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Citizenship ceremonies

Citizenship ceremonies are a vital part of the processes of becoming a British citizen and are designed to aid the integration of those who adopt the United Kingdom as their permanent home. To new citizens, these ceremonies mark a momentous life event.


Weddings and civil partnerships are currently able to proceed with 15 attendees provided the premise is permitted to open and can accommodate this number in a Covid-19 secure manner following social distancing guidelines. 

To meet social distancing guidance and to reduce the risk in spread of Covid-19, the number of people who can attend a wedding and civil partnership at our register offices continues to be restricted. To find out more on the limits at our register offices, please contact our ceremony team on 03000 266 000 or email

From 17 May 2021, weddings, civil partnerships and receptions will be able to proceed with 30 attendees provided the premise can accommodate this number in a Covid-19 secure manner following social distancing guidelines and are permitted to open. 

From no earlier than 21 June 2021, there will be no legal limits placed on any life events.

The government will confirm whether restrictions will be eased one week in advance of these dates. Covid-19 safety measures which include social distancing and the wearing of face coverings will still be in place until further notice to ensure everyone's safety.

Please bear in mind that each step continues to be reviewed and may still affect a couple's plans. You can contact our ceremony team on 03000 266 000 or email for any queries you may have. However, our phone lines continue to be very busy so please bear with us. 

Full guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships can be found at guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships.

The Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 provides that applicants for British nationality make a citizenship oath and pledge at a ceremony which will be the final part of their naturalisation process. Attendance at a ceremony is mandatory for those 18 years and over applying for British citizenship.

Acquiring citizenship

We can offer advice about the ceremony only and not the process of acquiring citizenship, which must be made to the Home Office. More information is on the website. To arrange a Citizenship Ceremony you must first be in possession of a reference number allocated by the Home Office.

Group ceremonies

The ceremonies are regarded as significant occasions and are generally carried out as group ceremonies normally held at County Hall, Durham attended by either the Chairman or Vice Chairman of Durham County Council who officially welcomes the new citizens into the County.

Ceremonies end with a graduation style presentation of a Certificate of Naturalisation by the Chairman or Vice Chairman. There is also the opportunity of having your photograph taken and posted to you.

Group ceremonies are held approximately every 6 - 8 weeks.

Individual ceremonies

Individual ceremonies costing £100.00 and held at Bishop Auckland Register Office, can be arranged on request.



Contact us
Register Office - Bishop Auckland
03000 266 000
Our address is:
  • Cockton House
  • 35 Cockton Hill Road
  • Bishop Auckland
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DL14 6HS
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