Birth Certificates

Registration of Birth for Children With Foreign Elements

Author
Stephen Le
Author
Vania Van

Birth certificate is very important in everyone’s life. A birth certificate includes details to determine the origin of an individual, such as full name, date of birth, parents’ names, nationality… it is the first legal basis recognized by the State authority for each citizen.  Parents or relatives are responsible for registering the birth of children when they are born.

This is also true for children whose parents are foreigners. When a child is born, this must also be clearly registered. However, like the registration of marriage and divorce with foreign elements, where should the registration of birth for children with foreign elements be made? And what are the formalities?… Many people are confused with these questions.

Period for registration of birth for a child

Clause 1, Article 15 Law on Civil Status 2014 states as follows for birth registration period: Within 60 days after the birth of their child, the father or mother shall register the child’s birth;  if the parents are unable to register their child’s birth, the grandfather or grandmother or another relative or the individual or organization that is nurturing the child shall register his/her birth.

In case they fail to do so in a timely manner, the person that is responsible for registering birth of the child shall be subject to sanctions of administrative violation as stipulated in Clause 1, Article 27 Decree No. 110/2013/ND-CP dated September 24, 2013 of the Government on sanctions of administrative violations the field of judicial assistance, judicial administration, marriage and family, and civil judgement enforcement, bankruptcy of business and cooperatives; as amended by Decree No. 67/2015/ND-CP “A caution shall be imposed on the person responsible for birth registration of children but failing to register it within the prescribed time limit.”

So, if they fail to register the birth of their child within a period of 60 days upon his/her birth, they will be subject to sanctions of administrative violation in form of caution.

Understanding the registration of birth with foreign elements

Currently, there hasn’t been any specific provisions on registration of birth with foreign elements. However, pursuant to the Civil Code 2015 and Law on Civil Status 2014, it can be understood that the registration of birth with foreign elements falls under one of following categories:

  • Children born abroad with their birth not yet registered abroad and taken to reside in Vietnam.
  • Children born in Vietnam:
    • Having a parent being a Vietnamese citizen and the other being a foreigner or a stateless person.
    • Having a parent being a Vietnamese citizen residing in the country and the other being a Vietnamese citizen residing abroad.
    • Having both parents being Vietnamese citizens residing abroad.
    • Having both parents being foreigners or stateless persons.

Competence to register birth with foreign elements

Clause 2, Article 7 of the Law on Civil Status 2014 states regarding the competence to register civil status as follows: District-level People’s Committees shall make civil status registration in the following cases, except the cases specified at Point d, Clause 1 of this Article. It also sets out provisions on registration of civil status as specified in Clause 1, Article 3 of this Law involving foreign elements.

So, the District-level People’s Committees shall have the competence to register birth with foreign elements. Except for cases of registering birth for a child born in Vietnam, whose either of parents is a Vietnamese citizen permanently residing in the relevant commune, while the other is a citizen of a neighboring country permanently residing in a communal-level administrative unit of Vietnam that is adjacent to Vietnamese border where the Vietnamese citizen is permanently residing, the communal-level People’s Committee of the place where either of parents is residing shall have the competence to register birth.

Formalities for registration of birth for children with foreign elements

In accordance with laws, to complete the formalities for registration of birth for children with foreign elements, parents are required to take following steps:

Step 1: Prepare the documents

Upon registering the birth of their child or grandchild, parents or relatives of the child need to prepare the following documents:

  • Fill in the declaration form
  • Prepare the documents: Birth certification paper issued by the medical facility where the child was born. If having no birth certification paper, a document of a witness certifying the birth shall be submitted. If there is no witness, there must be a written pledge of the birth. For birth registration for abandoned children, there must be a written record certifying the child’s abandonment made by a competent agency. For birth registration for children born by surrogate mothers, there must be a document proving the surrogacy as prescribed by law.

For a child born abroad, in addition to above documents, the registrants must prepare following papers:

  • A certificate certifying that the child was born abroad and mother-child relationship (if any).
  • An parents’ agreement on selection of child’s nationality.  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 country of selected nationality.
  • Household registration book or certificate of collective household membership, registration of temporary residence with term for the parents. In case of divorce, the declarant’s household registration book should be presented.
  • Parents’ certificate of marriage (if they have ever registered their marriage).
  • Vietnamese ID Card/Citizen’s ID/Passport (original and photocopy) for parents or the declarant, if not parents.

Step 2:  Submit birth registration documents

The person that requests for birth registration must submit birth registration documents to the competent district-level People’s Committee.  Dossier receiving section of the district-level People’s Committee receives and checks the validity and completeness of documents:

For in-person submission:

  • In case of sufficient and valid documents, the receiving officer issues a receipt of the documents.
  • 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.
  • In case of failure to submit additional and complete documents as instructed, the receiving officer will reject the documents. The rejection of documents must be stated in writing, specifying the reasons for rejection, with the receiving officer’s signature and full name.

For submission by post:

In case of sufficient and valid documents, proceed with the required formalities to handle the documents. In case of insufficient, invalid documents, the officer instructs the declarant to submit additional documents as required.

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.

Step 3:  Handle the birth registration documents and issue the birth certificate

Upon receiving the documents, if it is determined that the birth declaration is full and appropriate, the Judicial Department reports to the Chairperson of the district-level People’s Committee.

  • If the Chairperson of the district-level People’s Committee agrees to handle the documents, issue the birth certificate to the declarant.  Civil status officer specifies details of birth registration in the Birth Register and signs thereon with the declarant.
  • In case parents’ selection of Vietnamese nationality for the child, the civil status officer updates birth registration information in accordance with instructions to obtain the personal identification number (for localities that have issued the personal identification number upon birth registration).
  • In case the Chairperson of the district-level People’s Committee agrees to handle the registration of birth certificate, civil status officer makes an entry in the Birth Register and original copy of the birth certificate, submits the same to the Chairperson for signature onto the original copy of the birth certificate.

Duration for completing the formalities for issuance of birth certificate is 5-10 working days upon receiving full documents. If verification is required, deadline for settlement will be no later than 25 days.

Besides, currently, most legal procedures in many localities are gradually shifting to online form, in which birth registration procedures can also be completed online through the National Public Service Portal in accordance with the instructions by any of the following ways:

Option 1: Use Online civil status registration system of the Ministry of Justice.

Option 2: Use National Public Service Portal.

Option 3: Use the local public service portals for major cities such as:

  • Hanoi online public service portal
  • HCMConline public service portal
  • Da Nang online public service portal

Notes: Since birth certificate is one of important identification documents for the purpose of confirming personal and civil status information, etc. thus, to avoid counterfeit cases, after receiving the notification of results of online birth registration, the declarant should bring all of the papers submitted online (original) directly to the People’s Committee where the birth is registered to obtain the results.

We have instructed you on how to register the birth of children with foreign elements, I am sure that you have understood, then?  For more detailed instructions, please contact us: letran@familylawyers.vn.

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