Home Office minister welcomes first virtual citizenship ceremony

Local authorities will now be able to conduct citizenship ceremonies for individuals and households virtually.

As a result of coronavirus restrictions, group citizenship ceremonies have been suspended. However, citizenship ceremonies will now be allowed to take place via video conferencing. The move will allow applicants to complete their unique citizenship journey and become British citizens.

The first virtual citizenship ceremony has been led by Southwark Council, London, who began offering the option from 20 July 2020.

Those aged 18 or over who have successfully applied to become a British citizen must attend a citizenship ceremony. During the ceremony, individuals make an oath or pledge; the event is administered in the local authority by a registrar.

These measures are expected to be temporary. It is anticipated that local authorities will resume providing group ceremonies in official premises once it is safe to do so and subject to national or local social distancing guidance.

Departments have worked together closely to deliver an efficient solution to the current restrictions. Due to coronavirus, the period over time to book a citizenship ceremony after receiving an invitation from the Home Office has been extended from 3 months to 6 months, to allow for greater flexibility.

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