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Website URL : http://www.swansea.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=28350

Demand growing to become a Welsh citizen

ALMOST 900 foreign nationals have become Welsh citizens in Swansea during the last five years.

image depicting Welsh flag

The citizenship ceremonies have now become so popular that Swansea Council has been required to organise two each month instead of the usual one ceremony.

Swansea is also one of only four nationality checking services in Wales and this is prompting more people to visit Swansea to take their oaths.

Since 2004, 687 adults and 201 children have taken part in official Citizenship Ceremonies at the city's Civic Centre.

And all the new citizens now representing Wales originally represented 73 countries around the world including Singapore, Kenya, New Zealand, Ecuador and Switzerland.

John Hague, Cabinet Member for the Environment in Swansea, said: "We have a wonderful mix of ethnic cultures in Swansea.

"I'm delighted that so many people are making the decision to become citizens of Wales and especially Swansea. This reflects enormously on how people around the world think about our nation."

During the special ceremonies, new citizens are treated to a formal welcome by the region's (Her Majesty's) Lord Lieutenant of West Glamorgan, the High Sheriff of West Glamorgan and the city's Lord Mayor- all of whom personally welcome each guest to the city.

Edith Morgan, Registration Services Manager in Swansea, said: "These special ceremonies have become very popular in Swansea. This is partly because Swansea is a nationality checking centre but mainly because of the wonderful location and facilities we have to offer new citizens.

"In the first two months of 2009, 79 foreign adults and children have become Welsh citizens.

"This is a significant increase on previous months and we now hold two ceremonies a month to meet demand."

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