News story

Final update of changes to birth and death registration overseas

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

The fifth and final phase of the transfer to the UK, of overseas birth and death registrations of British Citizens will take place on 15 April 2015.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is changing the way that it registers the birth and death of British Citizens overseas. On 15 April 2015, the final phase of the repatriation of Registrations from British Consulates overseas to a central registration unit in the UK will take place.

In June 2014, we repatriated 26 countries and territories, in September 33 countries and territories in December 83 countries and territories and in January 2015 a further 42 countries and territories.

This final transfer of services will affect all applications from the following countries or territories:

Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Algeria, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, Philippines, Russia, Azerbaijan, Colombia

There are no changes to the entitlement to register a birth or death. The processing time will remain the same but customers will need to allow extra time for documents to be sent to and from the UK. 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

Follow the Foreign Office on twitter @foreignoffice

Follow the Foreign Office on facebook and Google+

Media enquiries