Added on: 6th October, 2011
People applying for British Citizenship can now overcome unnecessary delays by having their documentation personally checked and certified at Bexley Register Office, Sidcup.
The new, locally based Nationality Checking Service, will be introduced from Monday 3 October. Depending on demand, the centre hopes to eventually establish one or two designated days per week for dealing specifically with NCS clients.
As part of the service, Bexley Register Office staff, who are registered with the Office of the Immigration Service Commissioner (OISC), will:
• Ensure that your application is completed correctly
• Check, copy and certify your passport and other original documents
• Make sure that the right payment has been made
• Send your application to the Home Office by secure post
Appointments can be booked by phone or in person. All applicants must personally attend their appointments, bringing any necessary documentation they are asked for. Appointments can take between 45-90 minutes, depending on how many people are applying.
Until now, the nearest NCS centre for Bexley residents has been in the neighbouring borough of Bromley.
Cllr Colin Campbell, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Services said: "I am delighted that Bexley is now able to offer this very convenient service locally. It is not compulsory to use the NCS but it is worth noting that applications to the Home Office are resolved more quickly if they are completed correctly in the first place. By using the service, people can have peace of mind that their applications are complete.
"There is also the added benefit that they can hold on to their original documents, such as passports, while the application is under consideration."
The cost per application is £60. This must be paid by debit or credit card at the time of making the booking. Those making a booking in person can also pay in cash.
Bexley Register Office is based at Manor House, The Green, Sidcup. It opens Mondays-Fridays 9am-4pm. The NCS team can be contacted on 0208 308 7515 or 0208 308 7509.
Please note that the cost of Home Office fees for nationality applications are not included. These can be found separately on the Home Office website at www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/britishcitizenship/applying/cost/