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British Naturalisation Certificate Guide

A naturalisation certificate is provided when a person gains British citizenship through naturalisation or registration and can be used to prove their status as a citizen of the UK.

This can be especially useful if you need to prove your right to work, rent, access services such as the NHS, or if you are applying for a mortgage, benefits, or you wish to vote in an election. If your citizenship certificate has been lost, stolen, or damaged, you can order a replacement.

In this article, we will explain the difference between a naturalisation certificate and a registration certificate, what to do if you have incorrect information on your naturalisation certificate, how to get a copy of a certificate of naturalisation, and what to do if your naturalisation certificate is lost, stolen, or damaged.

British naturalisation certificates include the person’s full name, date of birth, place and country of birth, where the certificate was issued, a certificate number, and date of issue.

Naturalisation certificate vs Registration certificate

Whether you have a naturalisation or registration certificate will depend on how you gained UK citizenship. You will receive a British naturalisation certificate if you gain British citizenship through naturalisation. On the other hand, if you gained British citizenship through registration, you may have been given a registration certificate.

Registration certificates were issued to citizens of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein (EEA) but are no longer valid. For this reason, EU and EEA nationals need to apply for a different type of permission to stay in the UK, such as pre-settled or settled status through the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), assuming you were living in the UK before the end of 2020. You will need to have reasonable grounds for making an application to the EUSS if you have not already done so (e.g., if you had an illness or were the victim of domestic abuse).

Incorrect information on the certificate of naturalisation

If you notice incorrect information on your certificate of naturalisation, the process for correcting this will depend on the circumstances.

If you can prove that the information is incorrect and this was the error of the Home Office, they will correct and reissue the certificate.

If the details on the certificate were correct when issued by the Home Office, but then new evidence came to light that they were incorrect, you will need to provide evidence of the correct information. In this case, the certificate will be officially endorsed to show the correct details.

If the details on the certificate were believed to be correct when issued by the Home Office, but later the holder claims these are incorrect, if they cannot provide sufficient proof of this, the certificate will still be officially endorsed to show the updated details.

Endorsement means that it will be clear that a change has been made, and this may affect the validity of the certificate. This is because only endorsements which have been accepted by the Home Office can be used as evidence by an applicant to change their personal details on a passport or passport application.

Examples of endorsements include:

If a person claims a different date of birth and this has been officially accepted:

“The correct date of birth of the holder of this certificate of registration (or naturalisation) is.......... and not .......... as entered overleaf.”

If a person claims a different place of birth and provided evidence, but this has not been officially accepted by UKBA:

“According to documentary evidence produced to the Home Office, the place of birth of the person named below should read (PLACE OF BIRTH)”.

To request a change to your naturalisation certificate, you need to:

  1. To request a change to your naturalisation certificate, you need to: complete an online application form 1.
  2. Send the form and your original (i.e. incorrect) certificate to Department 201, UKVI, The Capital New Hall Place, Liverpool, L3 9PP
  3. Pay a fee of £250 fee if the error was your fault (UKVI will advise you in writing if you need to pay).

Lost or stolen naturalisation certificate

You have lost your naturalisation certificate, or if you believe it may have been stolen, you will need to inform the Home Office as soon as possible. It is also advisable to inform the police your certificate was stolen.

To request a replacement naturalisation certificate if yours has been lost or stolen, you will need to:

  1. Complete the online application form 2.
  2. Pay a fee of £250 fee if the error was your fault (UKVI will advise you in writing if you need to pay).

If you became a UK citizen on or before 30th September 1986, you can order a certified copy of your naturalisation certificate from the National Archives3.

Damaged or defaced naturalisation certificate

It is important to note that if you are using your naturalisation certificate to apply for a passport, it must be readable (legible) and in good/original condition. If your certificate is damaged or has been defaced, you may need to order a replacement.

How do I get a copy of my naturalisation certificate?

To apply for a duplicate citizenship certificate, you will need to complete form NC online4. As explained above, if you were naturalised on or before 30th September 1986, you will need to apply to the National Archives.

Where can I find my British naturalisation Certificate Number?

Your naturalisation certificate contains a Certificate Number. The Certificate Number is shown at the bottom of the naturalisation certificate to the left of the date and above the Reference Number.

Where can I find my British naturalisation Reference Number?

Your naturalisation certificate contains a Reference Number (this will also be on your letter from the Home Office). The Reference Number is shown at the bottom of the naturalisation certificate to the left of the date and below the Certificate Number.

How can Reiss Edwards help?

Your UK naturalisation certificate provides you with proof of your British citizenship. If you have any problems with your naturalisation certificate, including if it contains incorrect information, you have mislaid your certificate or it has been stolen, if you just need a replacement, or for any other matters relating to citizenship or proving your immigration status, speak to an immigration Solicitor who can advise you of the process you need to follow. If necessary, we can complete this for you.

References:

1 GOV.UK: Correcting a registration or naturalisation certificate

2 GOV.UK: Online application form

3 National Archives: Citizenship and Naturalisation records

4 GOV.UK: Form NC

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