Citizenship is granted by the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. Once you have applied and been granted British Citizenship you will be sent a letter from the Home Office inviting you to contact us to arrange a date for your ceremony.
We are responsible for organising citizenship ceremonies for successful applicants living in the local area and our group ceremonies are usually held once a fortnight.
As part of the ceremony, new citizens are asked to swear or affirm an oath of allegiance to the Sovereign and pledge their loyalty to the United Kingdom. The Mayor or Sherriff attends group ceremonies and welcomes our new Citizens on behalf of the City.
A group ceremony
Group ceremonies are usually held once a fortnight and are attended by the Mayor or Sherriff. You are able to invite a maximum of 3 guests to witness your ceremony.
As part of your group experience you will have your photograph taken with the Mayor or the Sherriff and this will be sent to you as a memento of your experience at a later date. In addition you may wish to purchase a Citizenship Commemoratve Medal. These beautifully designed medals are available for £15.00 each and are unique to Southampton's new Citizens. The high quality medal depicts the crest of Southampton and the Union Jack and is displayed in a lined presentation box. Please ask our staff about purchasing one when you book your ceremony.
A private ceremony
If you have specified your ceremony venue to be held in Southampton, we are able to arrange a private ceremony for you if you wish to celebrate obtaining British Citizenship in a more personal way or cannot attend a group ceremony. Although there will not be any dignitaries attending at this ceremony, you will be invited to have your ceremony at the Register Office at 6a Bugle Street, with up to 6 guests to witness you becoming a British Citizen.
In honour of your attaining your British Citizenship, Southampton City will present you with your Certificate of British Citizenship and also a Citizenship medal to mark this special occasion. This specially designed medal depicts the crest of Southampton and the Union Jack and is displayed in a beautifully lined presentation box. The cost of a private ceremony is £60.00 per person and is subject to our cancellation policy.
Before the ceremony begins, the registrar will check your letter from the Home Office, your invitation from us, and a further means of identification, ideally something that includes your photograph such as your passport, travel document or photo driving licence.
Whilst the ceremony is a formal and very important part of you gaining your British Citizenship, we try to make it as relaxed as possible.
Firstly, you will be welcomed by the Mayor or Sheriff.
The registrar will then explain the ceremony to you and you will be asked to swear or affirm an oath of allegiance to the Queen and pledge your loyalty to the United Kingdom.
Once this has been completed, the National Anthem is played and you will be invited to take part in the singing of it. At the bottom of this page is a link to the words of our national anthem.
Once we have sung the national anthem, you will be presented with your British Citizenship Certificate and invited to have a formal photograph taken with the Mayor or the Sheriff. If you are with other members of your family who are being made British Citizens, you can also have a family photograph.
A group photograph will also be taken.
Your paperwork will first be checked in the same way as for a group ceremony.
The registrar will ask you to swear or affirm an oath of allegiance to the Queen and pledge your loyalty to the United Kingdom.
Once this has been completed, the registrar will ask you to join her in standing for the National Anthem.
Your guest will then be invited to take any photographs as you are presented with your British Citizenship Certificate and your Citizenship Commemorative Medal.
If the British Citizen is under the age of 18 they are not required to attend a ceremony, but are welcome to take part if they wish.
"Your certificate of Naturalisation is a very important document and should be stored safely and securely by you"
The Home Office has issued the following statement:
"Please note that you are responsible for the certificate of naturalisation and that it should not be laminated in any circumstances and, if it is, you will incur a cost for a replacement if the Identity and Passport Service reject a laminated certificate. Individuals who wish to request a duplicate certificate should contact the Nationality Call Desk on 0845 010 5200"