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I know this is going over some well-ploughed soil again, but I'm wondering about the best plan of attack in our situation.

My wife has no birth certificate - she was born in very rural China 40 years ago, at home, with no hospital involved and so no birth certificate produced.

She has a passport, which obviously has a birthdate, and a 'hukou' a Chinese document of the family relationship between her and her son.

It seems that, officially, she wouldn't need a birth certificate to apply for a Carte Sejour as the wife of an EU citizen, but so many people in the forum seem to have been asked to provide one...

A birth certificate is impossible, and even updating the hukou (if they want one from within 3 months) would be a nightmare.

Does anyone have any experience or advice on this? (including the amazing Bev!)
 

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No experience with these types of matters, however is there any other "basic" identity document she can produce? What identity document did she use when you got married? Any sort of "naming certificate" or "school entry" certificate she can produce? Anything that shows the date of birth that she uses?

Obviously, you'll have to produce your marriage certificate, since she is claiming residency rights based on her marriage to you. Plus documents attesting to your establishment of residence in France.

There is nothing about a birth certificate in the "official" list of documents required (on Service Public), so I'd be tempted to go and apply for the card with whatever you have. If (and only if) the prefecture raises the issue of a birth certificate, explain calmly the situation as you have explained it here - and be prepared with whatever document(s) she does have that validate her date and place of birth. It may take some "discussion" back and forth and I'd expect to have to visit the prefecture a couple of times to get this sorted out. But if you stay calm and ask the people you're dealing with there rather than trying to tell them how to handle this, you should ultimately get the application accepted.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick response, Bev.

Both the hukou (a small blue piece of paper in Chinese) and her National Identity Card give her birth date - hopefully these will be accepted if they want a birth certificate.

We should cover all the other requirements of for a Carte Sejour, with possible exceptions if they demand documents of under 3 months of age. We'll get everything notarised, translated and, where possible, stamped by the French Embassy here in Beijing.

Lots of paperwork seems to be positive, so we'll do our best there!

Thanks again, Bev!
 

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I think it might be wise whilst you are in China to ask the authorities if they can provide an official document that states that your wife has no birth certificate and certifying as much information as possible - you never know when you might need this in the future, especially if you are intending to live elsewhere (and France requires birth certificates for all sorts of things, including taking citizenship).
 

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On further reflection, there are a few further things they generally expect from a birth certificate. Besides date and place of birth, they will want something that verifies the identities of her parents and their nationalities at the date of her birth. OTOH, if you don't have it, you don't have it - but asking the Chinese authorities for the best alternative they can provide is probably the safest approach.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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