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Citizenship Ceremonies - private vs public

A section for posts relating to applications for Naturalisation or Registration as a British Citizen. Naturalisation

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kel
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Citizenship Ceremonies - private vs public

Post by kel » Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:54 pm

So today I finally rcvd my ceremony invitation letter almost 2 weeks after my approval letter. Called my local council to book my ceremony but unfortunately the next available date is 31st October. Whilst I have booked this date tentatively, I am toying with the idea of whether or not to go for a private ceremony. My first choice was to be apart of a public ceremony and share the experience with other new citizenship, however I would also prefer not having to wait so long to attend the ceremony, plus I am not sure I will be able to get that day off work yet.

For those who have already been through this stage or are going through it at the moment, i would like to hear your opinion. Those already booked private ceremonies, approximately how much did it cost? I forgot to ask the council this earlier but will be sure to ring them back and ask.

geriatrix
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Post by geriatrix » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:09 pm

150 quids at Camden council.
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kel
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Post by kel » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:17 pm

wow, that is steep. i will sleep on it and decide tomorrow what i will do. it would also be interesting to know what ceremony you recommend from experiences.

electricorange
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Post by electricorange » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:35 pm

£100 at Hammersmith & Fulham council.

But if you want to go away for the holidays, an extra month might be very useful to help you get your passport in time to book travel. You can apply the day you get your certificate.

addh
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Post by addh » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:40 pm

electricorange wrote:£100 at Hammersmith & Fulham council.

But if you want to go away for the holidays, an extra month might be very useful to help you get your passport in time to book travel. You can apply the day you get your certificate.
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kel
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Post by kel » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:42 pm

thanks.

i am planning to take a week and a half off work in october but i doubt i will travel. i had planned to take the week and a half anytime from now upto 26th october as i need to be back in office 29 october onwards since another colleague might be on holiday that week. i was hoping i could get a ceremony date upto 26th latest so i could plan my days off around it. now it get a tad bit complicated.

i intend to travel in december from about 15th upto abt 4th jan. if i stick to the 31st october ceremony date and make passport application same time, i wonder if i would be lucky to have my british passport before my hols. though i suppose i am still free to travel on my other passport but it would be nice to have the british one by then too. decisions, decisions....

kel
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Post by kel » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:43 pm

are you guys going private?

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Post by Gyfrinachgar » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:48 pm

Wrexham charges £150, too. Pretty hefty fee, but if time is a major issue, it is money well spent.

manyaonisland
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Post by manyaonisland » Wed Oct 03, 2012 3:51 pm

£115 @ Kingston (Surry)

I waited for 4 weeks for my public ceremony. I was thinking of going private too which was available in weeks time but I worked on the timelines and looking at what it takes to get British passport and other processing i am within my timelines for travel.

The decision you should make really depends on what are your travel plans (if any)? If possible, try to make it to public ceremony as it gives you great feeling to be there with the group and get handed certificate from dignitary :idea: . On top of it does not cost you anything more :roll:
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kel
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Post by kel » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:13 pm

manyaonisland wrote:£115 @ Kingston (Surry)
The decision you should make really depends on what are your travel plans (if any)? If possible, try to make it to public ceremony as it gives you great feeling to be there with the group and get handed certificate from dignitary :idea: . On top of it does not cost you anything more :roll:
this is exactly the reason i want to do a public one. it appeals to me more to share this experience with others instead of being there on my own.

anyone knows approximately how long the actual ceremony takes? mine should start at 10am. i am trying to work out if i stick to that date if it is worth just taking a morning off work instead of a full day.

perhaps the only delay i need to consider when it comes to the passport application is getting an interview date. i am in london and presume the london office will be very busy.

electricorange
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Post by electricorange » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:27 pm

The passport thread indicates roughly a 4-to-6-week turnaround for first-time adult applicants, but you're right that it will depend on the availability of appointments in the London area if you're not willing to go out of town for your interview.

If you file your application on the day of your public ceremony, you *should* be ok by the 15th December, but that's not the kind of thing I would personally count on. If you got a private ceremony even a week earlier, though, it would be a near-guarantee.

For what it's worth, though my ceremony was private, I attended a friend's public ceremony in Kensington a few years ago. I'll agree from my public ceremony experience it would nice to be a part of a group, although each new citizen has to say the oath/affirmation independently so it can take a long time depending on how many people are a part of the ceremony. The private ceremony was very dignified, though, and I think the significance of the oath, pledging your allegiance to the queen (and her successors!), etc really sink in when it's just you.

