The nationality document return service allows you to keep your documents while your online application for British citizenship is being processed.
The nationality document return service allows you and your family to take your documents to a participating local authority for copying, and for the local authority to then send the copies to the Home Office on your behalf. This allows you to keep your documents while your application for British citizenship is being processed.
You can use this service if you are applying for British citizenship online. You can also include family members who are included in your online application.
Make an appointment
You must contact a local authority to book an appointment to use this service. You will need to attend an appointment with them within 10 working days of submitting your online application. You may want to check availability before you submit your application. Your application will be rejected if you do not attend an appointment or submit your original documents within 10 working days.
You and any family members you have included in your online application over the age of 18 should attend this appointment in person.
The local authority will tell you the fee you must pay to use this service.
Applying for a British passport
You can apply for a British passport at the same time as submitting your documents through the nationality document return service. You can do this if:
- you are applying online for citizenship
- you are using the nationality document return service
- your personal details match your identification and your citizenship passport application forms
Please note if your current details do not match your identity document you cannot apply for a passport at the same time. Any application made where details do not correspond may be refused a British passport.
Your local authority can provide further advice on how to apply for a British passport by using the nationality document return service.
If you wish to apply for a passport at the same time as citizenship for your family members, anyone over the age of 15 years and 6 months will need to attend the appointment in person.
What you need to bring with you
You will need to bring:
- your original passport or identity document
- all your original supporting documentation
- a copy of your checklist – this will be available to you on completion of the online application
- the original referee page with photographs attached
If you are applying for a British passport at the same time you will also need to bring:
- a completed (paper) passport application form, these can be obtained from your local post office
The Home Office may contact you to request additional or original documentation to determine your application. If this happens, you will not normally be entitled to a refund. If you do not submit documents requested by the Home Office by the deadline provided your application may be refused.
Use of the nationality document return service does not mean your application will be successful. The responsibility is yours to ensure you meet the requirements and are able to supply the relevant documentation before you submit an application.