Birth Registration

Q&A on birth registration for Syrian refugees in Lebanon

  1. I heard that there are new procedures for birth registration, what are they?
    The new procedures are:
    1. Since September 2017, Syrian parents no longer need to have legal stay to register the birth of their children with the Foreigner’s Registry. For more information on this please see Q7.
    2. Normally, the birth of children born in Lebanon has to be registered with the Nofous within one year or the parents have to go to the Court to register the birth. Since March 2018, Syrian parents with children born in Lebanon between 1st January 2011 and 8th February 2018 who have missed this one-year deadline can now register the birth of their children without going to court. For more information on how the birth of these children can be registered, see Q3.

    Please note that children who are born after 8th of February 2018 still need to have their birth registered within one year otherwise parents will only be able to register the birth of their children through a lengthy and expensive court procedure.
  2. Will UNHCR help me with this process?
    UNHCR and its partners may provide you with further counselling and assistance. Please contact the below numbers to obtain more information.
  3. How can I register the birth of my child in Lebanon?
    It is important that you take immediate action to register your child’s birth with the Lebanese authorities and start the process as soon as possible. If your child is less than one year old or s/he was born between 1 st January 2011 and 8 February 2018, you have to follow these four steps to register his/her birth with the Lebanese authorities:
    • Step 1: Obtain a birth notification from the authorized doctor or midwife who attended the birth.
    • Step 2: Obtain the birth certificate endorsed and signed by a Mukhtar located in the area where the birth occurred. The birth certificate will also have to be signed by the doctor/midwife who delivered the baby.
    • Step 3: Register the birth certificate at the Nofous (District level “Caza”) closest to the place where the birth took place.
    • Step 4: Register the birth certificate at the Foreigners’ Registry of the Governorate where the birth took place. The birth is not considered officially registered by the Lebanese authorities until you complete this step.
    IMPORTANT: If your child is born before 1st January 2011 or after 8th February 2018, this must be done before the child is one year old, otherwise you will only be able to register the birth of your child through a court procedure. There is no difference in the cost and documentary requirements if your child is less than one year old or s/he was born between 1 st January 2011 and 8 February 2018.
  4. How to obtain a birth certificate from the Mukhtar?
    You or your spouse will generally be asked to present to the Mukhtar the following documents:
    • Birth Notification;
    • Passports or ID cards of both you and your spouse;
    Alternatively, other identification documents (e.g. individual civil extract or Family Booklet) may also be accepted. Proof of marriage is not required at this stage. If you are asked to present it and do not have it, please contact UNHCR or one of the legal partners closest to your residence for support in registering the birth of your child (see list below).
  5. Which Mukhtar do I need to approach: the Mukhtar in the area where I live or in the area where the child was born?
    Please approach a Mukhtar in the area where the child was born only. If you bring a birth certificate from a Mukhtar located in a different area, you will face difficulties in the next step of the birth registration procedure.
  6. How to register the birth of my child with the Nofous?
    To register with the Nofous, you will need to present all the documents mentioned in Q4 together with the birth certificate issued by the Mukhtar in the area of birth. Proof of marriage is not required at this stage. If you are asked to present it and do not have it, please contact UNHCR or one of the legal partners closest to your residence for support in registering the birth of your child (see list below).
    Registration with the Nofous is important and has to be completed before the baby is one year old, if your child is born before 1st January 2011 or after 8th February 2018, otherwise you will only be able to register the birth of your child through a court procedure.
  7. How to register the birth of my child with the Foreigners’ Registry?
    Birth registration in Lebanon is only completed after the birth is registered with the Foreigners’ Registry. Since September 2017, a new facilitated procedure for birth registration has been adopted, which foresees that you or your spouse need to present the following documents to register the birth of your child with the Foreigners’ Registry:
    • Birth certificate registered with the Nofous;
    • Passports or ID cards of both you and your spouse;
    • One of these proofs of your marriage:
      • Family Booklet;
      • Family Civil Extract stamped at the Syrian and Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
      • Syrian marriage certificate stamped at the Syrian and Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
    • Proof of legal stay for you and your spouse is no longer a requirement. However, we encourage you to present it if you have it.
    Please note that, if you or your spouse do not have legal stay, after the birth is registered, the Foreigners’ Registry will share copy of your child’s birth certificate with the General Security Office, as part of their normal procedure. If you do not have any of the above, please contact UNHCR or the legal partner closest to you for support.
  8. Summary overview of documentary requirements and fees for each step of the birth registration process.

