Changes to British nationality applications made outside the UKFrom 16 July 2012 applicants outside the UK must send their application to the UK Border Agency in the UK. British Nationality regulations have changed the way applications made outside the UK are submitted and processed.
This page provides details of the citizenship ceremony that all adults wishing to become British citizens in the United Kingdom are required to attend. Ceremonies in the United Kingdom are conducted on our behalf by registrars in local areas. If you are abroad, the ceremony will be conducted by the diplomatic post in the country where you live.
If you are registering to become a British overseas territories citizen, a British Overseas citizen or a British subject you will not need to attend a ceremony. You will need to make an oath or affirmation of allegiance. Those applying for British overseas territories citizenship also need to make a pledge. The page on the oath of allegiance provides more information.
Becoming a British citizen is a significant event and should be celebrated in a meaningful way. At the ceremony, you will be welcomed into your local community and meet other people in the area who are becoming British citizens.
If your application for British citizenship is successful, we will send you a letter confirming this and inviting you to attend a ceremony. Your ceremony will usually take place close to where you live. If you want your ceremony to take place somewhere else in the United Kingdom, you should tell us this when you make your application for naturalisation.
Arranging the ceremony
When you receive your invitation to a ceremony, you have 90 days to attend one. Your invitation will include contact details for the local authority that will arrange your ceremony. Ceremonies in the UK are organised by local authorities. They can be held at the register office or town hall, although sometimes special ceremonies are held elsewhere, such as in historic buildings or schools.
Most local authorities arrange group ceremonies for everyone in the local area who is becoming a British citizen at that time. You will usually be able to take two guests with you to the ceremony. Attendance at the ceremony is by invitation only. You should take your invitation with you to the ceremony.
In special circumstances you can arrange a private ceremony. You should discuss your requirements with your local authority. You may have to pay an additional fee to arrange a private ceremony and it will not usually be attended by a dignitary.
Children are not required to take a citizenship oath or affirmation, and the accompanying pledge, or to attend a ceremony. If you have reached the age of 18 by the time we have decided your application you will need to attend a ceremony even if you made your application as a child. If applications for children under the age of 18 have been made as part of a family group, they will be invited to attend the citizenship ceremony with their parents.
Preparing for the ceremony
When you attend your ceremony you are required to make an oath of allegiance (or you can make an affirmation if you prefer not to swear by God) and a pledge. The words of the oath, affirmation and pledge are all given below. You may wish to practise saying the oath or affirmation, and the pledge, before you attend the ceremony.
Oath of allegiance
I (name) swear by Almighty God that on becoming a British citizen, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her Heirs and Successors, according to law.
Affirmation of allegiance
I (name) do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that on becoming a British citizen, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her Heirs and Successors, according to law.
I will give my loyalty to the United Kingdom and respect its rights and freedoms. I will uphold its democratic values. I will observe its laws faithfully and fulfil my duties and obligations as a British citizen.
Ceremonies in Wales
If you are attending a ceremony in Wales you may, if you wish, make the oath or affirmation, and the pledge, in Welsh. The Welsh version of the oath, affirmation and pledge are below.
Yr wyf i, (enw), yn tyngu i Dduw Hollalluog y byddaf i, ar ôl dod yn ddinesydd Prydeinig, yn ffyddlon ac yn wir deyrngar i'w Mawrhydi y Frenhines Elisabeth yr Ail, ei Hetifeddion a'i Holynwyr, yn unol âr gyfraith.
Yr wyf i, (enw), yn datgan ac yn cadarnhau yn ddifrifol, yn ddiffuant ac yn gywir y byddaf i, ar ôl dod yn ddinesydd Prydeinig, yn ffyddlon ac yn wir deyrngar i'w Mawrhydi y Frenhines Elisabeth yr Ail, ei Hetifeddion a'i Holynwyr, yn Unol âr gyfraith.
Rhoddaf fy nheyrngarwch i'r Deyrnas Unedig ac fe barchaf ei hawliau a'i rhyddidau. Arddelaf ei gwerthoedd democrataidd. Glynaf yn ffyddlon wrth ei chyfreithiau a chyflawnaf fy nyletswyddau a'm rhwymedigaethau fel dinesydd Prydeinig.
Attending the ceremony
When you arrive at the ceremony, the local authority staff will check your identity and confirm that the personal details entered on your certificate are correct. Refreshments will be available.
During the ceremony, speeches will be made, often by local or national dignitaries. These may include welcoming the new citizens on behalf of the local area and encouraging them to play an active role within their communities.
You will be presented with your certificate of British citizenship and a welcome pack. You will be given a commemorative gift, often with a local flavour.
All new citizens are invited to stand while the national anthem is played.
Some local authorities arrange for photographs or videos of the event to be available for you to buy.
Further information on ceremonies can be found in chapter 6 of the nationality staff instructions.