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Citizenship ceremonies

Citizenship ceremonies should normally be booked within three months of the invitation sent from the Home Office. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, this has been extended to six months. No adverse decisions will be made on applications because of delays due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

How to apply for Citizenship 

To find out more about more about Citizenship and to apply please go to GOV.UK

Once your application has been approved

When the Home Office have approved your application they will send you an email to confirm this. You should then arrange a Citizenship ceremony, which is the last part of the process, with your local Council. The citizenship ceremony celebrates the significance of becoming a British citizen and welcomes the new citizen into the community. It must take place within three months of the applicant being informed that their application has been successful, unless the Home Secretary extends the period. Please note that due to Covid-19 this period has been extended to six months currently.

You can arrange your Citizenship ceremony by emailing us at ncs@bedford.gov.uk. You will need to tell us your full name and provide a contact telephone number. We aim to reply within 10 working days.

The ceremony 

The ceremony, which is usually held in groups, is conducted by a Superintendent Registrar or Deputy Superintendent Registrar and is a celebration of becoming British. It usually commences with the playing of suitable music, with national symbols of the union flag, and a portrait of the Queen displayed. 

An individual ceremony can be arranged on request, subject to availability, for an additional fee.

Currently the ceremony will be held remotely via Microsoft Teams. Ceremonies may be subject to cancellation at very short notice.

The superintendent registrar will lead applicants through the oath or affirmation and the pledge and conclude the ceremony with the National Anthem.

Citizenship is not conferred until the prospective citizen has participated in the making of the oath or affirmation and pledge, after which they will be invited to book an appointment to collect their certificate.

What do I need to bring with me

A Citizenship ceremony is a formal occasion so please wear smart/formal day wear.

Please remember to bring:

  • your invitation letter from the Home Office
  • valid photographic ID, preferably your passport

You will not be able to attend the ceremony without these documents.

Out of hours ceremony

Out of hours ceremonies are available at a fee of £30. Out of hours ceremonies are held on select Wednesday evenings between 5.20pm and 7pm and on select weekends.

Should you require an out of hours ceremony please email NCS@bedford.gov.uk to discuss availability before making payment.

Pay for an out of hours ceremony