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Competence and procedures for foreign marriage registration in Vietnam

Effective from January 1, 2016, Article 37 38 Chapter III of the Law on Civil Status No. 60/2014/QH13 promulgated on November 20, 2014 stipulates the order of handling the marriage registration for foreigners in Vietnam, as follows:

Article 37. Competence to register marriage

1. District-level People's Committees of places of residence of Vietnamese citizens shall register marriages between Vietnamese citizens and foreigners; between Vietnamese citizens residing in the country and Vietnamese citizens residing abroad; between Vietnamese citizens residing abroad; and between Vietnamese citizens who also have foreign citizenship and Vietnamese citizens or foreigners.

2. In case a foreigner residing in Vietnam requests marriage registration in Vietnam, the district-level People's Committee of the place of residence of either partner shall register the marriage.

Article 38. Marriage registration procedures

1. The male and female partners submit a declaration, made according to a set form, and a written certification of a competent Vietnamese or foreign health organization stating that he/she does not suffer any mental or other diseases which deprive him/her of the ability to perceive and control his/her acts to the civil status registration agency.

Foreigners and Vietnamese citizens residing abroad shall additionally submit papers proving their marital status and copies of their passports or valid passport substitute papers.

2. Within 15 days after receiving complete papers specified in Clause 1 of this Article, civil status officers shall verify; if seeing that the law-prescribed marriage conditions are fully met, the district-level Justice Division shall report to the chairperson of the district-level People's Committee for settlement.

3. Upon marriage registration, both male and female partners must be present at the head office of the People's Committee, the civil status officer shall ask for opinions of the male and female partners. If seeing that they voluntarily marry each other, the civil status officer shall record the marriage in the civil status book and together with the male and female partners sign in the civil status book. The male and female partners shall both sign in the marriage certificate.

The chairperson of the district-level People's Committee shall hand the marriage certificate to the couple.

4. The Government shall stipulate additional papers in marriage registration dossiers, interview to verify the marriage purpose when settling marriage registration requests; procedures to grant marital status certificates to Vietnamese citizens for marrying foreigners at competent foreign agencies overseas in order to guarantee lawful rights and interests of parties.