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In preparing the paperwork for my French wedding in August, I requested an official certified copy of my British birth certificate. I saw that there is now an option of requesting a "Multilingual Standard Form" in French. When I previously got PACSed I had to have an approved translation of my birth certificate, but I was hoping the MSF would work in itself, with no translation needed.

I got the multilingual (French) form, but it doesn't look quite as "formal" as I'd expected!

Has anybody been able to use the MSF version of their birth certificate or other document for official purposes in France?

For background, this is what the British General Register Office says:
On 6 July 2016, the European Parliament adopted Regulation (EU) 2016/1191 on promoting the free movement of citizens by simplifying the requirements for presenting certain public documents in the European Union. To comply with European Union legal requirements, the UK as an EU Member State is required to produce and offer customers a new product: a Multilingual Standard Form (MSF).
https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/most_customers_want_to_know.asp#MSF

Thanks!
 

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In preparing the paperwork for my French wedding in August, I requested an official certified copy of my British birth certificate. I saw that there is now an option of requesting a "Multilingual Standard Form" in French. When I previously got PACSed I had to have an approved translation of my birth certificate, but I was hoping the MSF would work in itself, with no translation needed.

I got the multilingual (French) form, but it doesn't look quite as "formal" as I'd expected!

Has anybody been able to use the MSF version of their birth certificate or other document for official purposes in France?

For background, this is what the British General Register Office says:

https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/most_customers_want_to_know.asp#MSF

Thanks!
Wasn't aware of this development (and will not need one given that my French nationality has been recognised), and haven't seen the actual document, but one would think that if the French administration doesn't accept it, that could be contested. If you are planning to use it, I would suggest you attach a copy of the EU decision, just to be on the safe side.

Multilingual certificates are a great idea, just need to see how they work in practice. :fingerscrossed:
 

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To let people know, our mairie told us that my British "multilingual" birth certificate would be acceptable without being translated.

But probably you should check with your own for its validity if you're in a similar situations.
 

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To let people know, our mairie told us that my British "multilingual" birth certificate would be acceptable without being translated.

But probably you should check with your own for its validity if you're in a similar situations.
I have come across information on these multilingual certificates and France does indeed accept them. Although I do agree that it's best to check with the mairie first as sometimes the message (usually via circular) doesn't get through.
 

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Interesting, thanks PinkUnicorn. Is there an extra charge for the MSF version?

I wonder if the availability from the UK and acceptance in France will survive Brexit?
 

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Hello everyone

I ordered 5 different certificates (Multilingual French) as part of my nationality application (by naturalisation, Rennes). I submitted my dossier in the autumn of 2020 and in December I was told they were not acceptable and I had to get each of the 5 different certificates translated by a recognised translator. Yet more money.

I would also like to say that these multilingual certificates were not what I expected; as you got to choose the language you wanted when you made the order I expected it to be only in French and to also be written (somehow) on the certificate. Instead it was a photocopied annexe in all the different European languages.

Has anyone else had these UK 'multilingual certificates' refused?

Thank you
 

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Yes, similar experience here. I also recently had 3 multilingual birth certificates refused for a citizenship application (by marriage, Niort). They're currently with an official translator.
 

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Yes, similar experience here. I also recently had 3 multilingual birth certificates refused for a citizenship application (by marriage, Niort). They're currently with an official translator.
There are certain things that are not covered by EU legislation and regulations and each country is able to manage those as it wishes. Citizenship is one of them and thus the French administration can require you to submit documents with a translation by a traducteur assermentée (who is authorised by the French court to translate documents, certify and stamp them. It is what it is.

Oh, and there are other matters which may appear to be covered by EU regulations, but in some respects that is not really the case, eg. the specific documentation required to join the French health system via PUMA, but the requirements are in fact the same for French citizens, eg. in terms of birth and marriage certificates that have been issued overseas (though the French citizen should already have a French version birth certificate.
 

