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Citizenship ceremonies

COVID-19 Service Information

Registration and Celebratory Service

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the East Riding Registration and Celebratory Service is operating on a reduced staffing level.

The service appreciates the difficult situation faced by the public, couples and venues, locally and nationally during these uncertain times and are doing their best to be as flexible as possible in all circumstances.

The service will be returning enquiries in order of the date received but we acknowledge our reduced staffing level could delay this process.

Citizenship ceremonies

During the second national lock-down the Government's guidelines for citizenship ceremonies is that they can continue to be held where they can do so in line with public health guidance.

Enquiries email:  citizenship@eastriding.gov.uk

What is a citizenship ceremony?

A citizenship ceremony is the final step in the process of becoming a British citizen. Applicants have to take part in a citizenship ceremony within 3 months of the Home Office granting citizenship. 

Do I have to have to attend a citizenship ceremony?

Under the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, all applicants aged 18 years or over who are accepted for naturalisation or registration by the Home Office as a British citizen, must take a citizenship oath and pledge (promises to be a good and loyal citizen) at a citizenship ceremony.

Do children have to attend a ceremony?

Children who are granted citizenship do not have to take a citizenship oath or pledge or have to attend a ceremony. If you have reached the age of 18 by the time your application has been agreed you will have 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.

Where are citizenship ceremonies held?

East Riding registration and celebratory services offer monthly group ceremonies in the registration office at Goole and occasionally in senior schools throughout East Yorkshire. Private ceremonies may be arranged to take place in the registration offices at Beverley, Bridlington, Pocklington, Goole.

Find your nearest registration office.

What is a group ceremony?

Group ceremonies may involve up to 10 new citizens, each may be accompanied by two guests. You may prefer to have a private ceremony just for yourself and your family; you may bring more guests to a private ceremony. A private ceremony can be arranged for an  additional fee.

Do I have to pay for a group ceremony?

The fee for a group ceremony is included in the fee paid to the Home Office at the time of your application.  A list of the fees for ceremonies is available on the  Citizenship ceremony fees page.

Where can I hold my private ceremony?

In addition to the registration office, you may have to pay an additional fee to hold your private citizenship ceremony in one of a number of venues approved by the council.  

East Riding of Yorkshire approved venues for ceremonies.

Do I need to pre-book my ceremony? 

We will receive paperwork from the Home Office informing us that you need to attend a ceremony. We will invite you to the next available group ceremony. You 
may choose to have a private ceremony at this stage.

When you receive your invitation letter from us you must telephone (01482) 393590 to arrange a date for your ceremony.

Find your nearest registration office 

Do I have to have my ceremony in the district where I live?

No, you can choose to have your ceremony in any registration district in England or Wales. You must tell the Home Office if you wish to hold your ceremony in another district in order for your certificates to be sent there in time for the ceremony. 

What happens during a ceremony?

When you arrive at the ceremony, the registrars will check your identity and confirm that the personal details entered on your certificate are correct. You will be asked to bring some photo identity with you, together with your home office letter and our letter confirming your attendance at the ceremony.

During your ceremony, you must make an oath of allegiance, or you can make an affirmation if you prefer not to swear by God and also a pledge. These are promises that you will be a good and loyal citizen of the United Kingdom. The registrar will read out the words that have to be spoken and you will be asked to repeat them.

Local dignitaries may attend the ceremony to offer a welcome on behalf of the Council and the Queen. Everyone will then be asked to stand while the national anthem is played. At the end of the ceremony, you will be presented with your citizenship certificate and a small gift from the council.

Afterward, you will be invited to join us in an informal celebration with light refreshments. You have the opportunity of having your photograph taken with your guests and the dignitaries present.

Anyone wishing to renew their oath of allegiance may do so in one of these ceremonies. 

How do I apply for British citizenship?

You will have to meet certain criteria in order for your application for British citizenship to be considered.  

The UK Border Agency provides information about how to apply for British citizenship:

Home Office UK Border Agency (external website)

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