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Registering a birth in the UK – for UK citizens born abroad and internationals born in the UK


When a child is born it must be registered, but do you register the baby in the country that you are residing or the country you are from or returning to? 

It can be a bit complicated, can’t it!

We have broken down the information below for both UK citizens living abroad and expats living in the UK. 


Registering a birth by a UK citizen abroad

Do you need to register the birth of your child in the UK if you are an expat abroad? That is a very good question.

If you are a UK expat living abroad and planning to have a child, you can still register the birth in the UK, but after you register the birth locally. 

When you give birth you must register the birth in the country you reside, according to their local laws. They should give you a local birth certificate upon registration.

You do not need to register the birth with the UK authorities and the local birth certificate will be accepted in the UK upon application for a passport, when registering with a school or registering with a doctor. 

You do not need to register with the UK authorities and your child will be British regardless, however, if you wish to do so, you can find the application here.


Registering a baby in the UK born to international expats

Are you an expat living in the UK who is looking to register the birth of their child? Then you must register your baby in the UK within 42 days of birth, or if the baby is born in Scotland you have 21 days.

Often you can register the baby at the hospital of birth, they will advise if this is possible. If it is not or your baby was born outside of a hospital, you will need to find the local registry office to where the baby was born and register the baby there.

The information you will need to provide to the registrar about the baby includes:

Details of the baby

  • Full name
  • Gender
  • Place of birth
  • Date of birth

You will need to provide

  • Your full name
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Occupation
  • Mother’s maiden surname
  • Date of parents’ marriage or civil partnership

You should also take as many of the below documents as possible with you:

  • Identification: Passport, driving license, proof of address, council tax bill, proof of address, deed poll, marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • Child’s personal health records
  • Proof of paternity of your partner if you are registering the child alone

After your child is registered you will receive a short birth certificate. This sometimes can be immediate or may take a few days. This short certificate includes just the details of the baby and will be given for free.

For a long version of the certificate which will include the parents’ full details, this would need to be purchased from the registry office and can be purchased at any time.


Will my child be granted British citizenship upon registering?

Only a child which has one or both parents who are either a British citizen or has permeant UK residency at the time of birth will be classed as a British citizen. 

If you would like to register a child as a British citizen then you must fill out a MN1 application form which you can find here