Civil registration


Country Report: Civil registration Last updated: 10/07/24


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When protection is granted, a “family reference form” is sent to the beneficiary of international protection by OFPRA, either with the OFPRA protection decision or later, notably when protection has been granted by the CNDA.

Upon receipt of the family reference form duly completed, signed by the beneficiary of international protection and sent by post, OFPRA begins its process for the drawing up of the civil status documents. For 2022, OFPRA reported a 10.3 months average time for delivering those documents. However, this is only an average and some beneficiaries of international protection wait much longer for their documentation. OFPRA prioritises the issuance of civil status documents for some categories of persons, for instance unaccompanied children, girls at risk of FGM and relocated/resettled refugees.[1] Additional resources have been allocated to this mission of OFPRA (8 FTE in 2023[2] and 16 FTE in 2024[3]), but this has not yet produced a significant effect in a context of increasing asylum claims, still in 2023.[4]

OFPRA considers the potential documents provided by the beneficiary of international protection in their asylum application file if any, namely foreign civil status documents, identity or travel documents (national identity card, passport). However, the beneficiary need not have these documents. Statements of the beneficiary when filing their application for asylum, during the interview at OFPRA and on the family reference form, are also taken into account.

The personal status of the beneficiary of international protection will be ruled by the laws of their country of origin for all rights acquired before the granting of international protection. For instance, a prior religious marriage will be valid in France if the national law of the person considered it as official, even though French law does not recognise this type of union. By way of exception, French law will apply to acts prior to the recognition of international protection in two cases: (a) French law prevails in case of a right contrary to French public order e.g. polygamous marriage; and (b) same sex marriage will automatically be recognised pursuant to French law, even if not recognised under the law of the country of origin.

French law applies to all events subsequent to the granting of international protection. The beneficiary may therefore marry, enter into a civil union (PACS) or divorce according to French law.[5] BIPs register any child born during and after the asylum procedure with the general French civil registration service, like any other person present in France regardless of status.





[1] OFPRA, 2017 Activity report, 56.

[2] OFPRA, Rapport d’activité 2022, available in French at :

[3] Budget law 2024, Annex on Immigration, Asylum, Integration, October 2023, available in French at:

[4] Practice-based observation by Forum Réfugiés and partners, January 2024.

[5] OFPRA, Guide of procedures, available in French at:

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation