Germany Recognises New Vietnamese Passports

Previously, some countries – including Germany, the Czech Republic, and Spain – said they suspended the recognition of the navy blue covered passports of Vietnam, which started to be issued from July 1, 2022 – because of the omission of the birthplace information.
February 19, 2023 | 12:38
A new Vietnamese passport issued by the Ministry of Public Security. Photo: VOV
A new Vietnamese passport issued by the Ministry of Public Security. Photo: VOV

Germany has moved to recognise the new version of the Vietnamese passport containing birthplace information, whilst it has also resumed issuing visas including C multi-year visas (Schengen Visa), VOV reported.

This comes as the German Embassy in Vietnam posted a notice saying that Vietnamese passports issued from January 1, 2023, and containing information about the holders' place of birth have been officially recognised.

Therefore it is possible to re-issue C multi-year visas which had been suspended pending new passport recognition

The German Embassy also stated that passports issued between July 1, 2022, and December 31, 2022, without the place of birth on the identity page have also been recognised, providing that they are still valid and contain information about the place of birth added in the appendix.

In July 2022, Germany was one of the first countries to temporarily not issue visas to Vietnamese citizens with the newest version of the passport due to a number of technical factors.

The German authorities explained that passports without the place of birth cannot clearly identify the passport holder, especially in cases when the holder has the same surname.

By August 2022, after several meetings between Vietnamese and German authorities, the Central European country has temporarily recognised the new version of the Vietnamese passport that contains additional information regarding place of birth.

Type C visa (also known as a Schengen visa) allows entry to one of the 26 Schengen countries and permits holders to freely move within the territory of the remaining 25 countries without any additional entry procedures. The Type D visa (or national visa) is issued by the German Embassy or Consulate in Vietnam, allowing freedom to travel in 25 countries within the Schengen area with a maximum stay of 90 days.

Flight passengers at Noi Bai International Airport. Photo: VNA
Flight passengers at Noi Bai International Airport. Photo: VNA

In related news, ordinary passports with electronic chips will be issued for Vietnamese citizens from March 1, 2023, according to the Ministry of Public Security’s Immigration Department.

A passport with an e-chip attached to its back cover stores encrypted information of the passport holder and the signature of the issuer, aiming to facilitate travel and raise the efficiency of state management in immigration and meet the country’s requirements in international integration.

Apart from the holder’s written information such as name, date of birth and nationality, the passport also shows his/her biometric information like fingerprint scan, face and blood type, which helps to accelerate customs procedures.

Moreover, those with passport will be prioritized by foreign agencies in visa granting.

More than 100 countries and territories worldwide have used e-passports. Notably, the Visa Waiver Programme of the US, which has been applied for 39 countries and territories, requires e-passports.

Ordinary passports with and without e-chips will be used simultaneously. Vietnamese citizens above 14 years of age are free to choose either passport on their application forms.

Vietnam’s passport climbed four spots to rank 88th among the most powerful passports in the world, VNA citied the newly-released Henley Passport Index 2023.

Accordingly, people with a Vietnamese passport enjoy free entry or are just required an e-visa or a visa on arrival to 55 countries and territories globally.

Japan’s passport is the most powerful one in the world as Japanese passport holders can enter 193 destinations globally without a visa.

It is followed by Singapore and the Republic of Korea with free entry into 192 destinations, and Germany and Spain shared the third place with free access to 190 destinations.

The Henley Passport Index is the original, authoritative ranking of all the world’s passports according to the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. The index is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) – the largest, most accurate travel information database – and enhanced by Henley & Partners’ research team.

Surveys are made for 199 passports and 227 countries and territories globally, updated every quarter. For each visa-free destination, that country's passport will be awarded one point.

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