Citizenship ceremonies

To become a British citizen you must meet the criteria set out by the Home Office. Once you have completed your application form to become a British Citizen you can have it checked by using our Nationality Checking Service at the Register Office.

Once your application for British Citizenship has been approved by the Home Office, you will receive an invitation letter from the Home Office asking you to contact your local council to book a Citizenship Ceremony. All applicants over the age of 18 are required to attend a Citizenship Ceremony within three months of an invitation letter.

There are two types of Citizenship Ceremonies you can have; a group ceremony and a private ceremony.

 

Group Ceremony 

A group ceremony is held within the Council Chamber at the Town Hall. There can be up to 40 citizens who say the oath and pledge together as a group. The fee for this ceremony is already paid for as part of your Naturalisation application fee to the Home Office. Once you have received a Home Office invitation letter, you can book a group ceremony online or call the Customer Contact Centre on 020 8554 5000.

 Book a group ceremony online 

 

Disabled Access

If you or any member of your wedding party or Citizenship Ceremony are disabled or unable to climb the steps at the front of the building, disabled access is available via a ramp at the far end of the front of the Town Hall (located next to HSBC Bank). You will need to download and complete a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEPs) (PDF 320KB)  for each disabled person or those with mobility issues attending on the day and return the form to register.office@redbridge.gov.uk  48 hours in advance of the wedding.

There are 25 steps from the ground floor to the first floor where the Council Chambers are located, with 28 external steps from the emergency exit in the Council Chambers. There is a total of 43 steps from the ground floor to the second floor where the Library Suite is situated. There is a lift to all floors within the Town Hall. Disabled toilets are also available within the Town Hall on the Ground and First Floors.

 

Where is Redbridge Town Hall?

Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford, IG1 1DD is situated in the outdoor shopping area opposite The Exchange shopping centre in Ilford. Unfortunately, we cannot offer any car parking spaces and would ask you to make your own arrangements. 

Do I need to bring ID with me?

Yes, you will need to bring photographic proof of your identity. This can be your valid passport, travel document, biometric residence card or driving licence.

You will also need to bring your invitation letter from the Home Office and the letter from the Council confirming the date and time of your ceremony.

Unfortunately, without these documents we cannot give you your certificates so it is important you remember to bring them with you on the day of your ceremony. 

Who can come to the Ceremony?

Each citizen can bring 2 guests (over the age of 18 years). The guests cannot be admitted to the ceremony without you so please arrive together at the Town Hall. 

Can children come to the ceremony?

Children under 18 years of age who are receiving their certificates (with adult members of the family) are welcome to attend but it is not compulsory for them to do so.

Children who attend as guests are welcome as long as they are well behaved and properly supervised by an adult not participating in the ceremony.

Is there a dress code?

As the ceremony is a formal occasion, 'smart casual' wear is recommended. Alternatively, we welcome traditional national dress of the citizen's origin to reflect the cultural diversity of Redbridge and the UK.

Can I take photographs or video?

Guests are free to take photographs or videos throughout the ceremony.

There will also be a photographer in attendance to take photographs of you receiving your certificate from the dignitary. You will be able to view and purchase these photographs at the end of the ceremony. 

How long will the ceremony last?

The actual ceremony takes up to 1 hour and we ask you to arrive 1 hour before the start of the ceremony as well. This allows enough time for you to sign in and be seated in the Council Chambers. You should allow up to 2 hours 30 minutes in total.

What happens at the ceremony?

After signing in on arrival, you will have an opportunity to meet other citizens and enjoy some refreshments.

The ceremony will take place in the council chamber and the Superintendent Registrar or her Deputy will conduct the proceedings. By law, you are required to say the oath and pledge in English together as a group as a group with the other new citizens who are present. This is followed by the singing of the National Anthem.

The local dignitary will then present your certificate to you and a photograph will be taken of you receiving your certificate.  

What if I cannot attend my ceremony?

Please contact the Customer Contact Centre on 020 8554 5000 to re-arrange your ceremony as soon as possible. 

Please remember that you are required to attend a ceremony within 3 months from the date of your Home Office invitation letter. (If this is not convenient you will need to speak directly with the Home Office).

What if I have special needs?

Please contact the Customer Contact Centre who will be happy to advise you further and we will try our best to accommodate your needs.

The Town Hall is wheelchair accessible and you are welcome to bring your carer or a supporter to the ceremony in addition to any guests. Please advise the Customer Contact Centre ahead of the ceremony.

Any other questions?

Please contact the Customer Contact Centre - 020 8554 5000 which is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 6pm. 

We hope the ceremony will be a memorable occasion for you.

Ruksana Ali, Citizenship Manager.  

  

Private ceremony 

A private ceremony is held at the Register Office. From 1 April 2018, the fee for a private ceremony is currently £75 for an individual on a weekday and £95 for an individual on a Saturday. There is no fee for children under the age of 18 attending with their parent to collect their certificate. Private ceremonies are booked by contacting the Register Office.

If you are unable to attend a Citizenship Ceremony within the required time period, please email citizenship@redbridge.gov.uk to discuss. 

View the Affirmation of Allegiance (PDF 47KB)  and the Oath of Allegiance (PDF 44KB) used in Citizenship Ceremonies. 

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