Marry a Foreigner in Vietnam

Friday, November 23rd, 2012 - 2:40 PM

If you're thinking about getting married in Vietnam, you need to know how to go about doing it. There are different marriage laws in every country, and in order to avoid legal complications with your happy new spouse, you should go about them properly from the beginning. Here's what you need to know...

Marriage Process

First, you should check with your Vietnamese intended spouse to make sure they know where to file the application for marriage. If they live in Ho Chi Minh City, it should be the Principal Registrar's Office located there. You will need: an application for marriage (this form is available at the Principal Registrar's Office), and notarized photocopies of your passport, birth certificate, and visa registered at the entry/exit control office. You will also need medical certificates for marriage and any death certificates or divorce decrees issues. Finally, you need an authenticated statement from your state's local registrar of marriage that says there is no record of a previous marriage for the past two years.

Instead of a certificate of no impediment to marriage, which does not exist in the USA, you will need to sign an Affidavit of Eligibility to Marry at the US Embassy in Vietnam, which is located in Hanoi at 7 Lang Ha, Ba Dinh District. The signature and Embassy seal must also be authenticated by the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at 6 Chu Van An Street, Hanoi, which is only open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 AM to 11:30 AM.

Finally, the authenticated statement from the registrar of marriage must also be authenticated by your state Secretary of State's office, by the US Department of State's authentication office at 515 23rd Street, NW SA-1, in Washington, DC, and by the Vietnamese embassy at 1233 20th Street, NW - Suite 501, also in Washington, DC.

Helpful Tips

* The original registrar's statement from your local state cannot be more than three months old, or the Vietnamese authorities will not accept it. This may take some prior planning!

* The easiest way to ensure you can get the paperwork to and from where it needs to go without omitting anything (as you may be able to complete parts of the process by mail) is to phone the Vietnamese Embassy in Washington, DC, at (202) 861-0737 ext 122.

* Don't forget the psychiatrist's evaluation as part of the marriage process! You need a certificate of good mental health to confirm that you have no mental illnesses, or a mental problem that will not lead to you losing consciousness of your own actions.

The process of marrying a Vietnamese national can seem long and overly complicated, so don't be afraid to ask for help along the way. Make sure you have all your paperwork organized and double-check deadlines and waiting or processing times so you can be sure the marriage process will go ahead smoothly.

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