Covid-19 (Coronavirus) update

Our services are running at a reduced capacity. Please check our individual pages for updates on what services are running and any restrictions that are in place.

Our terms and conditions have also been updated to show the changes we have in place to keep our building, customers and colleagues safe.

Face coverings must be worn at the Register Office unless you are medically exempt.

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Citizenship ceremonies

We have naturalised over 33,000 new citizens and we have great pleasure in welcoming people officially into our British Family.

Latest update - 8 March 2021

All citizenship ceremonies in Tower Hamlets are now virtual. Please do not attend the register office. 

If you have not booked a ceremony yet

If you have not booked a ceremony, you have six months from receiving your letter so we ask you to wait until we are able to offer online bookings again.

You can ignore the six weeks limit noted on your Home Office invitation.

Certificates

We have received all certificates processed by the Home Office until the beginning of December 2020.

If your decision letter arrived on or after 10 December 2020, we do not yet hold your certificate.

We are taking longer to respond than usual as we focus all our resources on registering the excess deaths in Tower Hamlets.

Please only email us if your enquiry is urgent and your query isn't answered on this page.

Please note that reduced resources and increased demand means we may take longer than usual to respond.

Group and private ceremonies

Group and private ceremonies can now be booked again, virtually, using the links further down this page.

We are aware of an issue with booked ceremonies not being confirmed via email. Please do not email us for this confirmation.

We will send emails to you one week before your ceremony until our diary provider fixes the issue.

General information - Virtual group ceremonies

At this time we are dealing with extremely high volumes of correspondence so you may experience a delay in response and receive automated replies.

Please book your ceremony online. We are only offering dates until March for the current time.

We are currently not holding in-person group ceremonies. We are aware that some people, after booking, may not receive an automated email with the link.

Please email us if this is the case. We are working with our provider to have this fixed.

Group ceremonies will involve you waiting in a virtual queue (called a lobby) until you are ready to be seen.

This is due to us protecting your privacy as you'll be required to show your photo ID and Home Office invitation.

You may be waiting alone in the lobby for 40 minutes and for this we apologise. Once seen, the ceremony will last no more than five minutes.

We are looking at ways we can actively hold group ceremonies with everyone virtually, whilst protecting your privacy.

You must be physically present in the UK in order to have a virtual ceremony.

Your certificate can only be sent to the address provided to us by the Home Office. If you did not have this changed and you have moved, you can ask to collect your certificate instead.

Book a Virtual Group Ceremony

The process

We are aware that it can be confusing so please follow the process which applies to most applications:

  • The Home Office notifies you via post of a successful application. This is your decision letter, which advises you not to contact a register office. Please do not contact us if you have only received this letter.
  • The Home Office, a number of weeks later, sends your certificate to The Register Office. We then process this onto our database and you can then book a ceremony online.
  • The Home Office, within a week of sending us the certificates, notifies you that you are to attend a citizenship ceremony. This is the Home Office invitation letter. It will ask you to contact us. Before doing so, please note the following:
    • The date on the letter is often two weeks before you receive it. Do not worry.
    • You have six months to attend a ceremony during the pandemic.
    • You do not need to contact us regarding you ceremony- you can book directly online.

Virtual private ceremonies

We continue to offer private ceremonies for a fee, which allows for a quicker ceremony much sooner.

You may also share the link with your friends and family who may join in the celebration with you. Private ceremonies will also have a longer welcome and a more ceremonial atmosphere.

Due to Tier 4 restrictions, we are currently not holding in-person private ceremonies.

Book a Virtual Private Ceremony

Virtual ceremonies

Virtual Citizenship Ceremonies are to be offered by us until further notice as the government instructs people to stay at home as much as possible.

Further information

All certificates received after August will be valid for six months after Tower Hamlets Register Office receives them.

If you are unable to attend a ceremony in Tower Hamlets before this time, please contact the Home Office.

If you have a query not answered here, please email us.