What’s up? I trust you are well.
In this video, I’m going to share the outcome of our journey to becoming British Citizens after living for 6 and a half years in the UK.
To give you a little bit of background about the process, the first requirement is to secure Indefinite Leave to remain status and you can apply for this status once you have completed the 5-year qualifying period.
I explained this in more detail in the video that I posted on my YouTube channel on the 20th of October last year sharing our timeline from Tier 2 Visa. To make the story short, we managed to secure Indefinite Leave to Remain status or otherwise known as ILR Status.
The next step after that is to wait for a year under ILR status before you can apply for British Citizenship.
I did a 2-part video posted in April 2021 sharing with you the application form and what are the requirements that you need to produce. If you missed that video, you may click the card icon that will appear right now on the upper right-hand corner of your screen.
After waiting for 5 months, we have received the decision.
On the 26th of September 2021, I received an unexpected email from the Home Office.
Finally, the time has come for us to find out if our application for British Citizenship is successful or not. We do believe that we’ve completed the form carefully and provided all the relevant requirements being asked on that British Citizenship application form, and having said that, we do believe that we will get a positive result.
Before I open the email, I received from the Home Office, I took a deep breath and thank God for giving this to me as an advance birthday gift.
Here is the email….
We are now being invited to attend the Citizenship Ceremony which concludes that our application for Naturalisation is successful!
I would highly recommend that you click that link to find out more about the ceremony so you know what to do and what to say.
The email is very straightforward and tells you what you should do next.
So, on the same day, on that evening, I did contact the Citizenship Ceremonies Officer of our local borough (Barking and Dagenham) to book the ceremony.
The next day, we received a response from the Citizenship Ceremonies Register Office confirming the day and time of the Citizenship Ceremony.
Since I’m happy with the date and time, we can’t do anything about it so, we’ve just waited.
Finally, the Citizenship Ceremony Day has come and to make sure we don’t go late or miss the ceremony, we arrived early at the address provided.
On arrival, one by one, our temperature was checked and asked to sanitise our hands. Then we presented the invitation letter sent by the Home Office together with some form of identification card. After that, we were handed our Certificate of Naturalisation as a British Citizen and if you have children below 18, you can collect their certificate upon presenting the invitation letter and also some form of an ID. The ID that we’ve presented is our ILR Biometric ID.
Inside, they have their photographer. This is a one of a lifetime experience so I doubt that, for the cost of £10 per photo in a cardboard frame, someone will ignore it. We’ve taken the 2 best photographs amongst the photos taken to us.
But wait, you are not yet a full pledge British Citizen until the ceremony is conducted.
A few minutes later, the ceremony is conducted. You will be asked to recite after the officiating officer the oath of allegiance or the affirmation of allegiance.
The only difference between the two, to help you which one to choose is that an “oath” is sworn to God and is a religious pledge whereas an “affirmation” is a more secular pledge for those without a strong religious commitment.
Since we are practising Catholicism, we did an oath.
Out of 14 people in the room, 3 did an affirmation and the rest did an oath.
After this, we all together recite after the officiating officer, the Pledge.
After that, it is official! We are now British Citizens.
Coming up next is we will be looking at the online British Passport application form and the requirements needed.
I hope you find this information useful. Thank you for reading this far.
For those awaiting the decisions from the Home office, we wish you all the best. For as long as you follow and submit the information that is required from you, it’s more likely that you’ll get a positive response.
Have a great day and God bless.