First virtual citizenship ceremony welcomed by Home Office minister

20 Jul 2020 04:22 PM

Home Office Minister Kevin Foster attended the UK’s first virtual citizenship ceremony yesterday.

Local authorities will now be able to conduct citizenship ceremonies for individuals and households virtually.

As a result of coronavirus restrictions, group citizenship ceremonies have been suspended. However, citizenship ceremonies will now be allowed to take place via video conferencing. The move will allow applicants to complete their unique citizenship journey and become British citizens.

To mark the momentous occasion Home Office Minister, Kevin Foster, attended the UK’s first virtual citizenship ceremony. He yesterday said:

This ceremony is a moment in history as it is the first to be undertaken virtually. It is good to see how the process has been adapted by local Councils to allow ceremonies to still take place during these difficult times.

Citizenship ceremonies are important as they recognise the commitment the new citizen has made to the UK, in establishing their home here, contributing to the economy, and having learned about life in the United Kingdom, its culture, laws and history.

Those aged 18 or over who have successfully applied to become a British citizen must attend a citizenship ceremony. During the ceremony, individuals make an oath or pledge; the event is administered in the local authority by a registrar.

Leader of Southwark Council, Councillor Peter John OBE, yesterday said:

Southwark Council’s registration service helps about 3,000 people become British citizens every year. Our cultural diversity is one of the many great things about Southwark, and citizenship ceremonies help us to encourage new citizens to play an active part in the community.

The current epidemic means that in Southwark, like across the country, we’re working hard to find new and innovative ways to deliver services I’m delighted that we can now offer virtual citizenship ceremonies too.

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