People and communities Citizenship ceremonies

How to arrange a Citizenship Ceremony

Summer 2020 / COVID-19 update:

Small group ceremonies recommenced on 29 July 2020. Currently the maximum number of attendees permitted in the space is 15 people, therefore we cannot allow guests to attend.  Refreshments will not be provided and there will be no photographer on site until further notice.

When you receive your letter from the Home Office asking you to book within 14 days, there is no need to contact us.  We will send you an invitation letter once we receive your certificate from the Home Office.

If you would like to have a Private Ceremony please email and include your name, home office reference number (if known) and a daytime phone number.  Please note there is a fee of £100 for Private Ceremonies.

You would normally be expected to book your ceremony within three months of being sent an invitation from the Home Office, but UKVI have temporarily extended this period to six months, and will keep this under constant review. No adverse decisions will be made on applications because of delays caused by Coronavirus.

Normal arrangements for group ceremonies (following easement of restrictions)

When you receive your letter of approval from the Home Office, you do not need to contact us. We will write to you to invite you to your citizenship ceremony.  

You are required to attend the ceremony within three months of the approval being granted, otherwise you may have to make a new application.

At Manchester Register Office we try to give a ceremony date within two weeks of your Home Office letter of approval's arrival.

The ceremony

The ceremony takes about 30 minutes, but you'll need one hour to allow time for registration before the ceremony and photo opportunities afterwards.

Refreshments are provided before and after the ceremony.

You must bring your Home Office citizenship invitation, and photographic ID, passport or driving licence, with you. Failure to do so may result in your ceremony being postponed.

Friends and family are welcome to attend but due to limited space we can only allow 2 invited guests per citizen. Citizenship ceremonies are held in groups of 20 or less. Access to the group ceremony will be by invitation only.

What happens at the ceremony?

  • When you arrive at the register office our citizenship ceremony staff will be available to welcome you and make sure you understand what is going to happen.
  • After you have signed in and your documents have been checked, you and your guests will be seated with the other new citizens attending the ceremony.
  • The ceremony is conducted by the Superintendent Registrar who will formally welcome the new citizens on behalf of Manchester City Council.
  • The applicants will then swear or affirm allegiance to the Queen and make a pledge of loyalty. Both swearing and affirming allegiance to the Queen has the same meaning. The difference between the two is a matter of religious belief or practice. Swearing the oath is calling on God as witness. Affirming the oath is confirming a promise without reference to God. Anyone wishing to swear the oath whilst holding a holy book is welcome to do so and is asked to bring their own holy book to the ceremony. Both the Oath and the Pledge will be repeated as a group after the Superintendent Registrar conducting the ceremony.
  • You will then be presented with the nationality certificate along with the information pack. The nationality certificate can subsequently be used to support passport applications and to prove an individual is a British citizen.
  • The ceremony will end with the national anthem after which there will be informal celebrations with light refreshments and the citizens have the opportunity to take photographs with their guests.

At Manchester Register Office we do our best to ensure that the ceremonies are enjoyable and meaningful, creating a friendly environment for new citizens. We hope that the ceremonies will encourage all new citizens to play an active part in the Manchester community.

Private ceremonies

You can have an individual ceremony or a small family group ceremony. There is an additional fee for this service of £100 per adult. For further information contact our citizenship ceremony section on 0161 234 5005.

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