Civil registration

United Kingdom

Country Report: Civil registration Last updated: 24/04/24


Refugee Council Visit Website

A child born to any person in the UK is expected to be registered in the same way as any other child and this must be done within 42 days of the child’s birth in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and within 21 days in Scotland.[1] A child born to a refugee who is settled can be registered as a British citizen. If the child is born during the five years limited leave as a refugee, they will be granted ‘leave in line’ to expire on the same date as the parent, and can be included in a subsequent application for settlement.

Beneficiaries are subject to the same rules as UK or EEA nationals if they wish to marry in a register office; notice of the intention to marry must be given at a designated register office.[2] This also applies to non-EEA nationals who wish to marry in a religious ceremony.

The only difficulties, if both parties are in the UK, would arise if one of the parties did not have a Biometric Residence Permit or who didn’t have documentary evidence of a previous divorce, for example.



[1] Government website – applies to England, Wales and Northern Ireland, available at:   For Scotland, available at:

[2] A list of designated register offices in England and Wales is available at: and for Scotland 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