Vietnam Working on Visa Problem with Germany, Ensure Citizens’ Rights

Vietnam is working with the German side after it was announced that Vietnamese citizens holding new passports will not be issued visas to enter Germany
July 30, 2022 | 08:27

The Consular Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is coordinating with relevant agencies in solving the problem relating to German's temporary visa suspension on Vietnam's new passports, VNA reported Friday.

Vietnam Working on Visa Problem with Germany, Ensure Citizens’ Rights
Vietnam’s new navy blue-coloured passport fully meets international standards. Photo: VNA

Upon receiving the information, the department exchanged ideas with the Ministry of Public Security’s Immigration Department to map out plans to handle the issue.

On the same day, it contacted the embassy, suggesting that the two sides work together to find solutions for the technical problem so as to facilitate Vietnamese citizens' entry into Germany, suitable to the Vietnam-Germany strategic partnership. The Vietnamese Embassy in Germany also got in touch with German authorities regarding the matter.

The Consular Department and the Vietnamese Embassy in Germany will continue to coordinate with domestic agencies and German counterparts to accelerate the handling of the issue, it said.

Vietnamese passports are designed in line with international regulations and practices, and arising problems will be settled in conformity with the law to ensure the interests of citizens, leaders of the Immigration Department of Vietnam under the Ministry of Public Security also stated on July 28.

Talking to VNA, Chu Tuan Duc, counsellor of the Vietnamese Embassy in Berlin, said the embassy has learned of the situation and immediately coordinated with relevant agencies in Vietnam to expedite the resolution.

The embassy has also requested a meeting with representatives of the German Foreign Ministry and the German Federal Police to discuss in detail the issues to find a solution quickly that both sides can accept.

For the cases where new passports have been issued, he suggested everyone stay calm, emphasising that the embassy in Berlin, as well as relevant agencies in Vietnam, will make specific announcements in case adjustments are needed.

The embassy has also posted relevant information on its website and will continue to update it as new information becomes available.

The new passport, with decorations on its pages and covers, has been in use since July 1 this year. People who complete the needed procedures can expect to get their new passports in one or two weeks.

The old passports will continue to be valid till they expire.

In an announcement on July 27, the German Embassy in Vietnam said the reason for the non-recognition of the new passports, which Vietnamese authorities have started to issue from early July (the non-chipped version with serial numbers starting with P), is because they do not have a place of birth (province/city) listed.

The birthplace is inferred through the first three digits of the 12-digit personal identification number of the citizen and can be found by looking through a seven-page document, the embassy said. (For example, an identification number starting with 001 means the citizen’s birth certificate was registered in the capital city of Hanoi, 079 means the person is from HCM City, etc.)

This can make it difficult for the German side to identify the specific locality where Vietnamese citizens were born, especially in the case of minors where ID number has not been granted.

The embassy said the Vietnamese holders of the new passports who have already received visas to Germany should refrain from travelling since they will be denied entry at the border. The embassy will be contacting those individuals, as well as those who are applying for visas, for further support.

The announcement also specified that Vietnamese citizens with new passports are currently not eligible to apply for a German entry visa (Types C and D).

German authorities also warned that holders of the new passports who’ve already been granted visa shouldn’t come to Germany as they might be denied entry at the border.

Countries in the Schengen Area that grant short-term visa for holders of Vietnam’s new passports must exclude Germany out of the visa’s effect. These holders also can neither enter nor transit through Germany. However, those with resident permits for the Schengen Area would not be affected by the restriction.

Vietnam Working on Visa Problem with Germany, Ensure Citizens’ Rights
Processing procedures to issue passports to citizens.Photo:

The Immigration Department of Vietnam on July 28, in response, said that Vietnam’s new navy blue-coloured passport fully meets international standards.

The new passport also has electronic chips integrated for looking up information in the archives, so there is no need for fields like the specific birthplace as in the old green passports.

However, it should be noted that the chipped passports are expected to be rolled out from the fourth quarter of 2022, according to the immigration department's earlier announcement.

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