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Citizenship Ceremony cancelled due to Covid-19

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

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pseudonymmed
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Citizenship Ceremony cancelled due to Covid-19

Post by pseudonymmed » Thu Mar 19, 2020 11:26 am

I'm in Southwark, London and I was supposed to have my ceremony on the 30th. Yesterday I got a call and had my ceremony brought forward to tomorrow - they were trying to do smaller ceremonies and get as many done as possible (anticipating there being a shut down in near future). Now I get a call today and they say that Home Office have ordered all citizenship ceremonies cancelled. They say they'll let us know once they know what the plan is for the HO.

This is so frustrating, I was so excited it was still happening and I could apply for a passport sooner.. now I have no idea when I'll ever actually get it. It's just so frustrating that they aren't even forcing pubs to shut and yet they're shutting such an important service as this?

Anybody else in a similar situation?

ana8715
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Re: Citizenship Ceremony cancelled due to Covid-19

Post by ana8715 » Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:05 pm

Hi There

Yes, same boat!
I was due to have my ceremony on 1st April in Wandsworth but got an email yesterday saying it was cancelled.

Seems like the HO advised every council yesterday then!

I emailed my council re having to attend within three months after the approval letter and they were very understanding but not able to provide more info. They said they are under the impression that the HO will either waive the requirement or come up with alternative arrangements for ceremonies.

Guess we'll have to wait until the HO give the councils more guidance :?

Ana

starlin
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Re: Citizenship Ceremony cancelled due to Covid-19

Post by starlin » Fri Mar 20, 2020 3:59 pm

Hi there,

Same here!

I just received the Home Office citizenship invitation letter today then called my local council, Islington in London. They told me that it's been postponed until June, I should get a letter soon.

But if I can't have my ceremony within three months since I got the letter dated 11 March 2020, that means 11 June 2020, if I missed the deadline due to coronavirus, I need to call the Home Office, they can't give me any further information. :cry: I am worried!

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Djsuccess
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Re: Citizenship Ceremony cancelled due to Covid-19

Post by Djsuccess » Fri Mar 20, 2020 7:50 pm

starlin wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 3:59 pm
Hi there,

Same here!

I just received the Home Office citizenship invitation letter today then called my local council, Islington in London. They told me that it's been postponed until June, I should get a letter soon.

But if I can't have my ceremony within three months since I got the letter dated 11 March 2020, that means 11 June 2020, if I missed the deadline due to coronavirus, I need to call the Home Office, they can't give me any further information. :cry: I am worried!
The Home Office is aware of this and I believe there will be an extension in this instance.
I am not a lawyer and do not claim to be one. All my comments here are based on my opinions, experience and interpretation of the appropriate UKVI guidance documents and immigration rules.

starlin
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Re: Citizenship Ceremony cancelled due to Covid-19

Post by starlin » Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:09 am

Hi,

I got the letter, it seems like I will not get any ceremony date in this difficult time. Does anyone know how to contact the Home office to ask an extension? I need to get their respond in 21 days, the beginning of April from my another citizenship invitation letter date.
letter.jpg
letter.jpg (318.07 KiB) Viewed 55939 times
Hope everyone stays safe!

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alterhase58
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Re: Citizenship Ceremony cancelled due to Covid-19

Post by alterhase58 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 10:42 am

Under the current circumstances with a wide shut down instruction from the government I would expect that this is taken into consideration by the Home Office - it's out of your control. And 100s of applicants will be effected by this.
This is just my opinion as a member of this forum and does not constitute immigration advice.
Please do not send me private messages asking for advice - they will be ignored

starlin
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Re: Citizenship Ceremony cancelled due to Covid-19

Post by starlin » Wed Mar 25, 2020 9:17 am

Hi, I think so, I can't do anything at this point.

I have emailed my council, and they are very kind to send me this reply.

Hi xxxx,

Please email Citizenship Support Citizenship.Support@homeoffice.gov.uk if you wish to contact them. Until further notice we will not be able to hold any ceremonies at the Town Hall and we are focusing on death registrations.

Many Thanks,

xxx

Deputy Superintendent Registrar

Islington & London City Register Office

And even sent me second reply.

"Forgot to say, we will contact you when we have more information."

I am much calm now after receiving these emails. I hope everyone stays home and stays safe and we can soon get to the point that we can go on our normal life! :)

Horaceous
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Re: Citizenship Ceremony cancelled due to Covid-19

Post by Horaceous » Wed Mar 25, 2020 7:31 pm

Same here!

I was supposed to have it on the 1st of April. I'm sure they'll take coronavirus in consideration but I've emailed public enquiries. I'll email now Citizenship.Support@homeoffice.gov.uk as well as that's probably a better address to use.

Stay safe all,

H

Polka909
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Re: Citizenship Ceremony cancelled due to Covid-19

Post by Polka909 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:31 pm

Hi,

Does anyone have an update regarding ceremonies? It’s getting a bit annoying as non essential shops are starting to open but councils are not planning or opening anything.

