mariage in Vietnam
Shutterstock.com
Updated last year

In many places, getting married is as easy as making the decision, showing up at a government office, saying a few words, and signing a few papers. Vietnam is NOT one of those places.

For a foreigner, getting permission to marry in Vietnam is a slightly complicated exercise requiring certified government documentation both in Vietnam and in your home country, medical certificates and, of course, fees. Two non-Vietnamese citizens may marry in Vietnam ONLY if at least one has either a permanent or temporary residency permit in Vietnam.

In addition:

  • The woman must be at least 18 and the man 20 or older
  • Both must be:

- Unmarried under Vietnamese law
- Capable of making independent decisions

  • They must NOT share any blood relatives within the last three generations

Good to know:

Same-sex marriage is permitted in Vietnam, though they do not yet provide legal protections for spouses. It is recommended to check with a Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate in your home country for more details.

Documentation

All documents from a foreign country must be translated into Vietnamese and certified by either a Vietnamese notary public or the Vietnamese Embassy/Consulate in that country. One or both applicants must submit two copies of all documents to the Department of Justice in the area of residence of one of the applicants. Application via a third party is not accepted.

The following documents are required:

If the foreign applicant cannot be present in Vietnam for the application procedure, they may fill out a Power of Attorney allowing their fiancé to act on their behalf. It must be authenticated by the Vietnamese Embassy/Consulate after it has been certified by a notary public and the state/provincial-level Secretary of State.

The above are the basic documents required by the Department of Justice. Additional documents are required if the foreigner is either divorced or widowed. The list may differ slightly depending on the country of citizenship of the foreigner, so please check the Vietnamese Embassy/Consulate site of the Embassy in your country.

Procedure

Within 15 days of receiving the completed document package, the Department of Justice must:

  • Interview the candidates and record the interview on paper with the interviewer's comments and signature.
  • List the marriage for seven consecutive working days at the DoJ headquarters.
  • Send a written request to the People's Committee of Communes in the Vietnamese applicant's place of residence.
  • The People's Committee of Communes is responsible to list the marriage for seven working days.
  • If there are complaints or accusations of violating marriage law within this period, the People's Committee writes a report to the Department of Justice.
  • Issue a decision within 25 working days of receiving the complete set of documents and fee.

Once the marriage certificate is signed by the head of the Provincial People's Committee, the DoJ will arrange a civil marriage ceremony within five working days.

Good to know:

In Vietnam, cultural norms and Vietnamese law dictate that for a foreigner to live with a Vietnamese citizen, they must be married.

Useful links:

Time - Mariage
Anglo info - Mariage requirements
Vietnam Embassy - Mariage registration
BCC Visa Law - Mariage in Vietnam
Vietnam consulate - Legalization documents
US Embassy in Vietnam - Information on marriage in Vietnam
Nolo - How to get a green card

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.