers.
Newcastle City Council will honour NCS/JCAP appointments which are already booked to take place between now and Friday 6 April 2018. No new NCS/JCAP appointments are being accepted. NCS appointments without JCAP will continue as normal.
If you do have an NCS/JCAP appointment booked please follow the steps below:
- Pick up a passport application pack at the Post Office
- complete sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 (if applicable) and 9 of the passport application form. You don't need to complete section 10 or have your 2 photographs certified as details of referees will be collected as part of your citizenship application
- the photographs you submit with both applications must be identical (i.e. from the same sitting) and comply with the photo standards in the application guidance. You don't need to get these photos certified as details of referees will be collected as part of your citizenship application
- section 1 - if you are within 6 months of your 16th birthday at the time of application, you must attend the appointment in person
- section 2 - do not enter a mobile phone number in section 2 of the application form. Please enter it in Section 8 instead
- section 4 - grandparents’ details are not required
- you must complete the payment mandate on page 25 of the application guidance. Please ensure that the security number of the card is entered in the appropriate box.
If you are unsure about any requirements, leave the section of the form blank and complete it at your appointment.
The service costs an additional £12.
With the introduction of online forms, UK Visas and Immigration will be offering a service called Nationality Document Return Service. It allows the customer to apply online for citizenship, but retain their documents during the application process.
As an extension to this Joint Checking and Passport (JCAP) will be added onto the NDRS service as an option for the customer.
The service will go live on 30 January 2018 however not all participating authorities will offer NDRS from this date. Newcastle City Council will be providing this service in future but we are currently unable to offer appointments.
For more information on Newcastle's Nationality Checking Service, or to book an appointment, contact the Citizenship team.
- 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 0300 123 2253. Alternatively you can visit the OISC website.
- Does using the Nationality 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 or for indefinite leave to remain, you will need to provide the Life in the UK Test and either:
- English qualification at level B1 or above: Integrated Skills in English (Trinity College); Graded Examinations in Spoken English (Trinity College) – Grade 5; IELTS Life Skills (Cambridge English Language Assessment); IELTS (Cambridge English Language Assessment
- Degree, Masters or PHD Certificate (taught in English and verified by NARIC UK www.ecctis.co.uk/naric if not studied in the UK)
- English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) at entry level 3 or above
For more information about the test and the classes visit the Life in the UK website
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: Make a Corporate Complaint
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