top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon
Explore
arrow down

Post-Brexit: Are multilingual standard forms still accepted in France?

Multilingual forms are no longer sufficient to carry out certain administrative procedures and must be accompanied by a sworn translation

Brexit: Many rules have changed for UK Pic: Sashkin / Shutterstock

Reader question: Does France still accept the use of British multilingual certificates post-Brexit, rather than insisting on translations? S.M.

Within the EU, the UK used to be able to issue, on request, official documents such as birth, marriage and death certificates accompanied by a ‘multilingual standard form’ (MSF). 

This is an EU scheme which came into force during 2019 with the aim that where such a certificate has been issued by an EU state, other EU states will not require a sworn translation and apostille (a special seal affixed on official documents to make them valid in the territory of a foreign state), or legalisation formalities. 

The law that created this is Regulation (EU) 2016/1191 of the European Parliament and of the Council of July 6, 2016, on promoting the free movement of citizens.

Briefly, until the end of last year, UK authorities were able to issue these MSFs and have them accepted across the EU. Unfortunately, it is now no longer issuing them, according to an official from the UK’s General Register Office. 

A French Interior Ministry spokeswoman said that all UK certificates now need to be accompanied by a sworn translation, as was the case before the regulation came in. For some formalities, including nationality applications, some non-EU certificates also need an apostille or legalisation. 

However this is not required for British certificates, due to a Franco-British agreement on legalisation procedures dating from April 3, 1931. 

Official French information for nationality applications states that certificats plurilingues (that is, that are themselves written in multiple languages), are acceptable. However, the UK does not offer bilingual certificates with French. Alternatively, it says that those accompanied by a MSF are acceptable, but only if issued by an EU state.

Find help with navigating life in France with our new Reader Questions newsletter

Sign up for our pick of the week's questions from readers answered by the Connexion team – delivered to your inbox every Saturday.

See what other readers like you are asking including: How often is a rabies shot for dogs required for France-UK travel? Will my French health pass become invalid if I refuse my booster dose? ​​Can foreign residents benefit from France's pension top-up benefit? and more. 

Sign up for the free newsletter

Read more

How long can a Brexit carte de séjour card-holder spend in UK?

Moving to France from UK: Catch-22 issue for pensioners and visa S1s

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Income Tax in France 2022 (for 2021 income)*
Featured Help Guide
- Primarily aimed at Britons, covers pensions, rent, ISAs, shares, savings and interest - Overview of online declarations + step-by-step guide to the French printed forms - Includes updates given automatically after this year's site opened
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now