    Required documents Fees
    Step 1: Birth notification
    • No documents required
    • Identification documents may be asked
    No cost
    Step 2: Mukhtar
    • Birth notification
    • ID card or Passport of both parents, other identification documents may also be accepted
    • ID card or Passport of both parents, other identification documents may also be accepted
    In practice, between LBP 5,000 to 35,000
    Step 3: Nofous Birth certificate from the Mukhtar LBP 5,000 stamp fees + LBP 1,000 stamp fees for each document presented for the registration
    Step 4: Foreigners’ Registry
    • Birth certificate from the Mukhtar
    • ID card or Passport of both parents
    • Family civil extract or Syrian marriage certificate stamped by the MFAs in Syria and Lebanon, or Family Booklet
    • If available, proof of legal stay of you and your spouse
    • If you or your spouse do not have legal stay, after the birth is registered, the Foreigners’ Registry will share copy of your child’s birth certificate with the General Security Office.
    Around LBP 8,000 – 10,000 (LBP 1,000 stamp fees for each document presented for the registration)
  9. If my child was born at home how can I get a birth notification?
    If the birth is conducted by an authorized doctor or midwife, he/she will give you a birth notification. An authorized midwife has a certificate showing that she is part of the Lebanese order of midwives.
    If the person who assisted with the birth delivery is not able to do so, you may still able to obtain a birth certificate from the Mukhtar in your residential area and register the birth with the Lebanese authorities. Please contact UNHCR or a legal partner who can provide you with more information pertaining to your situation and possible legal assistance (see list below).
  10. Can I still register the birth of my child if s/he is over 1 year of age?
    Thanks to new procedures introduced in March 2018, it is now easier to register the birth of children who are older than one year. If your child was born between 1st January 2011 and 8th February 2018, his/her birth can now be registered following the steps outlined in Q3.
    If your child was not born within this timeframe and is older than one year, please contact a legal partner or UNHCR who can provide you with more information (see list at the end of this document).
  11. Why should I register the birth of my child in Lebanon?
    It is very important for you and your child that you register his/her birth in Lebanon up to the Foreigners’ Registry. If you do not do so:
    • Your child may not be recognized as a Syrian national and would not be able to obtain Syrian identity documents. If this happens, your child may later have problems accessing health care, education and other services. He/she may also not be able to move freely or to later own property or inherit.
    • You will not be able to prove that you are the parents of the child.
    • You will face difficulties to exit Lebanon with your child, either to go back to Syria or travel to another country.
    If your child is born after 8th February 2018 and you do not register his/her birth up to the Nofous level before s/he turns one year old, a long and costly court procedure will be required to complete the birth registration procedure.
  12. If I added my child to my UNHCR file, do I still need to go through the birth registration procedure with the Lebanese authorities?
    Yes. Adding new born babies with UNHCR does not substitute birth registration with the Lebanese authorities and it will not provide your child with the same rights and protection as having a birth certificate registered with the Foreigners’ Registry.
  13. If my child was born in Lebanon, and I did not register his/her birth with the Foreigners’ Registry, can I register the birth with the Syrian civil registry?
    No. According to Lebanese and Syrian law, if your child is born in Lebanon, his/her birth must be registered with the Foreigners’ Registry before it can be registered with the civil registry in Syria and added to your Family Booklet.
  14. If I do not register the birth of my child, will s/he become Lebanese?
    No, a child only becomes a Lebanese national at birth if his/her father is a Lebanese citizen. If you do not register the birth of your child s/he could become stateless, i.e. without a nationality. This means that, in the future, s/he would face a lot of difficulties in his/her daily life.
  15. Who can I contact for additional information?
    click here to open the contact page


Leaflets & Posters

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Give your child A NAME
Target
All Refugees & Asylum Seekers (except PRS), Non-Registered Syrians, Registered Syrian Refugees
by UNHCR   UNHCR
Q&A on birth registration for Syrian refugees in Lebanon
Target
All Refugees & Asylum Seekers (except PRS), Non-Registered Syrians, Registered Syrian Refugees
by UNHCR   UNHCR