Asylum, immigration and citizenship

Asylum

Asylum is protection given by a country to someone who is fleeing persecution in their own country.  (Asylum is given under the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees).  In order to be recognised as a refugee, you must have left your country and be unable to return due to a well-founded fear of persecution.

The UK Border Agency website explains what services and support are available to you as an asylum applicant, while you are waiting for their decision on your application.

Becoming a British Citizen

Applying for citizenship

The Home Office Immigration and Nationality Branch in Liverpool deals with all matters relating to applications and qualification for British citizenship.

Since 2005 anyone making an application needs to provide evidence that they speak the English language and can demonstrate knowledge of life in the United Kingdom.

If your application for Citizenship has been successful

You will receive a citizenship invitation letter from the Home Office and you need to contact the Registration Office specified on the letter within 14 days.

Applicants aged 18 or over who wish naturalisation or registration as a British citizen can take a citizenship oath and pledge in the presence of a registrar. Applicants under the age of 18 do not require to attend a ceremony or take the oath / affirmation and pledge, but may do so if desired.

The Registrar will ask you to confirm the 'Poll Number' and the 'Certificate Cover Note ' shown on the invitation letter.  The Registrar also needs to see the invitation letter before the Citizenship Ceremony can be arranged.

The final step of becoming a British citizen is to attend a Citizenship Ceremony which you need to arrange with the Registrar.

Citizenship Ceremonies

Please note: The ceremony must take place within 3 months from the date entered on the invitation letter.

Where and when will the ceremony take place

The ceremony will take place within Stirling Registration office during normal working hours.

Where several applications have been received at once, the ceremonies will be group ceremonies.

You will receive your Certificate of Naturalisation or Registration directly after the ceremony.

Who can attend

  • All prospective citizens aged 18 or over are expected to attend a citizenship ceremony.
  • Children and young people under the age of 18 are not required to attend and a member of their family may collect their citizenship certificate on their behalf.   However, if they would like to attend or be present at their parents' ceremony, they are very welcome.
  • Guests may also be invited to attend the ceremony.

The ceremony is a celebration of this new legal status and welcomes the new citizen into their community.  It also confers rights and responsibilities to participate fully in British society.

One of our registrars will lead the ceremony and will introduce the Provost of Stirling, who as part of the ceremony will give a welcoming speech to the new citizens.

During the ceremony, each prospective citizen must either swear or affirm an oath of allegiance to the Queen and make a pledge of loyalty to the United Kingdom. This must be done in the English language.

  • To swear an oath means to swear by Almighty God.
  • To affirm an oath is a suitable option for those who are not religious or who do not want to swear by Almighty God.  Holy books can be brought to the ceremony if so desired.

Following the oath or affirmation and pledge, the new citizen will be presented with a Certificate of Registration or Naturalisation by the Provost.