Birth Certificates

Can I Apply for Birth Certificate for a Child Born Abroad Taken to Reside in Vietnam?

Author
Stephen Le

Any child that is born must have a birth declaration. Personal information on a birth certificate such as full name, date of birth, gender, parents, hometown… is data that cannot be changed during an individual’s life except under very special cases. All of personal documents are based on data from birth certificates. Thus, birth certificate is a particularly important document for everyone. Parents or relatives are responsible for registering the birth of children when they are born.  For children born abroad taken to reside in Vietnam, this procedure has a few differences.  We will provide you with instructions in this case! 

Who are children born abroad?

Simply, it can be understood that a child born abroad is a child born outside the territory of Vietnam due to current living or working conditions of his or her parents.  A child may:

  • Have both parents being Vietnamese citizens
  • Have a parent being a Vietnamese citizen and the other being a foreigner or a stateless person.
  • Have mother being a Vietnamese citizen while his or her father is unknown.

The birth of a child born abroad may have been registered by his/her parents at the host state when he or she was born. Or, his or her birth may not have been registered, in which case when he or she is taken to reside in Vietnam, as the case may be, the procedures for birth registration will be different. 

Registration of birth for a child born abroad taken to reside in Vietnam without foreign birth certificate

A child born abroad whose birth has not been registered with Vietnamese representative mission in a foreign country, after being taken to reside in Vietnam, should proceed with birth registration procedure. Pursuant to Clause 1, Article 29 of Decree No. 123/2015/ND-CP providing the guidelines on Civil Status Law 2014,  “If a child whose parents either is or parents both are Vietnamese citizen(s) was born abroad but has not have birth registered and taken to reside in Vietnam, the People’s Committee of district where he/she resides shall consider granting him/her the birth registration. ”

There are two cases in which a child has no birth registration in a foreign country:

  • Having a certificate of birth or supporting documents that the child was born abroad
  • Having no certificate of birth nor any supporting document that the child was born abroad

Case 1: Having a certificate of birth. Documents and procedures for birth registration are as follows:

The declarant should present and submit following application documents: 

  • Declaration form as specified
  • Certificate of birth or other documents issued by the competent authority of the foreign country to confirm that the child was born abroad and affirm the mother and child relationship.
  • An parents’ agreement on selection of child’s nationality. This applies only to a child whose either parent is a Vietnamese citizen while the other is a foreign citizen. In case of parents’ selection of foreign nationality for the child, in addition to such an agreement, they must submit a certification issued by the competent authority of the foreign country of citizenship.

Case 2: Having no certificate of birth nor any supporting document that the child was born abroad and having mother and child relationship.

If there is no certificate of birth or other documents issued by the competent authority of the foreign country upon the delivery, proceed with registration of birth for the child in accordance with the procedures set out in Clause 5, Article 15 of Decree No. 123/2015/ND-CP: “Procedures for birth registration for children with unidentified parents other than those who are abandoned shall be consistent with Clause 3 Article 14 hereof; the phrase “children with unidentified parents” shall be specified in the vital records”. 

In case of co-registration of birth, the declarant must also present supporting documents that the child is residing in Vietnam, such as passport, international travel documents with entry certification stamp by the immigration authority, as well as written certification by competent public security to the effect that the child is residing in Vietnam.

Registration of birth for a child born abroad taken to reside in Vietnam with foreign birth certificate

A child born abroad with birth registration at a foreign representative mission, upon being taken to reside in Vietnam, is not required to have birth registration in Vietnam.  To be recognized by Vietnamese laws, parents need to perform the procedures as required for entry into the civil status books that the child was born abroad as specified in Article 55 of Civil Status Law 2014 as follows: “Cases for entry into civil status books and competence to make entries into civil status books.  1. Vietnamese citizens that have registered following matters with foreign competent authorities: birth registration; marriage; acknowledgment of father, mother, child; adoption of child, upon returning to Vietnam for permanent residence, must complete the procedures for entry into civil status books as specified herein”…. And “Department of Justice where related parties are residing shall make entries in civil status books.”

The order of implementation is as follows:

The declarant that requests for an entry into the civil status book prepares a set of documents, including:

  • Form of request for entry in the civil status book.
  • Original copy of birth certificate or abstract of birth certificate issued by foreign competent authorities, attached with Vietnamese translation as required.
  • Original copy or certified copy of the certificate of marriage for parents issued by Vietnamese authority, or copy of the certificate of entry of marriage into the civil status book at a foreign civil status authority issued by Vietnamese Embassy.
  • In cases mother or father is a foreign citizen, submit an agreement on parents’ selection of the child’s Vietnamese nationality.
  • Copy of personal identification documents and valid residence documents for parents, including original copies for comparison.
  • The receiving officer is responsible to immediately check the documents, compare details in the declaration form, and check the validity of documents submitted by the declarant:
  • In case of sufficient, valid documents, the receiving officer issues a receipt specifying the time and date of returning the results; in case of insufficient, invalid documents, the officer instructs the declarant to submit additional and complete documents; in case of failure to submit additional and complete documents, the receiving officer must issue a statement of instructions clarifying required documents and contents to be completed, with the receiving officer’s signature and full name.
  • If the request for entry into the civil status book is valid and meets the conditions as prescribed by law, the Department of Justice reports to the People’s Committee of district level. If the Chairperson of the People’s Committee agrees to handle the request, he or she signs the abstract of the Civil Status Book for issuance to the declarant; civil status officer makes an entry into the Civil Status Book as required.

    Duration: 01 business week upon receiving valid documents in full.
  • The declarant that requests for an entry into the Civil Status Book may directly carry out or authorize another person to do so.

We have provided you with instructions on the procedures for registration and declaration of birth for a child born abroad taken to reside in Vietnam. For more detailed instructions, please contact us: letran@familylawyers.vn .

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Ho Chi Minh City

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