from the Scotsman
Immigrants to swear oath in
front of the Saltire
IMMIGRANTS living in
Scotland who want to become British citizens will have to swear an oath
of allegiance before the Saltire, under government plans revealed
The new citizenship ceremonies are to be tailored to reflect the part of
the United Kingdom in which they are performed, with the Scottish flag
and the anthem Flower of Scotland being given prominence north of the
Research carried out by the Home Office found that while many Scots were
"reluctant" to support the concept of citizenship ceremonies, they
wanted them to "strongly" reflect national symbols if they became
The cost of becoming a British citizen is also due to rise, with the fee
going up to a maximum of £218.
The 90,000 adult applicants who get a British passport each year will
pay a fee of £68 for the compulsory ceremony. Naturalisation fees will
also rise £26 to £146 for overseas nationals who are married to a Briton
- meaning they will foot the steepest price rise of 78 per cent when
combined with the ceremony fee.
People from British overseas territories will see their registration
fees fall from £120 to £85 but will still have to pay the £68 ceremony
charge, making the total cost £153.
Beverley Hughes, the Home Office minister, said: "Becoming a UK citizen
is an important step and we want to welcome new citizens with the right
balance of solemnity and celebration to make it a significant day for
"The ceremony will reinforce the obligations as well as the rights of
being a citizen.
"I believe it is only right - and indeed what new citizens themselves
will want - that our national flag and national anthem should be part of
this important day alongside appropriate symbols of the local community,
and the final guidance to local authorities will reflect this."
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