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THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS – THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE

Joint Circular No. 02/2016/TTLT-BNG-BTP dated June 30, 2016 of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice guiding the registration and management of civil status by overseas Vietnamese diplomatic missions and consular offices

Pursuant to the Law on civil status No. 60/2014/QH13 dated November 20, 2014;

Pursuant to the Nationality Law No. 24/2008/QH12 dated November 13, 2008;

Pursuant to the Law on marriage and family No. 52/2014/QH13 dated June 19, 2014;

Pursuant to the Law on overseas representative missions of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam No. 33/2009/QH12 dated June 18, 2009;

Pursuant to the Government's Decree No. 123/2015/ND-CP dated November 15, 2015 providing for detailed regulations on a number of articles and measures for implementing the Law on civil status;

Pursuant to the Government's Decree No. 58/2013/ND-CP dated June 11, 2013 defining the functions, tasks, powers and organizational structure of Ministry of Foreign Affairs;

Pursuant to the Government's Decree No. 22/2013/ND-CP dated March 13, 2013 defining the functions, tasks, powers and organizational structure of Ministry of Justice;

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Justice jointly provide for the following guidelines on the registration and management of civil status by overseas Vietnamese diplomatic missions and consular offices.

Chapter I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1. Scope of adjustment

This Joint Circular elaborates Article 3 and Article 53 of the Law on civil status with regard to the civil registration for Vietnamese citizens residing abroad; re-registration of births, marriages and deaths; issuance of copies of civil status extracts; issuance of marital status certificates to Vietnamese citizens residing abroad; state management of civil status by overseas Vietnamese diplomatic missions and consular offices (hereinafter referred to as representative missions) as referred to in the Law on civil status and the Government’s Decree No. 123/2015/ND-CP dated November 15, 2015 providing for detailed regulations on a number of articles and measures for implementing the Law on civil status (hereinafter referred to as Decree No. 123/2015/ND-CP).

Article 2. Power to receive civil registrations

1. Representative missions shall receive registrations of vital events as referred to in Article 3 of the Law on civil status, re-registrations of births, marriages and deaths in accordance with the law regulations; issue copies of civil status extracts from civil status registers; issue marital status certificates to Vietnamese citizens residing abroad.

2. In countries where two or more representative missions of Vietnam are situated, the representative mission in consular region where the applicant resides shall have the power to receive civil registrations. In countries where representative missions are not available, the civil registration shall be carried out at non-resident or convenient representative missions.

Article 3. Interpretation of terms

In this Joint Circular, these terms are construed as follows:

1. A Vietnamese citizen residing abroad refers to a person who holds Vietnamese nationality and permanently or temporarily resides in a foreign country.

2. A Vietnamese citizen permanently residing abroad refers to a person who holds Vietnamese nationality and is granted with permanent resident card by the host country.

3. A Vietnamese citizen temporarily residing abroad refers to a person who holds Vietnamese nationality, works or studies in a foreign country and is granted with fixed-term temporary residence permit by the host country.

4. Consular officer is a diplomat or consul who is assigned to take charge of civil status job at a representative mission.

Article 4. Submission and receipt of civil registration dossiers, and giving of civil registration results

The submission and receipt of civil registration dossiers and giving of results thereof by representative missions shall be governed by regulations in Article 3 of the Government’s Decree No. 123/2015/ND-CP, Articles 2, 3, 4, 5 of the Circular No. 15/2015/TT-BTP dated November 16, 2015 by Ministry of Justice detailing the implementation of a number of articles of the Law on civil status and the Government’s Decree No. 123/2015/ND-CP dated November 15, 2015 providing for detailed regulations on a number of articles and measures for implementing the Law on civil status (hereinafter referred to as Circular No. 15/2015/TT-BTP) and the following guidelines:

1. Civil registration dossiers may be submitted by hand or by post, except for cases where the applicant must be present when carry out procedures for registration of marriage, re-registration of marriage or registration of parent or child recognition as regulated by laws.

If the applicant wants to receive civil registration results by post, he/she must provide a stamped addressed envelope or an addressed envelope with registered post fees in the civil registration dossiers.

2. When requesting a representative mission to handle procedures for civil registration, the applicant must present the original of any of the following documents: passport or passport substitute, ID card, Citizen Identity Card or other unexpired documents with photo and personal information issued by competent authorities (hereinafter referred to as identity papers) to prove his/her identity, and document(s) proving his/her residence in the host country. The representative mission shall check, make a photocopy and certify that photocopy after having compared it with the original thereof for retention.

