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Advise needed.

I am planning to get married later this year to my Vietnamese partner we have been together two years
She has a daughter of 7 years and we eventually plan to live in the Uk for awhile before returning to Vietnam.
Question will her daughter automatically be intiltled to take my surname and should we therefore up date both my future wife passport and her daughter passport for easier travel to the Uk.

Would appreciate anyone thoughts

Kind regards

John

You really need to contact the UK Embassy for that information as laws on this issue can vary from Country to Country.

Under American Law, the procedure would be for you to follow the Legal procedures to adopt the child. I would not be surprised if UK Law was similar.

Thank you for your advise
I will contact the British Consulate
Regards John

In Vietnam, it is not customary for anyone, spouses or children, to change names as a result of marriage.  Children take the surname of their biological father whether married or not.  Asking Vietnamese authorities to do so would probably simply get a flat refusal because the whole idea is incomprehensible.

You could probably change their names once you reach England but doing so could create problems for them upon return to Vietnam.  Apparently name changes are no longer required under British law:  http://www.ukdp.co.uk/name-change-marriage/

Best to leave that one alone.

THIGV :

In Vietnam, it is not customary for anyone, spouses or children, to change names as a result of marriage.  Children take the surname of their biological father whether married or not.  Asking Vietnamese authorities to do so would probably simply get a flat refusal because the whole idea is incomprehensible.

You could probably change their names once you reach England but doing so could create problems for them upon return to Vietnam.  Apparently name changes are no longer required under British law:  http://www.ukdp.co.uk/name-change-marriage/

Best to leave that one alone.

The fact that my wife of 43 years has my surname on all of her legal documents, except birth certificate and my two oldest children, both born in Viet Nam have my surname on their Vietnamese birth certificates, American passports etc.  has caused no problems for any of us in Viet Nam over the last 40 odd years. Not having my wife and children sharing my name would cause inconveniences in America and elsewhere.

I really believe that The British Embassy and/or a lawyer who is familiar with Both Vietnamese law and custom as well as British law an custom should be giving the advice. I just don't have enough professional knowledge and unless you are an experienced lawyer who has dealt with these issues, I don't believe that you have the professional knowledge either.

70 years old :

I don't believe that you have the professional knowledge either.

I certainly agree with you on that one.   :top:   I recently posted on another thread that someone should seek the advice of a lawyer.  My post was immediately followed by a few more that told the poster to just go ahead with their plan.

Our not having my own wife change her name on arrival in the US was based on advice from a professional immigration advisor who had been a licensed paralegal in the US.  Her goal was to retain dual citizenship with minimal effort after becoming a US citizen.  As such he stressed that she must remain in her mother's house book and that her name should not change.  It may be changing but I believe that Vietnam does not formally recognize dual citizenship.  However, like many countries, including the US, they seem to tolerate it.  Your case may be a little different based on your having married during the ancien régime and having had little prospect of return before 1995.  Does your wife have some kind of affidavit (and requisite red stamps) to go along with her birth certificate?

When it is all said and done, both our experiences may be worth little as the OP is from Britain (or the perhaps soon to be renamed Kingdom of England and Wales.)  ;)

THIGV :
70 years old :

I don't believe that you have the professional knowledge either.

I certainly agree with you on that one.   :top:   I recently posted on another thread that someone should seek the advice of a lawyer.  My post was immediately followed by a few more that told the poster to just go ahead with their plan.

Our not having my own wife change her name on arrival in the US was based on advice from a professional immigration advisor who had been a licensed paralegal in the US.  Her goal was to retain dual citizenship with minimal effort after becoming a US citizen.  As such he stressed that she must remain in her mother's house book and that her name should not change.  It may be changing but I believe that Vietnam does not formally recognize dual citizenship.  However, like many countries, including the US, they seem to tolerate it.  Your case may be a little different based on your having married during the ancien régime and having had little prospect of return before 1995.  Does your wife have some kind of affidavit (and requisite red stamps) to go along with her birth certificate?

When it is all said and done, both our experiences may be worth little as the OP is from Britain (or the perhaps soon to be renamed Kingdom of England and Wales.)  ;)

Looks like we essentially agree. The issue revolves around the impact on the multiple citizenship opportunities of both wife and child. My wife has been an American Citizen for 36 years and has no real interest in reacquiring Vietnamese citizenship. Due to her medical condition; even if she was interested in reacquiring Vietnamese citizenship, this would be essentially a wasted effort, even if she lives long enough to complete the process.

Your post suggests that the whole name change idea is simply " for easier travel to the Uk". There will be just as much hassle in whatever choice you make ... believe me (from experience).

Have them retain their Vietnamese names but always have a copy of your marriage certificate (and/or the original safely put away nearby). Getting it translated, certified, notarized, legalized, etc. would, however, be well worth it though and easier than trying to undergo an official P.1 name change in a Vietnamese passport. As someone mentioned above, the locals here would have no idea why the name change is needed. The Vietnamese Embassy in London may however allow the new family name stamped on P.2 of their passport further reinforcing that there is a marriage relationship (China allows this practice, for example). That way, their original family names are on P.1 (for purposes of their home country) and the new family name, by marriage, is on P.2 of the passport (for purposes of possible future foreign 'benefits' (travel, immigration ?, etc,). Either way, you will still need supporting documents (marriage certificate, etc,) all along the way ... just choose which hassle is less of a hassle!  :unsure  Good Luck!

70 years old :

My wife has been an American Citizen for 36 years and has no real interest in reacquiring Vietnamese citizenship. Due to her medical condition; even if she was interested in reacquiring Vietnamese citizenship, this would be essentially a wasted effort, even if she lives long enough to complete the process.

I think I can say without fear that I speak for everyone here that we wish your wife the very best.  A lot of wartime marriages between GI's and Vietnamese women fell apart before long, unable to withstand the problems of cultural adaptation.  Your wife must be an exceptional woman.

THIGV :
70 years old :

My wife has been an American Citizen for 36 years and has no real interest in reacquiring Vietnamese citizenship. Due to her medical condition; even if she was interested in reacquiring Vietnamese citizenship, this would be essentially a wasted effort, even if she lives long enough to complete the process.

I think I can say without fear that I speak for everyone here that we wish your wife the very best.  A lot of wartime marriages between GI's and Vietnamese women fell apart before long, unable to withstand the problems of cultural adaptation.  Your wife must be an exceptional woman.

She was actually a war buddy. We served together 1970-1971 down in the Delta. After we became an ARVN unit rather than a USN unit in 1971, she lost her USN Civilian job and needed help to support her widowed mother, widowed grandmother and two younger siblings. I was her chosen victim and she was able to "trick" me into the totally outrageous bride price of two cows.

The GI/VN girl issue had a lot to due with governmental paperwork. In Sai Gon it was doable. Down in the Delta not. I finished up at Nha Be and was able to arrange things to keep my "fiancee" going before I was transferred to Japan in 1972. Roughly half way to retirement, I arranged to be discharged in Japan 1974 where, I was then stationed and caught the next flight to Viet Nam as a Civilian. I attended U of Maryland Sai Gon Branch and taught ESL at the U of Saigon till 15 April 1975 when we flew out on a USAF C-141.

Later in the US, I joined the National Guard and eventually retired as an Army Staff Sargent.

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