Renfrewshire Council

British citizenship and citizenship ceremonies

How to apply for British citizenship, what happens at a citizenship ceremony.

There are certain requirements you must meet before you can apply for British Citizenship.

To find out if you are eligible to apply, please visit the United Kingdom Border Agency website.

Apply for British citizenship

The United Kingdom Border Agency website lists the different types of citizenship that you can apply for, and the three ways you can apply. The website also explains the costs involved in applying.

What happens after citizenship is granted

If your application for British citizenship is successful and you are living in the United Kingdom, you will be invited to attend a citizenship ceremony.

You will receive a letter of invitation from the United Kingdom Border Agency confirming the local authority that you have chosen and asking you to arrange a suitable ceremony date. You should arrange your ceremony within three months of receiving your invitation letter, otherwise you will have to reapply for naturalisation and pay another processing fee.

In Renfrewshire, we have group citizenship ceremonies approximately every 6-8 weeks. If you are unable to attend a group citizenship ceremony, we can offer a private citizenship ceremony at a more convenient and suitable date and time. This will cost the new citizen £61. A single ceremony would normally only be offered if the citizen was out of the country at the time of the group ceremony.

Book your citizenship ceremony

When you receive your invitation letter from the United Kingdom Borders Agency you will be advised to contact the Renfrewshire Council's Customer Service Unit on 0300 3000 310.

We need: 

  • the telephone number of the new citizen
  • the first name and surname of the guests that you would like to invite, up to a maximum of four guests
  • a copy of the citizenship invitation letter that you received from the United Kingdom Border Agency
  • to know whether you have chosen to repeat the oath of allegiance or affirmation of allegiance at your citizenship ceremony.

What happens next

Approximately two weeks before the ceremony, you will get a letter from the Registration Service confirming the date and time of the ceremony along with the invitations for the guests that you have invited.

Who comes to the citizenship ceremony

In Renfrewshire, the Provost, or in their absence, the Depute Provost, will be invited to attend the citizenship ceremony along with the elected members (local Councillors) of the electoral ward in which the new citizen is a resident.

What happens at the citizenship ceremony

On arrival, you will be met by the registrar who will be conducting the ceremony.

You will be required to produce the invitation letter you received from the United Kingdom Borders Agency and the letter and invitation you received from the Registration Service to confirm your identity.

You and your guests will be shown to your seats within the marriage suite at Renfrewshire House, Cotton Street, Paisley.

You, your guests and invited elected members (local Councillors) will then be asked to stand for the national anthem. When the national anthem ends, the registrar conducting the ceremony will ask everyone assembled to be seated.

The registrar will welcome everyone and introduce the ceremony. The registrar will invite the Provost/Depute Provost of Renfrewshire or if they are unable to attend a Local Councillor or a senior member of Finance and Resources of Renfrewshire Council to come forward and give a welcome speech.

Any new citizens that have chosen to make the oath of allegiance are asked to be upstanding and, following on with the registrar's lead, make the oath of allegiance. After finishing, they are asked to be seated.

Any new citizens that have chosen to make the affirmation of allegiance are then asked to be upstanding and, following with the registrar's lead, make the affirmation of allegiance. After finishing, the group are asked to remain standing.

The registrar then asks the group as a whole to make the Pledge of Loyalty.

The ceremony finishes with the presentation of the certificate of naturalisation as a British citizen.

We also present our new British citizens with a small commemorative coin in a presentation box and you will receive a citizenship folder from the United Kingdom Borders Agency, which contains a welcome letter from the Home Secretary and a passport application form. We will also provide you with information on registering on the electoral roll.

Light refreshments will be served after the ceremony.