If you have successfully applied to become a British citizen, you have to attend a British citizenship ceremony. If you are younger than 18 years of age, you do not need to attend such a ceremony.
Normally, you have to attend a British citizenship ceremony within three months of receiving your invitation from the Home Office. However, due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, the Home Office has extended this time frame.
Some local councils in the UK currently offer virtual ceremonies.
British citizenship ceremonies in South Africa
Unfortunately, British citizenship ceremonies are not currently available in South Africa.
The British Embassy in South Africa informed us earlier that they are still unable to conduct any ceremonies until it is safe and feasible to do so. They are awaiting the go-ahead from the Home Office in the UK.
However, even though they are unable to conduct ceremonies in South Africa, the Home Office has confirmed that applications will not be adversely affected if somebody is unable to attend a citizenship ceremony before the expiry date on their certificate. They will allow for extra time for persons to attend ceremonies.
The British Embassy in South Africa is currently considering virtual ceremonies but also awaiting the go-ahead from the UK Home Office.
Breytenbachs will inform clients when more information becomes available.
What happens during a British citizenship ceremony?
The person has to make an oath of allegiance and a pledge. This entails that you promise to respect the rights, freedoms, and laws of the United Kingdom.
A person can choose to swear the oath or affirm the oath.
Swearing the Oath
I (your full name) swear by Almighty God that on becoming a British citizen, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her heirs and successors according to law.
Affirming the Oath
I (your full name) do solemnly, sincerely, and truly declare and affirm that on becoming a British Citizen, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her heirs and successors according to law.
After the oath or confirmation, a person will then have to pledge commitment:
I will give my loyalty to the United Kingdom and respect its rights and freedoms. I will uphold its democratic values. I will observe its laws faithfully and fulfil my duties and obligations as a British citizen.
After this allegiance and pledge, a person will receive a certificate of British citizenship and a welcome pack.
Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants Ltd has their head office in London and three affiliate offices in South Africa. Please feel free to contact us for assistance with your UK immigration matter.
Please note that the information in this article does not constitute professional advice. It is provided for general information purposes, without giving any warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied.