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Changes to birth and death registration overseas

Phase two of the transfer to the UK, of overseas birth and death registrations of British Citizens will begin on 8 September.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is changing the way that it registers the birth and death of British Citizens overseas. Registration at British Consulates overseas are being gradually withdrawn throughout 2014 and registrations will be carried out instead in a central registration unit in the UK.

There are no changes to the entitlement to register a birth or death. The processing time will remain the same but you will need to allow extra time for documents to be sent to and from the UK. This latest transfer of services will begin on 8 September and will affect all applications from the following countries or territories:

Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China, Denmark, East Timor, Fiji, Finland, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Nauru, North Korea, Norway, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Vietnam

We will transfer all remaining countries in a further phase before the end of 2014.

Customers will find information here on how to apply for a consular birth or death registration.

Consular birth registration is an optional service and is only available to those born overseas who have an automatic entitlement to British Nationality at birth. There is no legal requirement for a consular birth registration and a local birth certificate with a certified translation if necessary should be sufficient for all purposes in the UK including applying for a passport. Similarly there is no requirement for a consular death certificate – the local certificate should be sufficient for winding up the affairs and obtaining probate in the UK.

Centralisation of consular birth and death registration into a single-purpose unit in the UK will allow the FCO to provide a common online application procedure with credit card payment facility, which will be more efficient and convenient for customers. Centralisation will also help FCO staff overseas give greater focus to their primary function of assisting British nationals in distress.

Further information

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Published 18 August 2014