Under the Nationality & Asylum Act 2002, all applicants over the age of 18 years who apply for British Citizenship and are accepted for Naturalisation or registration as a British Citizen, must now attend a Citizenship Ceremony.

How do I apply for British citizenship?

There have been important changes to the way British Citizenship is granted to people applying to Register or Naturalise.

All successful applicants over the age of 18 years are expected to attend a Citizenship Ceremony; these are held within the applicant’s local community.

If you wish to apply for British Citizenship please contact:

Home Office Nationality Group

P.O. Box 306
Liverpool
L2 7XS

India Buildings have now closed their reception facility. Visits to Reliance House Liverpool are by appointment only. All appointments are made through the Nationality Group Helpdesk on 0845 010 5200 or via email on nationalityenquiries@ind.homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk. For more information regarding Citizenship Ceremonies and other Naturalisation enquires, go to: www.homeoffice.gov.uk

How will I know if my application has been successful?

If your application is successful you will receive a letter of approval from the Home Office advising you to contact your local Register Office to book your Citizenship Ceremony.

At the same time, the Home Office contact us directly and send us your Citizenship Certificate. When we receive a Home Office notification stating an applicant has been successful, we then contact the applicant, setting out the dates and times of available ceremonies together with a questionnaire and details regarding the actual ceremony itself.

Applicants are required to attend a ceremony within 3 months of the approval being given; otherwise they may have to make a new application. If you would like further information/advice then please contact The Register Office, Municipal Buildings, Gelliwastad Road, Pontypridd, CF37 2DP on (01443) 494024 alternatively, you can email us at: registrar@rhondda-cynon-taff.gov.uk

Applicants under 18 Years old

All applicants aged 18 years or over must attend a citizenship ceremony. However, there are no legal requirements for successful applicants under the age of 18 years to attend a ceremony and take the oath or pledge. However, if children (under the age of 18 years) wish to attend their parents’ ceremony and take the oath or pledge then they may do so. Please let registration staff know as soon as possible if any children attending the ceremony wish to take the oath or pledge.

Who provides the Citizenship ceremony?

Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council is responsible for organising ceremonies for successful applicants living in the County Borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf on behalf of the Home Office. Standard ceremonies are currently held at the District Office at The Municipal Buildings, Gelliwastad Road Pontypridd and you will be asked to arrive at 2pm on the afternoon of the ceremony.

Can I bring family or friends with me?

Standard ceremonies are usually held in groups of 5 – 20 people, but numbers are dictated by demand. Whilst you are welcome to bring guests, family or friends to your ceremony, accommodation is unfortunately restricted to two guests per applicant. Access is by invitation only. Ceremonies are not open to members of the public.

Applicants and guests should arrive 30 minutes before the ceremony is due to start. They will be asked to show their invitation/s and Home Office documents as appropriate prior to the ceremony commencement.

The Superintendent Registrar (or Deputy) will host the ceremony, and where possible a local dignitary will be in attendance to welcome you to the County Borough.

The ceremony begins with a welcoming speech from the Superintendent Registrar, who will then invite you to swear or affirm an oath of allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen as well as giving a pledge of loyalty to the United Kingdom.

Please note: As the Oath is made to Almighty God you may wish to bring along a holy book. This is a personal consideration and not something required for the purpose of the citizenship ceremony. Allegiance to the Oath can be affirmed if preferred.

The dignitary will then present you with your Citizenship Certificate together with a welcome pack and gift from Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council. At this point you will be invited to sign the Civic Record. (Guests are welcome to take photographs of the certificate presentation and/or signing of the civic record.)

The presentation of the certificate marks the point in the ceremony where British citizenship is conferred. The ceremony will then conclude with the playing of the Welsh National Anthem after which citizens and guest will be offered refreshments by staff.

We expect each ceremony to last approximately 30-40 minutes depending on the number of applicants at each ceremony.

What is the difference between swearing and affirming the oath?

Both statements do exactly the same thing, which is to promise your allegiance to the Queen. The only difference is that the oath is based on religious principles and the affirmation is not. If you decided to swear the oath you MUST bring your holy book to the ceremony with you. 

What happens if I fail to turn up at the ceremony?

If for any reason you fail to turn up for the ceremony you have arranged to attend and we are unable to offer you a new date within the time limit of 3 months, then your documents would be returned to the Home Office and you would have to apply again.

For more information contact the National Group Helpdesk on 0845 010 5200 or by email on nationalityenquiries@ind.homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.

What if there is a mistake on the Citizenship Certificate?

If any of the personal details you gave the Home Office do not appear correctly on your Citizenship Certificate, you should return if after the ceremony to:

Home Office Nationality Group

P.O. Box 306
Liverpool
L2 7XS

You should explain in your letter  that there is an error on your Citizenship Certificate and enclose evidence to establish the correct information to be recorded.

Where can I apply for a British Passport?

at your ceremony you will be presented with your Home Office Certificate which you can use to apply for your British Passport.

If you have any enquiries regarding your British Nationality application please contact the Home Office Ceremonies Support Team on (01512) 375200.

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