In January 2004 the Government introduced a requirement that everyone aged 18 years or over, who is accepted for naturalisation or registration as a British citizen, must take a citizenship oath and pledge at a citizenship ceremony. A citizenship ceremony is a memorable and enjoyable event which celebrates the important occasion of gaining citizenship.
A citizenship ceremony involves prospective citizens making an oath of allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen and a pledge of loyalty to the United Kingdom.
Shortly after you receive your letter of approval from the Home Office you will be sent a letter from the citizenship ceremonies administrator at Somerset Registration Service confirming the date and time of your ceremony.
You are required to attend a ceremony within three months of the approval being given, otherwise you may have to make a new application.
A standard group ceremony
Ceremonies are normally held every four to six weeks on a Tuesday at:
Somerset Register Office
The Old Municipal Buildings
Ceremonies take about 30 minutes although you will be there for about an hour and a half as this includes registration before the ceremony and photo opportunities after the ceremony.
A standard group citizenship ceremony involves:
- a welcome address by a registration officer
- speeches by local dignitaries explaining about what it means to be a British citizen, history of the county, the local community and the ceremony venue
- the taking of a citizenship oath and pledge
- presentation of a certificate and a, information pack
- closing address and the playing of the national anthem
- informal celebration with light refreshments where you or your guests have the opportunity to have your photograph taken
If your children have attained British citizenship with you then they are welcome to attend a ceremony although they do not have to. You can collect their certificate if they do not attend.
There is no additional fee for a standard group ceremony. Payment for the ceremony was included in the money you have already paid in your application for British citizenship. You will need to pay extra if you choose to have an individual ceremony.
What to bring with you
You need to bring the invitation letter sent to you by the Home Office. If you do not bring your letter you may not be allowed into the ceremony.
Your friends and family are welcome to attend the ceremony with you. Unfortunately space is limited so we must restrict the numbers of guests to two per family.
Individual citizenship ceremonies
If you have a large number of guests you may like to have an individual citizenship ceremony.
Fees for individual ceremonies
There is an additional charge of £120 for an individual ceremony held in the Somerset Register Office.
Individual ceremonies are subject to staff and accommodation availability, and compliance with the Home Office’s deadline for the ceremony to take place.
Applying for a British passport
Once you have received your citizenship certificate you can apply for a passport.
For more information about how to apply for a passport: