West Berkshire Council

Nationality Checking Service (NCS)

Applying to become a British citizen

Nationality Checking Service 

West Berkshire Nationality Checking Service is a partnership between the UK Visas and Immigration Service and West Berkshire Council. It helps to ensure that your citizenship application is properly completed and submitted with all the relevant supporting documentation.

Our advisors are trained by the Home Office, and registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), to check and forward your application. They will photocopy and certify your passport along with the other required documents, and then send your application, with the correct fee, to the Home Office by special delivery post.

Using this service is entirely optional. You can apply directly to the Home Office, use a solicitor or other agent.

How do I use the service?

Our NCS operates on an appointment only basis. To make your appointment you should contact us by phone or email.  

You must make your application in person. If you are applying for citizenship for children under 18 years old they do not have to be present.

What should I bring to my appointment?

When you book your appointment, we will send you a confirmation email with more information about what you should bring with you to the appointment, but items will include:

  • a completed citizenship application form - you can download this from the gov.uk website
  • originals of all the necessary documents as explained in the application form guidance notes
  • the citizenship application fee, payable to the Home Office, can be paid by cheque or card (please note they do not take American Express)

Will the council give me advice?

West Berkshire Council are unable to provide advice on nationality matters. The Home Office website offers nationality advice or you can telephone them directly.

Will my application be dealt with more quickly? 

NCS is not a priority service for processing your application to the Home Office. However, complete and accurate forms are processed, on average, more quickly than those that are incomplete or need further enquiries.

Do I have to pay for the checking service?

Our current fees are as follows:

  • adult application -  £70
  • minor - £45
  • additional fee for Saturday service -  £25 per appointment

Joint Citizenship and Passport Service

You can apply for your UK passport at the same time as your citizenship application. If your citizenship application is successful and a ceremony is attended, your new passport will be sent to your home.

This service costs an additional £15.

Using this service is entirely optional. It helps to ensure that your citizenship application is properly completed and submitted with all the relevant supporting documentation. Please contact us by phone to book your appointment.

How to apply

Applications are made using the standard British Passport application form. These are available from the Post Office, or we can post a form to you.

When completing the form, you might find the following guidelines useful:

  1. You should complete sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 (if applicable) and 9 of the passport application form; you do not need to complete section 10 or have the 2 photographs certified and details of referees will be collected as part of the citizenship application
  2. The photographs submitted with both applications must be identical (ie from the same sitting) and comply with the photo standards as described in the accompanying guidance; your name should be written on the back of the photographs
  3. Section 1: if you are within 6 months of your 16th birthday at the time of application, you must attend the appointment in person
  4. Section 2: please do not enter a mobile phone number in Section 2 of the application form; enter it in Section 8 instead
  5. Section 4: Grandparents' details are not required
  6. The payment mandate on page 25 of the application must be completed; please ensure that the security number of the card is entered in the appropriate box
  7. If you are unsure about any requirements leave the section of the form blank and complete it at your appointment

European Passport Return Service (EPRS)

The European passport return service is available for EEA and Swiss nationals applying online using the EEA (QP) or EEA (PR) application forms.

We will photocopy and certify your passport and forward this along with the checklist and application to the Home Office by special delivery post. Your passport will then be available for use while your application is being processed.

The Home Office may contact you for further information after the application has been submitted. It is important to note using the European passport return service does not guarantee the success of the application.

How do I use the service?

You must:

  • hold a current EEA or Swiss passport (not an ID card)
  • have completed an online application to the Home Office for a permanent residence document or registration certificate
  • be able to attend the office within five working days of making your online application

Our EPRS operates on an appointment only basis, to make your appointment you should contact us by phone or email.  

What should I bring to my appointment?

  • your online application confirmation clearly showing the payment notification number
  • a hard copy of the completed application form and any supporting document - please note that this is only for forwarding to the Home Office, and will not be checked or photocopied by us. You must ensure you have your own copy of any documents submitted before attending the office
  • your current EEA or Swiss passport

Will the council give me advice?

We can't:

  • provide advice on the application process
  • provide advice on the progress of a submitted application
  • ensure that the form has been correctly completed and correct supporting documents submitted

Do I have to pay for the service?

A fee of £10 is payable, plus a postage fee for Royal Mail Special Delivery which will depend on the weight of your application.

Feedback

We always welcome feedback and suggestions to improve the quality of our service.

The NCS in this district is provided by West Berkshire Council Registration Service. Please contact the Registration Manager with any comments you wish to make. All complaints will be handled in accordance with our complaints procedure.

Alternatively, you may wish to contact the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) directly. A copy of the OISC complaints procedure is available here.

Who To Contact