If the civil registration dossiers are submitted by post, certified copies of the said documents shall be submitted.

3. Documents issued by competent authorities of a host country to use for carrying out civil registration procedures with representative missions do not require consular legalization. If the authenticity of a document is doubted, that document must obtain consular legalization by a competent authority.

Documents issued by competent authorities of a third country to serve the civil registration carried out at representative missions must obtain consular legalization in accordance with regulations.

Documents in foreign languages included in civil registration dossiers must be translated into Vietnamese or English as regulated.

Article 5. Use of civil status forms and records

When handling civil registration requests, representative missions shall use corresponding civil status forms and records announced by Ministry of Justice in Circular No. 15/2015/TT-BTP.

Chapter II

PROCEDURES FOR CIVIL REGISTRATION

Article 6. Registration of births

1. The representative mission in the consular region where the child’s parent resides or where the child was born shall receive the registration of birth for that child who was born abroad, has his/her birth been not yet registered at an overseas competent authority and belongs to any of the following cases:

a) His/her parents are Vietnamese citizens;

b) His/her mother is a Vietnamese citizen but his/her father is a stateless person or it is unable to identify his/her father;

c) His/her parent is a Vietnamese citizen, the other is a foreigner and the parents have made a written agreement to select Vietnamese nationality for their child upon the birth registration.

2. The applicant for birth registration must submit the following documents:

a) Birth registration form (using the regulated form);

b) Birth certification paper or other papers issued by overseas competent authorities to certify that the child was born abroad and verify mother and child relationship.

c) A written agreement made by parents on selecting Vietnamese nationality for their child in case the child’s parent is a Vietnamese citizen and the other is a foreigner.

If the birth registration dossiers are not submitted by hand, signatures appeared on that written agreement on selection of the child's nationality must be legally authenticated.

d) Document proving marital relationship in case the child’s parents have their marriage registered.

3. The consul shall check the birth registration dossiers upon the receipt. If birth registration information is sufficient and valid, the consul shall request the representative mission’s head to consider and sign the Birth Certificate which shall be issued to the child whose birth is registered. The consul shall record all birth registration information in the birth register and then, he/she shall together with the applicant for birth registration append their signatures to the birth register.

4. In case the representative mission uses civil registration software which is connected to Ministry of Justice’s personal identification number (PIN) system, the representative mission shall update PIN system with birth registration information and take PIN for the child whose birth is registered.

5. Birth registration contents are defined as regulated in Article 14 of the Law on civil status, Clause 1 Article 4 of Decree No. 123/2015/ND-CP, Article 21 of Circular No. 15/2015/TT-BTP, and the following guidelines:

a) If the child’s father is unidentified, the child’s surname, ethnic group, native land and nationality shall follow those of his/her mother. Parts of father’s information in the birth register and the birth certificate shall be left blank;

b) In case the child’s father carries out procedures for recognition of paternity at the time of birth registration, the representative mission shall handle the application for recognition of paternity and the application for birth registration at the same time. Application dossiers and procedures for birth registration in combination with the recognition of paternity shall be governed by regulations in Clause 2 and Clause 3 of this Article and Article 9 herein. The representative mission shall issue an extract of parent and child recognition certificate and the birth certificate to the applicant at the same time;

c) If the full name of the child’s parent who is a foreigner is not expressed in Latin alphabet, the full name expressed in Latin phonetic alphabet in his/her passport or passport substitute paper shall be specified;

E.g.: Chen Yung Yu; Han Ji Young; ....

d) Place-name and/or name of a foreign country shall be specified according to Vietnamized ones (E.g. Liên bang Nga, Cộng hòa Pháp, Cộng hòa Liên bang Dức, Vương quốc Anh, Hoa Kỳ, Bắc Kinh, Thượng Hải,....), if any. In case the Vietnamized name is unavailable, the place-name or country’s name in Latin alphabet shall be specified (E.g. Osaka; Kyoto....);

dd) Parts of parent’s information that are unidentified (such as ethnic group or native land) in Birth Certificate and birth register shall be left blank.

Article 7. Registration of marriages

1. The representative mission in consular region where the male or female partner who is a Vietnamese citizen resides shall receive the registration of marriage between two Vietnamese citizens residing abroad or between a Vietnamese citizen residing abroad with a foreigner.

The registration of marriage between a Vietnamese citizen and a foreigner must comply with the law of the host country.

