Call to restarts citizenship ceremonies in Fife
The events, organised by Fife Council, are the final step in the process to full citizenship and being able to obtain a British passport.
But with ceremonies indefinitely suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, migrant rights campaigners say applicants across the country are stuck "in limbo”.
Home Office figures show 169 people attended citizenship ceremonies in Fife in 2019.
This was up four per cent on the year before, bringing the total for the last decade to around 1600.
Participants are asked to make an oath of allegiance to the Queen and pledge to respect the rights, freedoms and laws of the UK. They are then presented with a certificate of British citizenship and a welcome pack.
Jill Rutter, director of strategy at the think tank, British Future, said citizenship is important for integration and a shared sense of identity.
She said: "Citizenship ceremonies do really matter to new Britons. They mark the end of a long and expensive process, and the start of an enhanced feeling of belonging to the country people have chosen to call home.
"We should restart citizenship ceremonies as soon as it is safe to do so.”
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspapers - the Fife Free Press, Fife Herald, St Andrews Citizen and East Fife Mail.
Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the highest standards in the world. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers and consequently the advertising that we receive. We are now more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news by buying a copy of our newspaper.
Allan Crow, Editor, Fife Free Press