Getting married in Vietnam

mariage in Vietnam
Updated 2022-02-24 18:50

Met that perfect someone who you want to spend your life with? Luckily, getting married in Vietnam is a completely feasible and achievable option. Rules and regulations are mercurial regarding visas, business and health. However, the stipulations for a legal marriage remain fairly consistent.

As with any matters of this nature, the best thing you can do is contact your embassy or consulate in Vietnam. While there are too many to list here, we have published a number of important addresses at the end of this post.

This article aims to shed some light on the many questions you may be asking yourself before moving or during your stay in Vietnam. We will highlight all parties eligible for marriage in Vietnam, and provide you with the most up-to-date information on necessary documentation. Additionally, will walk you through the legal process you will be expected to endure. Relax though, it's actually a piece of cake!

Who can legally get married in Vietnam?

As with most things, the more straightforward your marital history is, the simpler the process will be. Albeit, the majority of people can enjoy the right to legally wed in Vietnam. Living in the country for at least 21 days before processing the application is a prerequisite. A number of other requirements must also be adhered to before proceeding with a marriage application. These requirements are:

  • The male party must be over 20 years of age. The female party must be at least 18.
  • Neither the male nor female has a spouse that is recognised by Vietnamese law.
  • The couple must not have blood relatives for the past three generations.
  • Both the male party and the female party must be psychologically capable of making independent decisions.
  • At least one party must be a Vietnamese citizen.

As mentioned previously, LGBT couples are entitled to a marriage blessing in Vietnam. However, legal recognition does not currently exist here for such couples. A number of other parties would also be ineligible for a legally binding marriage in Vietnam. These regulations include and therefore disqualify:

  • Adoptive parents and the children they have adopted.
  • Stepfather and his daughter-in-law.
  • Stepmother and her son-in-law.
  • Stepfather and the daughter of his wife.
  • Stepmother and the son of her husband.

In a nutshell, if the bride and groom are even vaguely connected by blood, adoption, or marriage, problems may arise.

What documents are needed for marriage in Vietnam?

The process in this country is slightly more complicated than marriage in neighbouring countries like Thailand and Cambodia. Below is a brief overview of the documents you will require to legally marry in Vietnam. The good news is that once this process is finalized, getting legally married in countries like the UK or US will be much easier.

Application for Marriage Registration in Vietnam

This form is incredibly straightforward and shouldn't take more than a few minutes to complete. Providing both parties have the relevant information at hand, this aspect of the marriage process should not cause any hiccups. The form itself requires the names of both consenting parties, as well as passport size photographs.

If the Vietnamese citizen has lived abroad, they are expected to prove their marital status via their respective embassy or consulate.

Sign an Affidavit of Single Status

Once you have both been in the country for at least 21 days, you'll be in a position to submit your application for marriage registration. This will need to be complemented with a sworn affidavit that declares your single status. The price of this varies from embassy to embassy, however, is typically less than $100.

It is advisable to complete the affidavit prior to your appointment at the embassy, however, do NOT sign it until there is a consular witness present. If you are divorced or widowed, it is mandatory to submit a decree absolute or death certificate to authenticate this marital status. Likewise, any name changes resulting from the change of marital circumstances need to be evidenced by legal documentation.

Certificate of No-Marriage Records

This document must be acquired at the embassy of the foreign party. It certifies that no marriage license or record has been found concerning the said party. This may imply a lack of marital union from the age of maturity (18 for females, 20 for males). Or from divorce until present, or death of a previous partner until the present.

Certificate of Good Mental Health

This may sound a little obvious, although it's prudent that we include this small detail. Such documentation can only be provided by a recognised medical authority. The purpose of this certificate is to confirm that the applicant is conscious of their own actions and decisions. It is also used as evidence to support their overall psychological well-being. Any previous mental illnesses -should they have existed - will be unearthed during this part of the application process.

Biographic Information Sheet

This is one of the final pieces of information required by the Department of Justice in order to legalise a marriage.

Certified Copy of Passport

More specifically, it is the signature and photo pages that are required by the authorities.

Temporary or Permanent Resident Card (If applicable)

Notes: All documentation must be translated into Vietnamese and notarised. A list of reputable translators can be found here.

If it is not possible for the foreign party to be present in Vietnam during the application procedure, they are entitled to complete a Power of Attorney. This will permit their fiance to resume proceedings on their behalf. This document must then be certified by a notary public, as well as a state-level Secretary of State. Following this, it must be authenticated by the foreign applicant's respective embassy or consulate.

What is the procedure for getting married in Vietnam?