Not even private ceremonies where there is ample space to practice the required social distancing measures.

josh06
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Re: Citizenship Ceremony cancelled due to Covid-19

Post by josh06 » Mon Jun 01, 2020 10:17 pm

Hi All,

I have contacted my local council in London for any updates in ceremony and I been told that they are waiting for HO permission. There is a plan that they will be doing ceremony via video link and awaiting for permission - no definite dates.

Thanks

J

Rusland
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Re: Citizenship Ceremony cancelled due to Covid-19

Post by Rusland » Tue Jun 02, 2020 9:38 am

Hi all,

I got in touch with my council - Redbridge - and the department taking care of the citizenship ceremonies got back to me with the following:

"Dear xxxx

Citizenship Ceremonies remain suspended and we are still waiting on an update on when and how these can resume.

Normally once an application has been approved I receive the naturalisation certificate in a weekly despatch. The last despatch received was on 13 March and I'm not expecting to receive any now until we have caught up on all those who have already been delayed since the lockdown.

Please continue to monitor https://www.redbridge.gov.uk/births-dea ... eremonies/ for service updates.

Regards,


So it seems that they don't have any news about any alternative ways on how the ceremonies will take place moving forward. I don't think they will allow gatherings of more than 5 people indoors in the next few weeks. It indeed feels like a sensible choice to organise the ceremony virtually. Unfortunately, we won't get to have a picture with the flag and the picture of the queen as a nice souvenir.

Pan13
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Re: Citizenship Ceremony cancelled due to Covid-19

Post by Pan13 » Tue Jun 02, 2020 11:43 am

Yea i had similar email from my council as well.

No chance for virtual ceremony. You will need to be physically present. I can see the right to bring 2 guests to be dropped to help with situation.

My guess is, if all schools fully reopen, then ceremonies will resume as it is very similar situation. So say end of June/July

Rusland
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Re: Citizenship Ceremony cancelled due to Covid-19

Post by Rusland » Wed Jun 03, 2020 2:56 pm

Let's keep everyone posted if anyone hears on when the ceremonies will be resumed!

Raja786786
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Re: Citizenship Ceremony cancelled due to Covid-19

Post by Raja786786 » Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:57 am

My ceremony was cancelled on 30th March, on 1st June council replied that waiting from HO for Plans to Virtual ceremony and I've to waiting.

Rusland
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Re: Citizenship Ceremony cancelled due to Covid-19

Post by Rusland » Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:40 am

Raja786786 wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:57 am
My ceremony was cancelled on 30th March, on 1st June council replied that waiting from HO for Plans to Virtual ceremony and I've to waiting.
Did they really specify that the ceremony would be virtual? Could you post the email they sent?

Thanks!

Raja786786
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Re: Citizenship Ceremony cancelled due to Covid-19

Post by Raja786786 » Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:08 pm

how to upload here, i couldnt find attached icon here

secret.simon
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Re: Citizenship Ceremony cancelled due to Covid-19

Post by secret.simon » Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:10 pm

Raja786786 wrote:
Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:08 pm
how to upload here, i couldnt find attached icon here
Copy and paste the text of the email into a new post in this thread, taking out all personally identifiable information (of both yourself and any Home Office caseworker or staff).
I am not a lawyer or immigration advisor. My statements/comments do not constitute legal advice. E&OE. Please do not PM me for advice.

Raja786786
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Re: Citizenship Ceremony cancelled due to Covid-19

Post by Raja786786 » Thu Jun 04, 2020 5:16 pm

Dear ---

We are waiting on the Home Office to finalise plans for conducting virtual citizenship ceremonies, as soon as we have their authorisation we will contact you regarding a ceremony date.

Kind Regards

joeyjb
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Re: Citizenship Ceremony cancelled due to Covid-19

Post by joeyjb » Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:04 pm

PLEASE FIND THE EMAIL BELOW FROM MY LOCAL COUNCIL - LONDON

Hello ********,

Thank you for your email. All appointments and ceremonies are still postponed until the services resume to normal. We work on the process to slowly opening the services. At this moment we do not have definite dates when we start to see public. There is a plan do to the citizenship ceremony online via video link, but we do not have the permission yet to do that.

You are welcome to check our website for updates.

Kind regards,

******* ********* I Registration and Ceremonies Officer I Registrars and Cemetery

Lopand
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Re: Citizenship Ceremony cancelled due to Covid-19

Post by Lopand » Thu Jun 04, 2020 6:53 pm

My council wrote:

"Thank you for your email. We are aware that following the announcement by the Government, there is an intention to potentially enable small ceremonies from the 1st June, however this will be conditional on other factors being met. At this time, the guidance provided to us from the General Register Office has not changed. Services at the Town Hall will return at an appropriate time that ensures customer and staff safety is achieved, which is of paramount importance to us. This may mean we are not able to facilitate all requests immediately when we are able to open to the public and we appreciate your understanding at this time. Due to the many and varied measures that need to be put in place, at present we are unable to provide a date for when ceremonies will resume.

Once we are able to hold postponed ceremonies safely, we will make contact with you to advise of this. We will of course follow the national guidance as it is released and updated, and we will keep our website as up to date as possible."

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