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Oh, and I don't believe France issues multilingual certificates for its citizens (never seen the option to get one when I have requested recent copies)..
 

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Thanks very much for your replies Simpleton and BackinFrance. I should have known the official translator route would have been the surer one (but was lured by the less expensive but supposedly acceptable under EU regulations 'French' multilingual certificate..).
 

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Thanks very much for your replies Simpleton and BackinFrance. I should have known the official translator route would have been the surer one (but was lured by the less expensive but supposedly acceptable under EU regulations 'French' multilingual certificate..).
Understandably so and how were you to know? :)
 

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I got caught out by this:

"Un document rédigé en langue étrangère doit être accompagné de sa traduction par un traducteur agréé ou habilité (sauf pour un extrait plurilingue d'acte de naissance dont l'une des langues est le français)."


I assumed that meant that a multilingual version was ok, but unfortunately not.
 

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I got caught out by this:

"Un document rédigé en langue étrangère doit être accompagné de sa traduction par un traducteur agréé ou habilité (sauf pour un extrait plurilingue d'acte de naissance dont l'une des langues est le français)."


I assumed that meant that a multilingual version was ok, but unfortunately not.
Welcome to France:
  • Official pages aren't all always updated, eg. because they are scattered around under various pages or because they haven't got around to it yet, or even because the section of the administration, or even the officer, considering your file is not fully aware of what is acceptable
  • There are too many ways the administration can get out of something, such as the ability to determine that it is an official and legal document from another country and complies with all French administrative laws, regulations, circulars, amendments and the like
  • Etc. etc.
TBH the French administration has become ridiculously complex over the years, and not just for foreigners.

OTOH I believe that, at least by and large, multilingual certificates are accepted in Spain, but then there are other administrative headaches there and they don't fully meet many important EU requirements either.
 

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It would actually be interesting to hear from people who have had success in France with multilingual certificates, not that I would rely on the success of others given that France really doesn't work on the basis of precedent.
 

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Oh, and I don't believe France issues multilingual certificates for its citizens (never seen the option to get one when I have requested recent copies)..
yes they do, I got one for my son before we went back to Australia.

I have heard mixed success with the multilingual certs, some are accepted, some aren't. Depends on who / where / when / if it is raining I guess :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
 

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yes they do, I got one for my son before we went back to Australia.

I have heard mixed success with the multilingual certs, some are accepted, some aren't. Depends on who / where / when / if it is raining I guess :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
Great, at least now I know there is a possibility of getting one if I return overseas - subject of course to 'who / where / when / if it is raining' etc. :ROFLMAO: :ROFLMAO: Did the mairie issue it? Oh, but that likely also depends on the mairie and where in France you were born.

Life wasn't meant to be easy, as the saying goes.
 

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Yes it was Castelnaudary, Aude.

The mulitilingual being accepted that I was referring to was UK ones that people are trying to use here for various applications / paperwork.
Damn, I got hold of the wrong end of the stick! I happen to have a son, DIL and grandchildren in Australia (of all places - it has become very complocated since all this Covid s**t. I have never even met my DIL and grandchildren and we have been hoping for years that I could make an extended visit pf more than 90 days (which is not currently possible and they for myriad reasons haven't been able to come here). Last time I looked, a long time ago admittedly, Australia was a bit weird about French but not mulltiple other languages (!).

Oh well, maybe one day all this Covid stuff will be over. As it is, my son keeps Covid related problems from me; just tells me to be extremely careful (and not die!), though he has mentioned problems, or rather the impossibilty; of visiting his wife's family in another State.

So pleased though, that you were fortunate with the multilingual birth certificate. I guess best advice to others is perhaps just to go the traducteur assermenté from the get go to avoid possible issues, which is more than a bit sad and I certainl do feel for them 😭
 

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It's really tough, mum was supposed to spend all last summer with us but obviously couldn't and not looking too likely for this year either now :(. Been 3 years since we saw her.
 
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