Fewer people than ever are taking the oath to become British citizens in Kirklees.

Only 277 people became British citizens in the district last year, the lowest number since records began in 2004.

Last year’s figure was down from 595 in 2014, according to Home Office data.

Usually anyone who is born in Britain automatically becomes a British citizen but not always.

It’s possible to apply to become a citizen by ‘naturalisation.’ To do this applicants must fulfil various requirements such as speaking English to a good standard, living in the UK for a set amount of time and passing the Life in the UK test.

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Successful applicants are invited to a ‘citizenship ceremony’ where they live.

Here they have to swear or affirm loyalty to the Queen specifically, followed by a more general promise to respect the laws and freedoms of the UK.

This ceremony is compulsory to become a British citizen.

If applicants can’t make the ceremony there is an option to take it overseas.

The Queen

Some 1,154 people became citizens at British embassies and consulates around the world, including places as far afield as Kyrgyzstan, Zambia and the Philippines.

The text of the oath is: “I (name) swear by Almighty God that on becoming a British citizen, I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her heirs and successors according to law.”

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Alternatively, applicants can affirm with the following: “I (name) do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that on becoming a British Citizen I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her heirs and successors according to law.”

The pledge, which is also mandatory, says: “I will give my loyalty to the United Kingdom and respect its rights and freedoms.

“I will uphold its democratic values. I will observe its laws faithfully and fulfil my duties and obligations as a British citizen.”

Would you pass a Life in the UK test?

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