Get help applying for British citizenship

Nationality document return service

The nationality document return service is a new service for those applying for British citizenship online.

It allows you to keep hold of your original passport and other supporting documents while your application is processed by the Home Office (apart from your Life in the UK Test certificate, which is retained by the Home Office). If you intend to use the service, you can also apply for your first UK passport at the same time using our combined service, which includes passport application checking at an additional cost.

Westminster does not currently offer the European passport return service (EPRS) or the Settlement checking service. The Nationality document return service can only be used for those applying for British citizenship.

If you would like to book an appointment, complete the online form and a member of staff will contact you to arrange a suitable appointment date. Your appointment will need to be within 10 days of the submission date.

The Nationality Checking Service is still available until further notice, but you will not be able to apply for your passport at the same time (unless you have already booked your appointment to take place prior to 5 April 2018). If you would like further information regarding this service, visit GOV.UK or speak to us directly on 020 7641 7500.

The joint citizenship and passport checking service has been withdrawn for the paper version of British citizenship applications.

Only customers completing the online Form AN or Form MN1 and intending to use our Nationality document return service (NDRS) can apply for their British passport at the same time.

This passport form must be a paper version from the Post Office as you cannot apply online for this service.

1. Nationality checking service

There are many benefits to using the nationality checking service:

  • we will check that your application meets the requirements of the Home Office before you submit it
  • unnecessary delays in the process are reduced
  • you don’t need to send off your passport and original documents
  • Westminster registrars are trained and registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner to carry out the nationality checking service

However, please note:

  • this is not a fast track service
  • we cannot guarantee your application will be approved by the Home Office
  • Westminster registrars cannot provide immigration and nationality advice
  • you do not have to use this service when applying for British citizenship
  • if you're applying for a family of 4 or more, please contact the Westminster Register Office directly to book your appointment
It is your responsibility to ensure you meet all of the criteria stated in the application guidance notes before attending your appointment.

2. Passport checking

If you are intending to use the Nationality document return service, you can also apply for your first British passport at the same time. 

Passport application packs can be obtain from your nearest Post Office and you must ensure that the form and the payment mandate (page 25 of the guidance booklet) are both completed before attending the appointment. The form must not have any errors. 

1.   Applicants should complete sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 (if applicable) and 9 of the passport application form. Further details on each section are given below. Applicants do NOT need to complete section 10 nor have the 2 photographs certified and signed. Details of referees will be collected as part of the citizenship application.

2.   The photographs submitted with your passport application must both be the same, and also the same as the one on your citizenship application. They must also comply with the photo standards as described in the accompanying guidance booklet. Applicant’s name should be written on the back of the photographs.

3.  Section 1: Any applicant within 6 months of their 16th birthday at the time of application must attend the appointment in person (even if they are not becoming an adult citizen), because they will need an adult passport.

4.  Section 2: Please do NOT enter a mobile phone number in section 2 of the application form. Please enter it in Section 8 instead.

5. Please indicate "Yes" and enter details of your current passport (any nationality) if you have one.

6.  Section 4: Grandparents’ details are not required, but ALL applicants should enter their parents' details (any nationality).

7.  The payment mandate on Page 25 of the Application Guidance must be completed. Please do NOT fill the bar code number on this page as we will issue a new one on the day of your appointment. If you prefer, you can print this off from the Guidance document, which can be found at GOV.UK . Please ensure that the security number of the card is entered in the appropriate box. Please fill it in before your appointment.

3. What you will need to bring

You will need to bring the following to your appointment: 

  • your completed citizenship application form - visit the Home Office website to find out which application form you need to complete
  • the required documents listed in the application form guidance notes - all documents must be original; copies are not permitted
  • your original Life in the UK test certificate
  • proof that you meet the English language requirements

4. On the day

All applicants over 18 years old must attend in person.

On the day of your appointment, you will meet with one of our registrars who will: 

  • make sure that your application form has been completed correctly
  • check, copy and certify your passport and other original documents
  • ensure that you have enclosed the right payment for the Home Office
  • send your application to the Home Office by special delivery post

Please allow 45 minutes for your appointment.

Westminster nationality checking service appointments are held Monday to Friday and occasionally take place on Saturdays.

Most appointments are held at The Registration Office, 317 Harrow Road, London, W9 3RJ.

5. Fees

Nationality Checking Service (NCS)

The fees for the Nationality checking service are: 

Appointment Day


Monday to Friday 


Home or office visit (weekdays only)*


* These appointments cannot be booked online and need to be arranged with the Register Office directly.

Nationality Document Return Service (NDRS)

The fees for the Nationality document return service are:

Appointment Day

Fee (not including postage)

Passport Checking

Monday to Friday



Postage Fees for NDRS


Postage Fee

Up to 1kg


Up to 2kg


Up to 5kg


Up to 10kg


Passport fees

The cost of the your passport application can be found on GOV.UK.

6. Book your appointment

You can only book an appointment for the Nationality checking service online.

Book online

Last updated: 5 September 2018
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