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Nationality Checking Service

What is the Nationality Checking Service?

The Nationality Checking Service (NCS) is a partnership between the Home Office Nationality Group and a number of local councils in England and Wales. 

The participating councils will offer an optional service to those applicants who wish to take advantage of it. For a fee, the designated councils will check that applications for British nationality are completed correctly and have been submitted with all the necessary supporting documents such as passports, certificates and proof of English proficiency.

The completed applications will then be forwarded to the Home Office by special delivery post. Applications of this type can be dealt with, on average, more quickly than those that are not properly completed. Those using the service will be able to keep their passports and other important documents rather than send them to the Home Office.

Applicants must satisfy 3 main criteria. They must have: an appropriate residential qualification dependent on the section of the Immigration Act under which they are applying, 
have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain in the United Kingdom must have proficiency in English Language and members of the EEA Communities must have a Permanent Residence Card (PRC)

If you require further information you can telephone the Nationality Checking Service on:0300 303 2472

Do all local authorities provide this service?

No. It is up to the individual council to decide whether to provide the service. If you live in an area where the council does not provide the checking service you can submit your application through any participating local authority.

What happens when I use the Nationality Checking Service?

The checking service works on an appointment only basis. You need to book an appointment by contacting our Nationality Checking Service Team. When booking your appointment you will be asked for your Life in the UK test ID number to verify that the test has been taken and passed. When you come in for your appointment, our staff will ensure you have completed your application form properly for British Nationality and carry out the following checks:

- Staff will check that you have paid the required fee to the Home Office and the fees are made payable to "The Accounting Officer Home Office" in cheque or credit card formats.

- Staff will ensure that all the necessary accompanying documents have been enclosed.

- We will photocopy your passports, travel documents and any other documents that the Home Office requested you to supply and certify that they are true copies.

- We will send your completed application, certified photocopies of your passports and all other required valuable document with a proof of proficiency in English Language along with the fees to the Home Office.

- We will return your passports and other documents that you supplied with the exception of the Certificate of English Language, which is a requirement by the Home Office. The Home Office insist on the original being supplied. Remember, your passports will be returned to you so that you have peace of mind and therefore not restrained from travelling whilst your application is being processed.

Will my application be processed more quickly if I use this service?

The Home Office deals with every application according to individual circumstances and factors. Completed and accurate applications will on average be processed more quickly than those that are incomplete, inaccurate or do not have the appropriate supporting documentation. 
The Nationality Checking service we offer ensures applications are completed correctly, are accurate and supported by all the documents required by the Home Office.

How do I get further advice and information?

We are able to offer information regarding the Nationality Checking Service, but cannot offer advice regarding individual citizenship cases or specific circumstances. Advice or information can be found by:

- contacting your local citizens advice bureau

- calling the Home Office Enquiries Bureau Helpdesk on: 0300 123 2253

- visiting the home office website at:

How do I apply to use the service?

To use the Nationality Checking Service pleasecontact us at: 

Cumbria Registration Service
Nationality Checking Service
The Register Office 
Lady Gillford's House
Petteril Bank Road 

Tel: 0300 303 2472 

The opening hours for the Nationality Checking Service team in Cumbria are: 9.00am to 4.30pm - Monday to Friday.

You can also download an application form from the home office website:

How much does it cost?

Cumbria County Council charges a fee for applications. Fees are set to recover any staff and administration costs, and are not to generate revenue.

Nationality Checking Service Fees
Type of applicationFee
3Adult £ 73.00
Husband & wife (living together at same address) £ 120.00
Husband & wife and up to 2 children £ 161.00
Individual children up to age 18 years (and any additional children with parent`s application) £ 52.00

All prices include VAT

Important: All fees are payable at the time of application, prior to your appointment. We accept payment by cheque or cash (in person), cheque (postal applications), or by credit/debit card (telephone).

Who will process my application?

The members of staff involved with the Nationality Checking Service in Cumbria are registered with the Office of the Immigration service Commissioner, an independent body established by the government to control and regulate the service.

Who do I contact if I am not satisfied with the service I receive?

Unfortunately things can go wrong from time to time. When they do we want to try to put them right quickly. In the first instance please speak to the Local Manager at the office that you have being dealing with about any problems. They will try to resolve any issues or problems. However, if they are unable to sort the matter to your satisfaction please write, with as much information as is possible about your complaint, to the Manager of the Registration Service:

Mr Andrew Smith 
Cumbria Registration Service
Cumbria House
117 Botchergate

Except in difficult cases you will receive a reply to your complaint within three working days. When this is not possible we will write explaining why and advise you of the action being taken, and in most cases will get a full response within ten working days.

Alternatively, you can write to the governing body at:
Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner
5th Floor
21 Bloomsbury Street

Useful Contacts

Neighbouring Registration Services contact

Lancashire - Tel: 0845 053 0021
Dumfries & Galloway (Incl. Gretna Green) - Tel: 030 33 33 3000
Northumberland - Tel: 0845 600 6400
Newcastle-Upon-Tyne - Tel: 0191 232 8520
North Yorkshire - Tel: 0845 872 73 74