Q&A for Syrians on how to register new born babies with the Lebanese authorities and adding them to the UNHCR file

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02.11.2015

For more information, please consult the leaflet here.

Adding new born babies with UNHCR:

1. Can I add my child to the UNHCR registration certificate (UN Paper)?

Yes, you should obtain an appointment from the UNHCR Reception Centre in your area. On the day of the appointment you and/or your spouse should come to the UNHCR Reception Centre with the new born child and present the Lebanese birth certificate endorsed by a Mukhtar located in the area where the birth occurred.

However, please note that UNHCR can only add the child if all three of the following requirements are met:

  • The baby is born in Lebanon
  • At least one parent is already registered with UNHCR
  • You have the Lebanese birth certificate

A staff member of the Ministry of Social Affairs will be present in the Reception Centre to receive you and your new born child, review your documents first and then refer you to UNHCR to add the baby on your UNHCR registration certificate.

If you do not fulfil all three requirements mentioned above, adding the baby to your file may not be possible.

Adding your child with UNHCR is free of charge.

2. If I added my child to my UNHCR file, do I still need to go through the birth registration procedure with the government authorities?

Yes. Adding new born babies with UNHCR does not substitute registration with the civil authorities.

Birth registration procedure with the government authorities in Lebanon

3. What are the procedures to register the birth of my child with the government authorities in Lebanon?

There are in total 5 steps to be followed to register the birth of a Syrian child born in Lebanon:

  • Step 1: Obtain the Lebanese birth notification from an authorized doctor or midwife
  • Step 2: Get the birth certificate endorsed by a Mukhtar located in the area where the birth occurred
  • Step 3: Register the birth certificate at the Noufous (District level “Caza”)
  • Step 4: Register the birth certificate at the Foreign Registry of the Personal Status Department (Governorate level)
  • Step 5 Register/stamp the birth certificate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Step 6: Register/stamp the birth certificate at the Syrian Embassy in Lebanon

The first 3 steps must be completed within one year of the birth. If the parents of the child were unable to complete the procedure until step 3 (Noufous) within one year of time, a court procedure is required to complete the birth registration. The legal procedure is complex, time consuming and expensive.

The remaining steps, 4, 5, 6 can be completed after one year from the birth of the child. To finalize step 4, you need to have a valid legal status. UNHCR legal partners can support you with legal assistance (see list at the end of this document).

4. What documents do I need to present to register the birth of my child with the government authorities in Lebanon?

The needed documents are:

  • Birth Notification signed/certified from an authorized doctor or midwife
  • Birth Certificate provided and signed by the local Mukhtar where the birth occurred.
  • Identification documents (only one of the below is necessary):
    • Valid passport + registered marriage certificate; OR
    • Family extract (not more than 3 months old) registered/stamped at the Lebanese and Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Syrian embassy + IDs or passport; OR
    • Family booklet + IDs or passport.

The mentioned documents are sufficient to register the birth until step 3 (Noufous level) and to interrupt the one year period.

If you are asked to produce a document not in the above list please contact a legal organization (see list at the end of this document).

5. What are the costs of the birth registration procedure with the government authorities in Lebanon?

The costs are as follows:

  • Birth Notification: No cost, it is given free of charge by the hospital or authorized midwife.
  • Birth Certificate: Between LBP 10,000 and 30,000 depending on the Mukhtar.
  • At the Noufous and Foreign Registry: LBP 5,000 fee + LBP 3,000 for stamps (a stamp on every document presented)
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs: LBP 2,000

6. I cannot afford the costs related to the procedures and/or transport. Can I be assisted?

UNHCR and partners are generally unable to support you with the costs related to the procedure and/or transport. However, some organisations may be able to assist you with the procedure or some parts of it (see list at the end of this document).

7. Which Mukhtar do I need to approach: the Mukhtar in the area where I live or in the area where the baby was born?

Please approach the Mukhtar of the area where the baby was born. If you bring a birth certificate from a Mukhtar located in a different area, you may face difficulties in the next step of the birth registration procedure.

8. If my child was not born in a hospital, 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 even if the birth did not occur in a hospital. If the person who assisted with the birth delivery is not able to do so, he/she should accompany the parent to the Mukhtar along with two witnesses -present during the delivery- to obtain a birth certificate.

Please contact a legal partner who can provide you with more information pertaining to your situation and possible legal assistance (see list at the end of this document).

9. Is there an organization that takes care of the entire procedure on my behalf?

Several legal partners provide information and legal counseling but unfortunately no organization can undertake the registration process on your behalf.

10. What are the consequences of not registering my child with the government authorities in Lebanon?

  • The child will face high risk that he/she will not be recognized as a Syrian national and will not be able to obtain Syrian identity documents.
  • You will not be able to prove that you are the parents of the child.
  • According to Lebanese law, the General Security Office (GSO) will not allow parents to cross the border to Syria with the child, if the child has no birth certificate obtained in Lebanon.
  • If you didn’t register your child within one year of its birth up to the Noufous level, a court procedure will be required to complete the birth registration procedure.

