IMPORTANT CHANGES to Country and Nationality fields

In its 2017/2018 business plan, Companies House committed to undertake a review of data quality.

As part of this review, we looked at implementing standard registers for certain free text fields, as at present some users have been inputting misleading information in these fields.

We have now settled on these registers for country of residence and nationality, which will in turn help to ensure the data is consistent and reusable.

A link to the revised list is attached:

Companies House will implement this from Friday 15th December - from this date, submissions that contain any nationality or country of residence data that differs from the new standard list may be rejected.

I can confirm however that NO schema changes are required.


Hi Simon.

Will CH perform machine validation on these fields to ensure that, for example, Saint Kitts and Nevis is submitted as ‘Saint Kitts and Nevis’ and not as ‘Saint Kitts & Nevis’, or will it be human validation where ‘Saint Kitts & Nevis’ will be accepted?


If we end up submitting data back to Companies House that was fetched from Companies House, for example by fetching a director record and then submitting a minor change will this validation apply?
Or are you going to tidy the data currently in your system so that anything that gets fetched will be correct?


Hi PJ,

I will need to ascertain this with the project team. Please bear with me.


Hi Arthur,

A data cleanse is indeed planned.


Hi Simon,

Do you have a mapping between nationalities and countries?

The official list has 260 countries but only 225 nationalities. Are there any missing?

We would prefer to implement the end-user selection as a pure list of countries and then behind the scenes, we’ll map them and pass the correct nationality across. If we use nationality directly I can see plenty of people being confused that they can’t find “United Kingdom”. In addition, I wonder if people from Vanuatu know their nationality is “Citizen of Vanuatu” (starting with “C”).

Good morning Jared,

I have referred this to the project team.


Good morning PJ,

We will only accept values the exactly match those on the supplied lists.

I hope this clarifies.


Hello again Jared,

We have not made an attempt to map a country to a specific nationality, as that is additional complexity and could potentially cause us political issues. It is up to our users to supply us with their nationality, and we don’t want to increase the risk of misrepresentation.

We appreciate that certain nationalities may appear a bit hidden, if for example they start with ‘Citizen’. We have discussed this and we intend to utilise type ahead search functionality on our own services, to filter potential matches.

You can see an example here: typeahead.js – examples


I have been looking through the country list to map onto our existing data and both Burma and Myanmar appear.
These are the same country and both should map to the same MM country code.
Are both of these supposed to be in the list?

In addition Holy See and Vatican City both appear, again these seem to be the same thing with the same VA country code.

Also “Saint Kitts and Nevis” and “Saint Lucia” appear twice in the list

Also, “East Timor” appears but this is now “Timor-Leste” which is already in the list

Finally Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and England appear. Should these be in the list?

Hello Arthur,

Thank you for your feedback.

I am in liaison with the project team and will report back early next week.


Several places on the “List of nationalities” are not nations recognised by the UK, although they are dependent territories. For example “Hong Konger”. Hong Kong is not a nation, but a “Special Administrative Region” of China, and its citizens are mostly of Chinese nationality. The same applies to Macau. So if you retain these categories then I suggest that you rename the list “Nationalities and territories of citizenship”. That would also allow you to continue using names for dependent territories such as “Montserratian” and “Pitcairn Islander”.

Renaming the list as suggested would also avoid controversy in relation to disputed territories such as “Palestinian” and “Taiwanese”.

Hello David,

I will pass your communication to the relevant product managers for consideration.

However, we consulted far and wide on these lists, and nobody else expressed any concerns over the names of the listings.


Hi Simon, this original post and email notification refer only to changes to the Nationality and Country of Residence fields.

We now have confusion as to whether the Country list should also now be used for the OtherForeignCountry element use in Officer & PSC addresses. This has never previously been advised or notified in any subsequent notices or emails regarding these lists .

Is this the case?

Clarification would be much appreciated.


Hello Sarah,

The answer to your query is yes.

Any element that requires the Nationality, Country or Country state of residence to be input is subject to the recently introduced list.

I hope this clarifies.


Do you know when the existing data in the system will be updated to conform to the new standards? Is that still the plan?


Good afternoon,

We have, to a greater extent, now cleaned up the Nationalities, but the cleanse of the Country data is still ongoing.

I would add that we are only allowed to cleanse in cases where the miskeying is of a very basic nature, and where it is obvious what the Nationality / Country was meant to be.

I hope this clarifies.