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 - 4 January 2021

We have taken the decision to offer invitees virtual ceremonies if they were due to take place in January. Please bear with us - this is a new process and we are doing our best to help as many people as possible.

Please do not attend the office for your ceremony in January 2021 and email us instead to get the link.

We will email our new citizens from Monday 4 January 2021 with updates on how to access their ceremony, please avoid emailing us if:

  • you have a ceremony booked in January
  • you booked online and/or provided an email address with your booking.

Ceremonies booked in February

If you have a ceremony booked in February there is no need to email us at this time.

If you have not booked a ceremony yet

If you have not booked a ceremony, you have 6 months from receiving your letter so we ask you to wait until we are able to offer online bookings again. You can ignore the 6 weeks limit noted on your Home Office invitation.

Please only email us if your enquiry is urgent. 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.

General information

If you have received a letter from us confirming a ceremony, please ensure you email us to confirm your attendance with your HO reference and telephone number.

This is to assist with the NHS Test and Trace and to get in touch with you should government restrictions change what we can offer.

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

Children under 18 must not attend a ceremony and their certificate will be presented to the adult who must attend.

If you have not received a letter from us or wish to book a new ceremony, please book your ceremony online. We are only offering dates until February for the current time. We are currently not holding in-person group ceremonies

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, assign a ceremony date, and print then send letters in the post to our new citizens.
  • 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 unless you meet the criteria above or have not received a letter from us 10 days from the date of delivery of your letter (not the date on the letter itself).
  • Recently an error at the Home Office means this invitation letter has been sent before we receive your certificate causing more confusion for our new citizens - again we can only apologise for this and ask for your patience as we wait for the Home Office.

Private ceremonies

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

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 for those people who already have a ceremony booked in January 2021 and people will be emailed if they have already made a booking with us and included an email address.

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.