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 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.

Joint citizenship and passport application service

HM Govenment LogoJCAP Update

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. 

Nationality Document Return Service (NDRS)

The Nationality Document Return Service is now available in Newcastle upon Tyne. With the introduction of online forms UK Visas and Immigration is offering this service which allows the customer to apply for British Citizenship online, but retain their documents during the application process.

This is not a checking service but we can copy and certify your passport and supporting documentation for you and send it to the Home Office and Her Majesty's Passport Office securely.

The customer also has the option of using the Joint Checking and Passport Service (JCAP) which means we can send your British passport application at the same time as your supporting documents.

Booking an appointment

This service is by appointment only.  You must make your appointment before submitting your application online.  Your application will be rejected if you do not attend an appointment within 10 working days of submitting your application.

If any family members over the age of 17 years and 6 months have been included in your application they must attend the appointment in person.

To make an appointment contact the Citizenship Team by phone on 0191 277 7227 or by email at citizenship@newcastle.gov.uk.

What you need to bring with you

You will need to bring:

  • Your original passport or identity document

  • All of your original supporting documentation

  • A copy of your checklist – you will be able to print this out when you complete your online application

  • The original referee page with photographs attached

  • Your original Life in the UK Test certificate

To be able to proceed with your appointment you must provide us with your Payment Notification Number (PNN).  You will find your PNN on your checklist.  If you attend your appointment without your checklist we will not be able to proceed. If we can’t proceed you will not receive a refund of you appointment fee.

If you are applying for a British passport at the same time you will need to bring a completed paper passport application form and two passport photographs.  Passport forms are available from Post Office Counters that offer the Passport Check and Send service.


The fee for this service is £85 per appointment (for an individual or a family) which is payable at the time of booking.

Postage will also be charged and is dependent upon the weight of your documents.  This is payable at the time of your appointment.

JCAP costs £12 per passport application and will be collected at your appointment.


Please note: We cannot provide advice or guidance on your application or the types of supporting documents required.  Using the Nationality Document Return Service does not guarantee that your application will be successful.

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

  • 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

  • Contact us

Page last updated: 
8 May 2018
Was this page useful?