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Nationality Checking Service

 
   

One of our Nationality Checking Service Advisors helping with an application formIn addition to providing British citizenship ceremonies| we are now able to offer a checking service, in partnership with the Home Office, for British nationality applications forms to help people who want to apply for British Citizenship.

The aim of the service is to help reduce unnecessary delays in the application process - we will make sure that your application form is completed correctly and will check, copy and certify your passport and other original documents so that you don’t have to send them away and your application is not held up because of any errors or missing information.

All of our advisors are trained and registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC).

Please note that the Nationality Checking Service we provide is not a fast track service and the register office cannot act as an agent for you. We cannot offer any advice on nationality, or any other matters such as visas, immigration or asylum. 

The service is available by appointment only.

Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I apply for British Citizenship?

You will need to meet certain requirements for your application to be considered by the Home Office|. Generally these are to:

  • To have been resident in the United Kingdom for a minimum of five years at the time of making your application, three years if you are applying as the spouse or civil partner of a British Citizen.
  • To have held Indefinite Leave to Remain/Enter for one year at the time of making your application or have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain/Enter if you are applying as the spouse or civil partner of a British Citizen.
  • You must be able to demonstrate your knowledge of English by providing either a Life in the United Kingdom test pass certificate or an approved ESOL qualification in Speaking and Listening with a supporting college letter.
  • Be able to provide sufficient evidence of your lawful residence during the qualifying period. This can be your passport or travel documents, P60, a letter from your employer or an up to date statement confirming payment of benefits or a combination of these.
  • Further details about the evidence required, guidance notes and application forms  can be found on the Home Office website
  • An application form must be fully completed for each person applying.
  • Pay the appropriate Home Office application fee.  
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How do I book an appointment?

Please contact the Nationality Team on 0191 433 3000 or ncs@gateshead.gov.uk| to make an appointment.   

  • The NCS appointment fee is payable in advance at time of booking
  • Please see our fees and charges 
  • Payment can be made by credit or debit card 

You have up to 7 days from booking and paying your fee to cancel and receive a full refund.  Should you wish to rearrange your appointment within this cancellation period you can do so without any additional charge.  If you cancel your appointment with less than 48 hours notice, you will have to pay a second full fee to rearrange.

If you do not attend the fee will not be refunded.  

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What happens during the appointment?

  • A Nationality Checking Service officer will check that each application form has been properly completed 
  • We will check, copy and certify your passport and other original documents so you don’t need to send them away
  • The correct Home Office fee will be taken from you and included with your application.
  • We will send your application form and certified copies of your documents safely and quickly to the Home Office by guaranteed next day delivery. 
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What do I need to bring to my Nationality Checking Service appointment?  

  • A fully completed application form. We will check that you have filled out the form correctly and make sure you are not missing any information but please read the application guidance notes before you start filling it in.
  • All original documentation to support the application. Your own photocopies are not acceptable.
  • Please note that all applicants named on the application form who are over the age of 18 are required to attend the same appointment. The Life in the UK test ID number or ESOL reference number for each person must be provided
  • The correct Home Office fee. You can pay by credit/debit card, postal order or cheque (made payable to “The Accounting Officer, Home Office”) but not with cash.
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What does it cost?

The fee for the Nationality Checking Service is:

  • £55 for adults
  • £30 for children

This fee is payable at the time you make your appointment.  

Find out more information on current Home Office fees|

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What happens after the appointment?

Applications are sent to the Home Office, when they are received they are assessed by an allocated Home Office caseworker.

The time taken for the Home Office to assess each application varies according to individual circumstances and other factors, including the number of applications under consideration at that time.

The average waiting time can be found on the Home Office website.

If the Home Office approves your application for British Citizenship they will write to you to confirm this and provide Citizenship Ceremony literature and booking information. 

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Does using the Nationality Checking Service help me to jump the queue?

No, but using the service means your application is more likely to be accepted without the need for any further enquiries. Applications to the Home Office that contain all of the necessary information and correct documents are resolved more quickly than those that are incomplete.

So, while you are not jumping the queue, your application should be processed more quickly if you use the service.

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If I use the service will my application be successful?

Using the Nationality Checking Service cannot guarantee a successful application, but it should mean that your application form is filled in properly and this will ensure a quicker result.

Your application is considered by trained Home Office nationality caseworkers – Gateshead Council does not have any say in whether you are successful. 

If the Home Office needs to contact you about your application, they will do so using the contact details given on the application form.

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How do I give feedback about the Nationality Checking Service provided by Gateshead Register Office?

If you have a compliment or complaint about the Gateshead Nationality Checking Service then please let us know. You can tell a member of staff immediately or contact Gateshead Council on 0191 433 3000 or haveyoursay@gateshead.gov.uk|.

If you prefer, you can contact the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner. An independent body established by Parliament to regulate organisations offering the NCS. You can call 0845 000 0046, visit www.oisc.gov.uk| or write to: 

Office of the Immigration Service Commissioner (OISC)
5th Floor
Counting House
53 Tooley Street
London
SE1 2QN

Contact Us

Gateshead Register Office
Gateshead Council
Civic Centre
Regent Street
Gateshead
NE8 1HH
Tel: 0191 433 3000
Email: registeroffice@gateshead.gov.uk|
How to get to the Civic Centre| (272k PDF)

 

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