Citizenship

In this section:
Your citizenship ceremony

Your citizenship ceremony

If your application for citizenship is approved by the Home Office, you will need to attend a citizenship ceremony.

In this section:


Due to the coronavirus pandemic, our Registrars Service is currently operating a reduced service.

You must wear a face covering that covers your nose and mouth unless you are exempt for medical reasons during the ceremony.

Citizenship ceremonies are now resuming with the understanding of those attending that this is a reduced event for those approaching the six month deadline to undertake a ceremony. If you wish to attend a full ceremony, you will be required to wait until government guidance changes and at present there is no further information. 

If you received a Home Office letter prior to March or had been booked into a ceremony cancelled in March, you will receive a letter from the Hillingdon Registrars Office.

The maximum number of attendees for each ceremony is 25, who will be those undertaking the ceremony itself. The reduced number of attendees allows for people to be safely seated around the Council Chamber, following current social distancing guidelines. Due to the reduced number of attendees, ceremonies will be held more frequently. Attendees will be required to give their contact details to staff upon arrival in line with the Track and Trace scheme. Unfortunately at present there will be no facility for guests to attend.

The ceremony will start at 10am, with doors opening from 9.30am. The checking in process may take longer than usual, so attendees should arrive with plenty of time. If you arrive too close to the ceremony start time, you will have to rebook as it is not possible to join the ceremony once it has started.

The Mayor's formal speech will be shorter than usual as will that of the Registrar conducting the ceremony.

Your certificate will be given when you arrive at the venue. There will unfortunately be no opportunity to receive the certificate from the Mayor and have a photo taken. Attendees are required to stay and participate in the ceremony until its conclusion.

There is a legal requirement for attendees to repeat the words of the Oath or Affirmation of Allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen, and the Pledge of Loyalty to the United Kingdom. This will require the removal of any face masks during this time. They may be worn when you are not required to speak. 

These conditions will remain in place until further government guidance is provided. If you do not wish to participate in the shortened ceremony, you can choose to wait for the full ceremonies to resume. You should however be mindful of the six month deadline to attend a ceremony from the receipt of the Home Office letter. 


Within two weeks of receiving your Home Office invitation letter, you will be asked to contact the Register Office to be booked on the next available ceremony.

The Home Office will normally expect you to have your ceremony within 11 weeks of receiving your notification. If you do not think you will be able to attend a ceremony within this period, you may apply to the Home Office for an extension.

If you would like to have a ceremony in a different district, you should state this on your application form. If you do not do this, the Home Office will only consider changes under exceptional circumstances.

Do I need to bring anything?

You need to bring the invitation letter sent to you by the Home Office. If you do not provide this document as a security measure, you may be refused entry to the ceremony.

You must also bring photographic ID eg a driving licence or a passport to your ceremony. 

Guests are welcome, but are usually restricted to two per applicant.

You and your guests are free to dress however you feel most comfortable, although smart casual wear is recommended as the ceremony is a formal occasion. Alternatively, traditional national costume of your origin is welcome to reflect the cultural diversity of the borough and of the United Kingdom. 

Allow two hours for the ceremony:

  • you are required to register at least 30 minutes before the start of the ceremony
  • the ceremony itself will take approximately one hour
  • you may want to take photographs at the end of the ceremony  

What happens at the ceremony?

Ceremonies are held in the Council Chamber at the Civic Centre, with approximately 60 citizens per session.

Each citizen will be required to repeat the words of the Oath or Affirmation of Allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen, and the Pledge of Loyalty to the United Kingdom. The oath and pledge are led by the Superintendent Registrar and must be spoken by all new citizens.

The Mayor, or the Mayor's representative, will then present you with your citizenship certificate and a gift. As part of the proceedings the Mayor also makes a speech of civic welcome to Hillingdon to all the new citizens.

The Union flag and National Anthem enhance the dignity and celebration for new citizens and their guests.

Photographs are taken with the Mayor to round off a special, meaningful and enjoyable occasion.

Children who have attained British Citizenship with you are welcome to attend a ceremony. If they do not attend, either parent can collect their certificate(s) on their behalf.

Citizenship is granted to you at the ceremony. Once you have received your Citizenship certificate you can apply for a British passport immediately. 

Personal ceremonies 

Alternative days or times are available for those sessions.

If you wish to have your own personal ceremony, which will be held in our Four Seasons Room, contact the Register Office for further information.

Fees

Day of the weekFees (per person)
Monday to Friday£100
Saturday£125
Page last updated: 23 Sep 2020