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Aug, 2022

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Procedure for marriage in Vietnam for foreigners  (updated 2022)

Procedure for marriage in Vietnam for foreigners (updated 2022)

By Vietnamvisavoa

Recently, many policies related to marriage registration between Vietnamese citizens and foreigners have been changed, with the main purpose of creating favorable conditions for foreigners to do business, live, get married and study in Vietnam. Nowadays, instead of submitting marriage registration at the Department of Justice, applicants just need to submit a request at the District People's Committee where one of the applicants is residing. Let’s learn about regulation and procedure of getting married in Vietnam as below:
Legal grounds:
- Law on civil status 2014.
- Law on marriage and family 2014.
- Decree 123/2015/ND-CP.
- Circular 15/2015/TT-BTP.
Note: The procedure instructions outlined below apply to marriage registration between:
- Vietnamese citizens with foreigners.
- Vietnamese citizens residing in the country with Vietnamese citizens residing abroad.
- Vietnamese citizens residing abroad together.
- Vietnamese citizens concurrently holding foreign nationality with Vietnamese citizens or foreigners.

Marriage conditions: Procedure to marry in Vietnam

Regarding marriage conditions, according to Article 126 of the Law on Marriage and Family 2014: the marriage between a Vietnamese citizen and a foreigner, each party must comply with its own law on marriage conditions. If the marriage is conducted at a competent Vietnamese state agency, the foreigner must also comply with the provisions of the Vietnamese marriage and family law on marriage conditions. Thus, the basic principle for resolving legal conflicts about marriage conditions is the principle of the nationality law of the involved parties.

When marrying a Vietnamese citizen, a foreigner must comply with the regulations on marriage conditions according to the law of the country of which he is a citizen. If that person has two or more foreign nationalities, the document determining his or her marriage conditions will be according to the law of the country in which he has both nationality and permanent residence and the time of marriage registration. If he does not permanently reside in one of the countries of nationality, such a document shall be issued by the competent authority of the country in which the person holds the passport. 

For stateless foreigners who want to marry a Vietnamese citizen and register their marriage at a competent Vietnamese agency, the document used for marriage registration is a document issued by a competent authority. For Vietnamese citizens residing abroad, papers used in marriage registration are papers issued by competent agencies of the country where such persons reside or by Vietnamese diplomatic and consular offices in foreign countries.

The marriage between Vietnamese citizens with a foreigner has been resolved at a competent foreign agency abroad recognized in Vietnam, if the following conditions are met:

- The marriage is in accordance with the law of the foreign country;
- At the time of marriage, the parties comply with the provisions on marriage conditions of the Law on Marriage and Family of Vietnam. Specifically:

+ Men aged >= 20, women aged >= 18.
+ The marriage is voluntarily decided by the man and the woman.
+ Do not lose capacity of civil act.
+ The marriage does not fall into one of the following cases where marriage is prohibited: fake marriage, fake divorce; child marriage, forced marriage, cheating on marriage, obstructing marriage; a person who is married or has a husband but marries or lives together as husband and wife with another person or is unmarried but marries or lives as husband and wife with a married person,...

Documents required for marriage registration between Vietnamese and foreigner

Applicants must prepare paperwork as below:

1. 01 Marriage registration declaration. (Sample form)
2. Papers proving the marital status of Vietnamese and foreigners.

Notes for documents proving the marital status of foreigners: This certificate is issued by a foreign competent authority and must be valid to confirm that the person currently does not have a spouse.
If this certification is not granted, it shall be replaced with a document issued by a foreign competent authority certifying that the person is eligible for marriage in accordance with the laws of that country.
If the certificate of marital status of a foreigner does not have an expiry date, it is only valid for 6 months from the date of issue.
3. A written certification (valid within 6 months from date of issue) from a competent Vietnamese or foreign medical organization states that the person does not have any mental illness or another disease which prevents them from perceiving and controlling their own behavior. 
4. Copy of Vietnamese ID card or citizen identification card (Notarized)
5. Copy of foreigner’s passport with valid Vietnam visa (Notarized)

Note: If the married party is a Vietnamese citizen who has divorced or annulled the marriage at a foreign competent authority, a copy of the civil status extract is also required to record the divorce or marriage annulment. 
If they are civil servants, public employees or people serving in the armed forces, they must submit a document from the management agency or unit certifying that the marriage to a foreigner is not contrary to the regulations of that branch.

After preparing all the above documents, the couple proceed to submit the married application for registration.

Submit application for marriage registration with a foreigner in Vietnam

Dossiers for married applications will be submitted to the Justice Department under the People's Committee of the district where one of the party resides. It is more recommended to contact the People’s Committee where the Vietnamese citizen register permanently live. 

Process the application for marriage registration


Verifing the documents:
Within 10 working days after receiving a complete and valid dossier, the Justice Department will take responsibility to study, verify the dossier.

Signing the marriage Certificate

The Justice Department reports to the Chairman of the district-level People's Committee to sign 02 originals of the marriage certificate.
(Based on the specific situation, if necessary, an interview will be taken place with the participation of the couple in order to ensure the legitimate rights and interests of the parties and the effective management of the marriage registration process of Vietnamese State)

Delivering Marriage Certificate

Within 03 working days, from the date the Chairman of the district-level People's Committee signs the marriage certificate, the Justice Division shall hand over the marriage certificate to the two parties.
The handing over of this paper must be present on both the male and female sides. Civil servants then consult both men and women. If the parties voluntarily get married, the marriage will be recorded in the civil status book, and both men and women sign in the civil status book.
Both men and women sign the Marriage Certificate.
The marriage certificate is valid from the date it is recorded in the book and given to the parties.

Important notes:

1. If one of the two parties cannot be present at the same time to receive the marriage certificate, they may request the Justice Department to extend the time but not exceeding 60 days from the date the Chairman of the district-level People's Committee signs the marriage certificate. 
After 60 days, if the applicants do not present to receive the Married Certificate, the Justice Department shall report to the Chairman of the district-level People's Committee to cancel the signed marriage certificate. After that, if both men and women want to register their marriage, they must carry out the same procedures as the original.

2. If the district-level People's Committee refuses to register the marriage, the Justice Department shall notify in writing, clearly stating the reason for the two parties.

Long term Vietnam visa for foreigners marry to Vietnamese citizens

Questions and answers

Question: Marriage registration can be authorized or not?
Answer: Pursuant to Article 2 of Circular 15/2015/TT-BTP stipulating on the authorization of civil status registration, marriage registration that is regulated by law must not be authorized by another person. Applicants must present themselves to complete the procedure at the People’s Committee District Level.

Question: Can people of the same sex get married by Vietnamese Law? 
Answer: According to Clause 2, Article 8 of the Law on Marriage and Family, “The State does not recognize marriage between people of the same sex” and has removed the regulation “prohibiting marriage between people of the same sex” from the date of 1 January 2015. However, the 2014 Law still stipulates that “no recognition of marriage between persons of the same sex”. 



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