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.

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.

What happens during your nationality checking service appointment?

Your appointment will take between 1 and 2 hours 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.

Joint citizenship and passport application service

HM Govenment LogoThis service is no longer available

Nationality Document Return Service (NDRS)

As of the 30th November 2018 Local Authorities will cease to offer the Settlement Checking Service and Nationality Document Return Service, customers can now apply online via gov.uk.

Changes to Services from 30th November 2018

As of the 31st December 2018 Local Authorities will cease to provide the Nationality Checking Service and customers can now apply online via Gov.uk.

New UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services:

From 9th November 2018, the majority of customers will complete their applications online then attend 1 of 57 new service centres in the UK named UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services, managed by a commercial partner, Sopra Steria. Customers will attend an appointment at a service centre to submit their biometric information (photo and fingerprints), and supporting evidence (including proof of identity). To learn more about the new service please visit:


Assisted Digital Service:

UKVI have set up an Assisted Digital support service that is available to customers who do not have the appropriate access, skills or confidence to complete an online application form. The Assisted Digital Service aims to ensure that nobody is excluded from making an immigration application due to lack of digital skills or access to a computer. Eligible customers are offered telephone support, or face to face support at a library or their home, to help them access and complete the online form. This service does not provide immigration advice. For more information and contact details for the Assisted Digital service visit ;



  • Phone: 03333 445 675
  • Text message: text the word “VISA” to 07537416944
  • Email: visa@we-are-digital.co.uk (Please include a telephone number you can be contacted on if possible).

This service will be available at Newcastle City Library from Monday 12th November 2018.


What should I do next?

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 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


Contact us (https://www.newcastle.gov.uk/communities-and-neighbourhoods/births-death...)


Page last updated: 
13 November 2018
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