How to Obtain a Birth Certificate of a Kenyan Child Born Abroad

How can you apply for a birth certificate if you are a Kenyan and your child is born outside the country?

A person is a citizen by birth if on the day of the person’s birth, whether or not the person is born in Kenya, either the mother or father of the person is a citizen, Article 14 of Chapter Three of the Kenyan Constitution 2010 reads.

Under the Bill of Rights, children are also entitled to name and nationality immediately after birth, as also reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). This is achieved upon the acquisition of a birth certificate which serves as proof of identity, citizenship status, and parentage.

Also, a birth certificate is an essential document when applying for a national identity card, school enrollment, employment, passport, driving license, and when obtaining a social security number, among other benefits. Additionally, data obtained after the registration of births are a key tool for governments for detailed policy planning and allocation of resources to various development sectors.

For that reason, the Government of Kenya is embracing a systematic approach to easing the birth certificate application process to record the births of children born to Kenyan parent(s) abroad are timely recorded.

How can you apply for a birth certificate if you are a Kenyan and your child is born outside the country? Here is a guide to help you out:

Step 1: Download, print, and duly fill out FORM BDA 1 – APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION OF BIRTH OF A CITIZEN OF KENYA OCCURRING ABROAD – with the full name of the child, name of the father and mother, birthplace details, and the resident location of the mother in Kenya.

Step 2: Attach all the required documentary evidence in proof of birth. The documents you will need to get a birth certificate are;

  • A birth notification from the facility in which the child was born or a foreign birth certificate (if any)
  • A copy of the child’s foreign passport (if any)
  • If both parents are Kenyans, two copies of current Kenyan passports, their birth certificates, and national IDs must be submitted. If one parent is a non-Kenyan, a copy of a foreign passport and a birth certificate should be attached
  • Two copies of Kenyan passports of the parent(s) valid at the time of the child’s birth should be provided for verification
  • Two copies of the parent’s marriage certificate if legally married

Step 3: Pay the birth certificate processing fee. The cost varies among Kenya’s diplomatic missions spread out across the world. For instance, a birth certificate application costs $50 in the US, €10 in Germany, £5 in the United Kingdom, R150 in South Africa, ¥3,875 in Japan, and 170 Swedish krona in Sweden.

This fee is only payable to Kenyan embassies and high commissions through money orders or banker’s cheques in their respective countries. However, one can pay using credit or debit cards at the counter upon submitting the application.

Step 4: Upon paying the applicable fees, gather all the documents and send them to the Kenyan embassy or high commission using a self-addressed stamped envelope printed on it with the correct postal address, telephone number, and email for return and adequate postage attached to it.

Inside the envelope should be a filled and signed FORM BDA 1, copies of identification documents, and a receipt confirming the payment of the birth application processing cost. Dispatch the documents to the diplomatic mission in the foreign country, which should be listed in the destination address.

If you are in the USA, Germany, UK, South Africa, Japan, or Sweden, you can use the following addresses; they can be found on the embassies’ websites.

Kenyan Embassy Washington D.C
2249 R St NW

Rheinbabenallee 49
14199, Berlin

The High Commissioner,
Kenya High Commission,
45 Portland Place
London, W1B 1AS
Attn: Immigration & Consular Section

302 Brooks Str. Menlopark 0081

Embassy of the Republic of Kenya in Japan
3-24-3 Yakumo, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-0023

Kenya Embassy Stockholm,
Birger Jarlsgatan 37, 2nd Floor,
P.O. Box 7694,
103 95, Stockholm.

Hey presto, that is how to apply for your child’s birth certificate if you are a Kenyan in a foreign country. Easy. Now, wait for its processing. If your application becomes successful, the birth certificate will be mailed for collection after four to six months.

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