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For more information on these ceremonies, email registrars@portsmouthcc.gov.uk or phone 023 9282 9041. You can visit the registration support officer at the register office, Milldam House, Burnaby Road, Portsmouth, PO1 3AF.  The office is open 9am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

Becoming a British citizen is a significant event, celebrated with a citizenship ceremony.  New citizens make a pledge of loyalty to the United Kingdom, an oath on their Holy book or an affirmation to Her Majesty the Queen, and are presented with a certificate to celebrate the occasion of becoming a British citizen.

New citizens are invited in a letter from the Home Office to contact the Portsmouth register office to confirm which ceremony they wish to attend. You should attend within 11 weeks of receiving an invitation. When you contact the register office, have your Home Office reference number and poll number ready.  The register office will then send you a questionnaire and more information about the ceremony. You are welcome to bring two guests to the citizenship ceremony.

Group citizenship ceremonies are held monthly at Portsmouth register office. You may prefer to celebrate your citizenship with your own individual ceremony, but there is an additional charge for this.  

The ceremony consists of  a welcome by the registrar, followed by a speech by a local dignitary. You then make the oath or affirmation and pledge. The exact wording of the vows is on the Home Office website.

You are then presented with your citizenship certificate, a welcome pack and a gift from Portsmouth City Council. You are also invited to sign our Citizenship Register. The ceremony closes with the playing of the national anthem.

There will be a professional photographer to take photos of the certificate presentation. Guests are also welcome to take photos. Refreshments are provided.

These ceremonies are designed for people who wish to celebrate a special event in their lives, but may feel that a religious ceremony is not for them. The ceremony has no legal status and is simply an opportunity to bring together family and friends to share in a special or significant occasion.  You can buy a certificate to celebrate the event.

Both ceremonies have a basic structure, but you are invited to make choices about important aspects of the ceremony, such as promises to your child or each other.

Renewal of vows

For any married couple wishing to celebrate the renewal of their wedding vows, and often associated with a special wedding anniversary. The ceremony is appropriate for couples at any stage of their marriage or civil partnership. Many couples who initially chose a ceremony abroad renew their vows in a special event for friends and family on their return.

Naming ceremonies

Parents celebrate the arrival of the new child into their family with a naming ceremony, which gives both friends and family the opportunity to gather together and show their support for the child. This type of ceremony could also be used as a way of bonding families together, such as stepchildren into a new family. Naming ceremonies are not just for babies; children of any age can have a ceremony either individually or as a family.

Venues and fees

A registrar officiates at vow renewal and naming ceremonies, which can be held at either the register office (Milldam House) or one of the approved venues in Portsmouth - follow the link for a list of approved venues.

Fees for both can be found below:

An additional, non-refundable £50 booking fee also applies.
 Fees from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 Monday to Thursday  Friday Saturday Sundays and bank holidays
Milldam house
(ceremonies room holds 45 people)
 £245  £317 £377 n/a
 An approved venue  £545  £581 £659 £779

A unique keepsake to celebrate the ceremony and help preserve your family's history. Certificates are printed on quality paper, in a standard A4 framing size (210mm x 297mm) and cost £5. Examples are on display at Portsmouth register office. You can download the form below and post back to us with payment, or visit the register office and pay with cash, credit or debit card.

Commemorative certificates cannot be used for legal or statutory purposes.

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