Becoming a British citizen

All applications for British citizenship are handled by the Home Office.

Apply to become a British citizen

You can apply to become a British citizen on GOV.UK.

If your application is approved, the Home Office will send you an invitation letter by email. They'll tell you who to contact to arrange your ceremony. If you've said Barnsley Register Office, we'll contact you with your invitation to attend your citizenship ceremony. This will arrive by email or letter within seven days of it's receipt.

Citizenship ceremonies in Barnsley are held around every six weeks in the reception room in the town hall. The ceremony is conducted by the superintendent (or deputy) registrar. The guest of honour is the Mayor of Barnsley or Deputy Mayor.

You can bring two guests to your ceremony. This doesn't include children under the age of five. Children over the age of five are included in guest numbers.

What happens at the ceremony

The ceremony is the final step before becoming a British citizen. It's a popular celebration for those taking part.

Attendance at a ceremony is by invitation only.

You need to arrive 30 minutes before your ceremony start time. Please don't arrive earlier than this. If you're late, we won't allow access to the ceremony. This means you'll need to contact us to choose to another date.

If you're driving to the ceremony, please note that parking is limited around the Town Hall. Please make sure you leave enough time to find parking and walk to the building. Find a car park or on-street parking.

You'll need to bring to the ceremony:

  • the Home Office letter or email confirming your application has been approved
  • photo ID (such as passport, travel document or driving licence)

If you don't bring your ID your ceremony won't be able to take place. You'll then need to contact us to choose another ceremony date.

During the ceremony you’ll have to make an oath of allegiance. This is called an affirmation if you prefer not to swear by God. You'll also make a pledge. This means you promise to respect the rights, freedoms and laws of the UK.

At the end of the ceremony you’ll receive your certificate of British citizenship. You'll also get a welcome pack. If you want to take personal photographs, you can do so after the ceremony.

The ceremony ends with the playing of the national anthem. Refreshments will also be served.

If you’re unable to attend the ceremony

You have to attend a ceremony within three months of being granted citizenship. If you can’t attend, please contact us.

If you want to change the venue of the ceremony

If you want to change the venue of the ceremony to another district, you must contact us. We'll arrange for the paperwork to be returned to the Home Office. They'll then re-send the paperwork to the new register office conducting the ceremony. This will delay when you can have the ceremony and receive your certificate.