This post is aimed to the British parents who have given birth in Oman and now need to start the long process of trying to apply for birth certificates and a British passport for their little Cherub.
Right from the start I will wish you luck, this is not a quick or an easy process **Sigh**
Do not plan to travel with your baby right after their birth, this process can take a good couple of months, sometimes more, from start to finish.
*~These details are correct as of March 2014 and may be subject to change at any time from either country. Contact your local embassy or Google for any changes. I am speaking about my personal situation - Two British parents, Married in the UK, Gave birth in Oman - different nationalities will differ on what is required from them~*
Maybe get yourself a cuppa and then we shall we begin...
Step One, Your Marriage Certificate-
This is an errand that can be done ahead of your babies birth to save time and hassle. In Oman you must be married to be legally allowed to give birth & you must have your marriage certificate with you to prove your marriage.
This certificate must be attested/legalised/verified/apostille stamped or whatever you want to call it. Basically it needs a stamp or a separate piece of paper attached to it to say that it is a legal document and all the details are correct. Mine hadn't been attested, I didn't even know what that was, so I had to send it to the UK to be completed.
This is the link for the online form:
The document should be couriered to the UK yourself via DHL/Fed Ex or any reputable firm. Be sure to keep the tracking number as you don't want to loose your marriage certificate. The cost to process the request is £30 and for them to return to you by courier is and additional £25. It took around 2-3 weeks to process mine.
Total cost £55 / 35OMR
Step Two, Notification of Birth from Hospital-
When you are discharged from the hospital with your little bundle of joy your hospital should provide you with a 'Notification of Birth' form to confirm the details of your babies birth. This includes details of the Mother, Father, passport numbers etc. Ensure that these details are all correct before you leave the hospital. It took a long time to have mine redone after I accepted the form and later realised an error. My form said that I was from the British Virgin Islands and not Great Britain.
This is not a birth certificate, just the hospital confirming that you did indeed give birth to a baby in their hospital.
Step Three, Obtaining a local birth certificate-
This is a job for the Daddies, apparently the Mother cannot complete this task - phew!
You will need:
- Copies & original of both parents passports, including the visa page
- Copies and original of both parents residents cards
- Copy of marriage certificate, although the original might be helpful it is not specified
- Notification of birth form that your hospital provided
The Daddies need to go to the Ministry buildings across the highway from the airport (currently still the main airport, not the fancy new one being built). It is the same location that you visit to obtain your residents card.
This step literally can take hours and you may be shunted back and forward from desk to desk, be prepared to spend at least a couple of hours doing this. If possible you might want to bring your companies representative (PRO) to speed things along and pull a bit of Wasta.
A word of warning, a friends husband was sent home to change when he turned up wearing shorts so dress respectfully and it may just help you.
You will be given both an English & Arabic copy of the local birth certificate. If possible ask for copies of these as I have heard it can be a right ball ache to get copies in the future. Your certificates will probably be laminated for some reason, that seems to be the norm here.
Step Four, Registering the birth at British Embassy-
You then need to register your babies birth with the British embassy which will then allow you to obtain a British birth registration form, the next best thing to a British birth certificate. You will get a letter confirming that your baby has indeed been registered in their books.
Before visiting the embassy you first fill in the online form found here:
Print out the form, fill it in and schedule an appointment online to visit the Embassy. Appointments are currently available on Mondays and Wednesdays and the form will take around 1 week to be completed so you need to visit the next week also.
Birth registration confirmation £110/70.500 OMR
Certified copy (like a birth certificate) £68/44OMR
Total - £233 / 114.500 OMR
Step Five, Apply for passport online-
**This step can be done as soon as you have a local birth certificate. You do not have to wait for your embassy registration forms to be returned but for the sake of a week it may be better to send everything away at the same time**
Visit the UK goverment website to start applying for the passport online.
- Follow their instructions to fill in the application.
- Include two pictures of baby on a white background. Many photo shops here have blue backgrounds but they can change at your request.
- Have the form countersigned as per instructions. This was a step that I did not expect but thankfully found someone who knew us and was able to do so.
- Send your application by reputable courier and keep tracking number
Current price £101.36 / 65OMR
Step six, Sit and wait-
Depending on the time of year it can take around 8 weeks for a passport application to be completed and returned to you. Keep that in mind when planning your holidays.
Total cost - £389 / 251OMR - The whole process is pretty pricey and worth checking if your employer/sponser covers any of the cost to help.
My application has been processing for just over 3 weeks now and the status online still shows "processing". Fingers crossed it doesn't take much longer!
The next step after this will be adding the baby and their new passport to your family visa. I haven't personally got to this step yet so I have no lead time on how long it might take.
This is a long and confusing process but hopefully this has helped some of you. Good luck!