Wokingham Borough Council has conducted 68 virtual citizenship ceremonies since making the move online in November, as a direct result of the ongoing pandemic. Registrars have had the honour of welcoming more than 75 people as new citizens to the Wokingham Borough and the UK.
All applicants aged 18 years or over who are accepted by the Home Office for citizenship by naturalisation or registration must take a citizenship oath of allegiance and pledge of loyalty at a citizenship ceremony before they can become a British Citizen
The online ceremonies are 15 minutes with both the registrar and resident. The service is conducted through a video conference and official documents such as passports, are checked.
Borough Mayor, Cllr Malcolm Richards said: “Gaining your British Citizenship is a monumental occasion and I am delighted that we have been able to make that happen for so many people thanks to our online ceremonies. I am very proud of how the council’s Register Office has adapted during the pandemic to ensure we can continue to welcome individuals as new citizens.
“People from all walks of life have joined our virtual ceremonies, some from their homes or at their office. We even welcomed an NHS worker who participated in between appointments. Our new citizens bring with them skills and talents which enrich and enhance our community, we are thrilled that they have chosen to live in the Wokingham Borough.
“The Wokingham Borough is made up of 17 towns and parishes and the council is proud of its wide diversity. The area regularly ranks in the top places to live in the country and there are many great schools and businesses on our doorstep.”