Once the Department of Justice has received all the necessary documentation, they will have 15 days to enact the following responsibilities:

  • Interview applicants - It is paramount that the authorities recognise that both parties are proceeding with this marriage voluntarily. Thus, part of this process involves determining if the couple is genuine. Assessing how both parties perceive the meaning of their relationship can be a lengthy process. Furthermore, everything is recorded in full for official purposes. Once the interview is completed, both parties are required to sign the resulting documentation.
  • Marriage listing - The Department of Justice will list this marriage for 7 consecutive working days at their headquarters.
  • Contact the People's Committee of Communes - The Department of Justice will be required to make contact with the People's Committee of Communes in the Vietnamese applicant's hometown. It is here where the couple's marriage banns will be displayed for a period of seven working days. The purpose of this is to inform the locale of a new marriage in process. This timeframe is also for any member of any party to register their disapproval. Although this occurrence is uncommon, the People's Committee of Communes would then be responsible for informing the Department of Justice.
  • Decision - Once the Department of Justice has received all notarised documentation and fees, they will have 25 days to make their decision.
  • Civil Marriage - The head of the Provincial People's Committee will be required to sign the marriage certificate first. Following this, the Department Of Justice will commence with civil marriage within five working days.

More important information about getting married in Vietnam

  • Vietnamese culture, traditions and legislation dictates that foreigners should be married before moving in with a Vietnamese citizen. Granted, many young couples do ignore these precedents. However, following suit is at your own risk. The likelihood of falling victim to any legal scrutiny is moderately low. Albeit, the older generations are much firmer in their application of traditions. Being unmarried and living with your partner might lead to consequential gossip.
  • Your embassy exists to ensure political, social and cultural affairs between Vietnam and your country run as smoothly as possible. It serves as a headquarters for your own nation's diplomatic mission in Vietnam. Your embassy will be able to guide you through the bureaucracy of any nation. However, they are not authorised to implement marriages. Whenever you are contacting the Department of Justice, make sure you do it at the provincial level. Once again, your embassy will not be equipped to advise you of procedures at this level. They operate on a national scale.
  • As briefly mentioned earlier, foreign nationals must have been in Vietnam for a full 21 days before registering their intention to marry a Vietnamese citizen. Previous visits or residencies cannot be included in this duration. Furthermore, all paperwork during the registration process must be completed in person.
  • Once your Notice of Marriage is displayed on the Consular Section's public notice board, they will wait 21 days for potential objections to arise. A Certificate of No-Impediment will be issued in Vietnamese after this 21-day threshold. This certificate often has no standard validity. However, many embassies stress that it should be collected within 3 months of the issue. If uncollected within this time frame, the applicant will be required to provide a plausible explanation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will then decide whether to reissue the CNI or demand the applicant begin the process again.
  • Some countries, such as the UK, often demand that marriage to a Vietnamese citizen be conducted in Vietnam first. However, once you have successfully tied the knot, you can request that your embassy deposits the Vietnamese marriage certificate in the General Register Office of your home country. This does NOT mean that your marriage is legally registered in your home country. It is simply a means of having your marital union recorded. Incidentally, depositing said marriage certificate is not a legal requirement in most countries.
  • Putting legal costs aside for a moment, the average cost of a wedding in Vietnam is around $7000. Food is generally one of the top priorities and this can vary depending on the type of cuisine you would like. Many Vietnamese families do prefer to keep things as Vietnamese as possible. Another point worth noting is that Vietnamese marriages are typically large. Catering for 100 guests is not uncommon and even poor families will spend around 80 million VND (3,500 USD) during such occasions.

The good news is that Vietnamese tradition implies that guests should make voluntary donations. Red envelopes (from the guests) and a heart-shaped box (for the newlyweds) are the manifestation of this custom. Furthermore, rather than hiring a venue - which incurs additional costs - a large proportion of Vietnamese prefer to conduct their wedding ceremony at home.

Useful contacts

If you plan to marry in one of the major cities, the marriage procedure will be slightly more straightforward. We have dropped the contact details for the three largest Justice Departments below. However, remember that you WILL need to contact this department at the provincial level. If your wife/husband-to-be is from the countryside, finding the relevant authorities will require a little more research.

Department of Justice – Hanoi

Address: 1B Tran Phu Street, Ha Dong District, Hanoi
Tel: (04) 33546163
Fax: (04) 33546155

Department of Justice – Ho Chi Minh City

Address: 141-143 Pasteur, Ward 6, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: (08) 38290230
Fax: (08) 38243155

Department of Justice – Danang

Address: 16 Bach Dang Street, Hai Chau District, Danang
Tel: (0511) 3822822
Fax: (0511) 3895267

The only thing left for us to do is congratulate you. The team here at would like to wish you luck during your marriage application. Not to mention, married life itself.

Should you plan on remaining in Vietnam after you have tied the knot, we have published dozens of articles about this beautiful country. From accommodation and expenses to gastronomy and day trips, we have your every need covered at

Information is susceptible to change with little warning, but has rummaged around for the most up-to-date facts. The worst news is perhaps that same-sex marriage is still unrecognised by law in Vietnam. There is nothing to stop LGBT couples from having their ceremony in Vietnam. However, legally binding documents to evidence such a union in Vietnam are currently non-existent.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.