Latest News Regarding Vietnam’s New-style Passports

On July 1, Vietnam started issuing new passports, called “the blue-cover Vietnamese passports” which have been troublesome in some countries.
September 13, 2022 | 17:59

The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) has directed the Vietnam Immigration Department and other agencies abroad to print the information on “place of birth” in the annotation section of the new passports from September 15, VNA reported Monday.

Latest News Regarding Vietnam’s New-style Passports
The new Vietnamese passports with a navy blue cover. Photo: VNA

The move aims to create favorable conditions for Vietnamese citizens to enter other countries, as recently several countries suspended the issuance of visas to holders of the new Vietnamese passports due to a lack of birthplace information.

The ministry will submit to the government and the National Assembly's Standing Committee a report on a resolution to include birthplace information in all Vietnamese passports.

It also gave specific guidelines for the holders of the new passports to get the “place of birth” information added to their passports.

The new Vietnamese passports has been in use since July 1 this year.

Explaining why the new passport doesn’t contain information about the place of birth, Minister of Public Security To Lam said ICAO did not designate other information like the place of birth as mandatory. According to the Law on Exit and Entry of Vietnamese Citizens, information in passports also doesn’t include the place of birth.

In the long term, the ministry could revise the design of the passport and add the place of birth on the main page.

Also, beginning October 3, all visa applicants with the new blue-covered passports must have the passport endorsed with their place of birth before their interview, according to the announcement of US embassy in Vietnam on Facebook on September 12.

Applicants who do not have an endorsement in their blue cover passports will not be permitted to interview and will need to reschedule their appointments.

After thorough review, the US Department of State determined that for visa application purposes, the new Vietnam passport, issued starting July 1, 2022, which does not contain a birthplace, must include a Vietnam government endorsement page that states place of birth information.

"We urge all individuals with upcoming appointments already scheduled to get the endorsement prior to their appointment. Recognizing the inconvenience this presents, we will continue to interview applicants whose passports lack the endorsement through September 29," the statement wrote.

Latest News Regarding Vietnam’s New-style Passports
The new and old versions of Vietnamese passport. Photo: thanhnien.vn

More countries recognise new Vietnamese passport

The Finish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided to recognise Vietnam’s newly issues passport as long as information about the holder’s place of birth is properly added and stamped in the passport.

The Finish Embassy in Hanoi made the announcement in a statement released on September 2.

Finland on August 11 announced that it temporarily stopped recognising the new-style Vietnamese passport due to the lack of information regarding the place of birth of the holder, according to the Embassy of Finland in Hanoi's statement.

Earlier, a diplomatic note the German Federal Foreign Office sent to the Vietnamese Embassy on August 15 announed that the country will temporarily recognise Vietnam’s new passport version with information about holders' place of birth added in the appendix.

That also means Germany will grant visas on the new passports supplemented with birthplace information and allow their holders to enter this country.

The UK and France expressly stated that they would continue to accept Vietnam’s new passports.

After an initial rejection, Spain also accepted the new passports, but required visa applicants to present their valid Vietnamese identity card (which has place of birth information).

The embassy warned that this visa will not allow entry into Schengen countries which don't accept the passports however.

The Czech Republic also announced on September 7 that it will only accept the new Vietnamese passport that feature the place of birth added in to page four of the document, according to the official website of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Vietnam, Vietnamnet reported on September 9.

This annotation can only be applied by Vietnamese immigration authorities in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Da Nang, or alternatively by Vietnamese diplomatic representative agencies.

The Czech Republic's decision regarding accepting the new Vietnamese passports will be temporarily applied until the end of the year.

The same day saw the Embassy of Belgium in Vietnam announced on its official page that Benelux countries, including Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, also agreed to recognize the new ‘blue’ Vietnamese passport as long as it features a stamp indicating the place of birth of the passport holder.

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