Not sure how helpful it is, but there's an argument for either side. What it really comes down to is whether you're in enough of a hurry to get your passport that you're willing to drop the extra £££.

kel
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Post by kel » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:34 pm

thanks electricorange, that is really useful.

to be honest i am not really in a hurry for the british passport as i will be travelling to my home country in december and will not be giving up my original nationality so i will be able to travel on my hold passport. i wont need the british passport for that. though i will be sending my current passport with the passport application, my undestanding of the timelines in the passport topic is that they usually return your original docs after about a couple of weeks of so.

i did ask camden council earlier how many people will be attending the ceremony and they said usually there is a limit of 45. all these oaths and pledges seem like they will go on for quite a while. I wonder if it will be over and done with in about an hour an a half/2 hours latest?

manyaonisland
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Post by manyaonisland » Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:56 pm

kel wrote: anyone knows approximately how long the actual ceremony takes?
I attended public ceremony on 28th Sep in Kingston. there were around 35 of us and everything (right from the registration to snacks after ceremony) was over in approx 2 hrs.
electricorange wrote: although each new citizen has to say the oath/affirmation independently so it can take a long time depending on how many people are a part of the ceremony.
This is not what happened when we had ours. we did the rehearsal of saying "I <name>" once so that we know the sequence we are going in and then when Dignitary was present we took the oath/affirmation together after going through one round of saying what we rehearsed!.

So actual oath / affirmation was over in 10 mins or so. it is the registration, introductory speech, speech from Dignitary, tea coffee breaks, snacks, and networking with fellow citizens took rest of the time.

Also one thing i observed is that my ceremony was at 3PM. the letter stated that we should be there by 2:10 and so we were but the registration process was very slow and only one person (or one group) was getting registered at a time. there were some people coming around 2:30 but they were better off as they do not have to wait for registration longer. for them the whole ceremony was only for 1 and half hours.
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kel
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Post by kel » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:02 pm

manyaonisland, thanks for your comments which is of great help.

is it compulsory to stay for the networking, snacks afte rthe ceremony or are you free to leave if you wish? as my ceremony is starting at 10am, i am hoping i can be at work by noon or latest 12:30 if i only decide to take a the morning off.

also, one other thing, as i have booked the ceremony today, should i be expecting a written confirmation of this booking from the council? no one mentioned over the phone that i need to arrive there early.

manyaonisland
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Post by manyaonisland » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:11 pm

kel wrote: is it compulsory to stay for the networking, snacks afte rthe ceremony or are you free to leave if you wish? as my ceremony is starting at 10am, i am hoping i can be at work by noon or latest 12:30 if i only decide to take a the morning off.
Not compulsory at all to stay for snacks and other stuff once the ceremony is finished. it is just that during our ceremony no one was in rush (Friday afternoon 3 PM. Like what i did, people must have taken half day already) and Dignitary herself was nicely talking to everyone individually.

Also when you say "ceremony is starting at 10am" is it Ceremony starting at 10am or registration? because if it is actual ceremony then you will be out by 11.
kel wrote: also, one other thing, as i have booked the ceremony today, should i be expecting a written confirmation of this booking from the council?
Yes you will get the confirmation and time when you are expected there by. where are you having your ceremony if may i ask ?
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kel
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Post by kel » Wed Oct 03, 2012 5:15 pm

i was told it start at 10am. now that you mention it, it is unclear to me if that is the ceremony or registation. i guess i will know more when i rcv the written confirmation in due couse. will keep you posted.

ceremony will be at camden council.

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Post by kel » Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:01 pm

I am now almost 100% sure I will stick to the public ceremony on 31st October. I guess I will have to arrange to take the morning off.

manyaonisland
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Post by manyaonisland » Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:52 am

kel wrote:I am now almost 100% sure I will stick to the public ceremony on 31st October. I guess I will have to arrange to take the morning off.
Good luck and Congratulations!
Winning isn't everything, but wanting to win is.

kel
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Post by kel » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:44 am

thanks very much :)

Jellybean123
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Public or private

Post by Jellybean123 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 6:23 pm

I'm torn between public or private ceremony?

gidoc
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Post by gidoc » Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:14 pm

>>I'm torn between public or private ceremony?

Take the one which is earliest but if time is not a constraint, save money by going public

kel
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Post by kel » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:53 am

I can't blv my council do public ceremonies every week and i have to wait almost a month! They must be very busy. I am sticking to public as I dont think the private one is worth me spending an extra 150 quid.

kel
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Post by kel » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:59 am

manyaonisland, I called the local authority again this morning just to check if they have any cancellations prior 31st Oct. Unfortunately nothing so far.

Also, I was told that the ceremony won't start exactly 10am so presume that is the time of registration. I was told the whole thing should be over by about 11:30am. I will be taking the morning off work and aim to reach the office by latest 1pm

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Post by manyaonisland » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:29 am

kel wrote: Also, I was told that the ceremony won't start exactly 10am so presume that is the time of registration.
Inline with what I have said.. But if you are taking morning off anyways then it makes sense to go on time you have been asked to come for.. afterall they have mentioned the time deliberately.
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kel
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Post by kel » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:36 am

will do, i will make sure i am there bang on time

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