11. When should I start the procedure? Do I have a deadline?

You can start the procedure of registering your child’s birth with the government authorities the same day the baby is born. You have one year from the date of birth to register your child. However, it is better you start the procedure as early as possible.

Registration in Syria

12. Can I register the birth of my child born in Lebanon directly in Syria as if he/she was born in Syria?

No, please note that registering your child born in Lebanon directly in Syria without going through the registration process in Lebanon is in contradiction to the law and could be considered as an act of fraud. UNHCR strongly advise to follow the birth registration procedures pursuant to the laws of the country where your child was born.

Syrian Embassy

13. How can I register my child back in Syria? Can I do it at the Syrian Embassy in Lebanon?

To be able to register your child (if born in Lebanon) back in Syria, you should first register her/his birth in Lebanon. For advice on how to finalize the birth registration process with the Syrian authorities in Lebanon please contact UNHCR or legal partners (see list at the end of this document).

14. How can my child be added to the family booklet? Do I have to go to the Syrian Embassy in Lebanon?

Yes, you have to go through the Syrian Embassy. After finalising the birth registration in Lebanon you will be able to use this birth certificate to add your child to the family booklet in Syria. For advice on how to finalize the birth registration process please contact UNHCR or legal partners (see list at the end of this document).

After 1 year from the birth of the child

15. What can I do if my child is above one year and has yet to be registered?

After one year from the date of birth, the only option to register your child with the government authorities is to file a case in court. The court procedures are time consuming (around one year) and complex and you will need the assistance of a Lebanese lawyer.

Additionally, the court procedures are expensive and can cost around 1 million LBP (including DNA tests if requested) excluding the lawyer fees. Please contact a legal partner who can support you with legal assistance (see list at the end of this document).

16. Is there any organization covering the court and lawyers’ fees?

UNHCR legal partners provide legal assistance with the registration of birth beyond the one year time limit and cover the fees (see list at the end of this document).

17. What will happen if the parents did not register the child with the government authorities before the one year limit but the father has passed away or the couple separated/divorced?

The mother or legal custodian can continue with the birth registration procedure. If you face any difficulties, please contact a legal partner who can provide you with more information pertaining to your situation and possible legal assistance.

18. Can I register my child with UNHCR if born in Syria?

No, at the moment only children born in Lebanon can be registered with UNHCR.

For any specific question, please contact any of the below organizations providing legal counselling in Lebanon:

Caritas Lebanon Migrants Centre (CLMC)

Beirut – Mount Lebanon

  • Sin El Fil (legal counseling)

Charles Helou Blvd - Takla Centre - P.O. Box 40061

Hotline: 03-310471

  • Leilaki St. facing the Lebanese University- Al Rawda Nursery- 1st floor

Hotline: 70-157789

  • Bourj Hammoud

Community Centre

Tel. 01-254103

  • Dekwaneh

Next to Charcutier Aoun

Tel. 01-681942

  • Rmeileh

Community Centre

Tel. 70-251290 / 01-990496

South

Ghazieh, Saida

facing Hassanein Company

Tel.: 07-739607

North

Koura Community Centre

Tel. 06-415086

Tripoli: Tel.: 06-412995/ 70-174934

Bekaa

Baalbeck: Hotline70-828849

Taalabeya: Hotline: 03-537371

Fekha: Hotline: 79-115334/ 08-805123

International Rescue Committee (IRC)

Beirut, Mt Lebanon

LB-Mtlebanoninfo@Rescue.org

Beirut: Tel. 76-020061

Tyre, South

LB-SouthInformation@Rescue.org

Tel. 76-888620

International Relief & Development (IRD)

Tripoli

Tel. 06-411300/304/305 Ext:131

Halba

Tel. 76-591029

Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)

Beirut and Mount Lebanon

Tel. 76-666950

Northern Bekaa

Aarsal :Tel. 76-171402

Baalbeck: Tel. 76-897789

North Bekaa Tel. 76-000613

Central Bekaa

Saadnayel :Tel. 78-801201

Central Bekaa: 76-000614

West Bekaa

West Bekaa: Tel 76-898121

North

Wadi Khaled (Akkar): Tel. 78-801313

El Minieh: Tel. 76-700525

South

Sour: Tel. 70-951978

Nabatieh: Tel.70-888265

Bent Jbeil: Tel. 78-885883

UNHCR hotlines

North

71911496 (Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm)

Beirut/Mount Lebanon

01-849201 (Monday-Friday 8:30am-4pm)

Bekaa

Protection: 76-611811 (Monday-Friday 8am-4pm)

South

76-500370 (Monday-Friday 8:30am-4pm)