2. The male and female partners apply for the marriage registration must submit the following documents:

a) The marriage registration form (using the regulated form); both male and female partners may submit the one marriage registration form;

b) If marital partner(s) is/are Vietnamese citizens, subject to each specific case, following documents proving their marital status must be submitted:

- If a Vietnamese citizen has permanently resided in Vietnam and was of marriageable age before leaving Vietnam as referred to by regulations of the Law on marriage and family of Vietnam, he/she must submit a marital status certificate issued by the people’s committee of commune/ward/district-level town (hereinafter referred to as communal-level people’s committee) where he/she has resided before leaving Vietnam.

- If a Vietnamese citizen has resided in several countries, marital status certificates issued by representative missions in consular regions where he/she resided must be supplemented. If a person can not apply for marital status certificates issued by competent authorities in regions where he/she has resided, he/she must submit a written commitment on his/her marital status during his/her residence in those regions and shall assume responsibility for his/her committed contents.

That commitment must include duration, identity paper, locations where he/she has resided and his/her marital status.

E.g.: I, Nguyễn Văn A, holder of passport No……….., residing at……………, do undertake that during my residence at………………………….., from……………..to………………, and at………………………….., from……………..to………………, I have not yet got married. I shall assume responsibility under the law of Vietnam for my committed contents.

- If a Vietnamese citizen concurrently holds a foreign nationality, document proving his/her marital status issued by a competent authority of the country of which he/she holds nationality must be submitted.

- If a Vietnamese citizen residing abroad does not concurrently hold a foreign nationality or a Vietnamese citizen concurrently holds a foreign nationality but permanently resides in a third country, document proving his/her marital status issued by a competent authority of the country in which he/she permanently resides must be submitted;

c) If a Vietnamese citizen has got a divorce or has his/her marriage dissolved at an competent authority abroad, the copy of civil status extract regarding the recording of divorce or dissolution of marriage in the civil status registers (extract of divorce note) shall be submitted;

d) The male or female partner who is a foreigner must submit document proving his/her marital status to certify that he/she is currently single.

If the issuance of document proving marital status is not governed by the law of a foreign country, it shall be replaced by a document issued by a competent authority of that country to certify that the person concerned is eligible to get married in accordance with the law of that country.

The document proving marital status of a foreigner shall be valid upon its expiration date. If a document proving marital status of a foreigner does not include an expiration date, it shall be valid within 06 months as of the issued date;

dd) If a Vietnamese citizen temporarily residing abroad gets married to a Vietnamese citizen permanently residing abroad or two Vietnamese citizens permanently residing abroad get married or a Vietnamese citizen gets married to a foreigner, both male and female partners must submit certificates granted by competent Vietnamese or overseas health organizations within 06 months to certify that they do not get metal illness or another disease that cause them lose their awareness or control of their behavior.

3. Within 10 working days from the receipt o valid application dossiers, the consul shall check and verify the received application dossiers, and take reasonable measures to verify them, where necessary. If the application dossiers are sufficient and valid, and the verification results show that both partners of the marriage are eligible to get married in accordance with the law regulations, the consul shall request the representative mission’s head to sign 02 original copies of marriage certificate.

4. Within 03 working days from the date on which the marriage certificate is signed by the representative mission’s head, the representative mission shall deliver the signed marriage certificate to both male and female partners.

When carrying out the registration of marriage, both male and female partners must be present at the representative mission's head office. The consul shall record the marriage in the marriage register after confirming that the male and female partners are voluntary to get married; instruct them to sign the marriage certificate, and together with them affix signature to the marriage register. Each of the husband and wife shall receive an original copy of marriage certificate. Extract of marriage certificate (duplicate) shall be issued as requested.

5. In case either one of male and female partners cannot be present to receive marriage certificate as informed by the representative mission, he/she must make a written request for extension of period for delivery of marriage certificate. That extension shall not exceed 60 days from the date on which the marriage certificate is signed by the representative mission’s head.

Ending 60 days but both male and female partners are not present to receive their marriage certificate, the consul shall request the representative mission’s head to cancel the signed marriage certificate.

The male and female partners who want to get married after that cancellation of marriage certificate must re-carry out procedures for marriage registration.

Article 8. Registration of guardianship, termination or change of guardianship

1. The representative mission in consular region where the guardian or the ward who is a Vietnamese citizen resides shall receive the registration of guardianship established between two Vietnamese citizens residing abroad.

The representative mission that has received the registration of guardianship shall settle the registration of termination of guardianship.

2. The guardian and the ward must meet all of conditions as referred to in regulations of the Civil Code.

3. Procedures for registration of guardianship, termination or change of guardianship shall be carried out as referred to in Articles 20, 21, 22, 23 of the Law on civil status.

Article 9. Registration of recognition of parent-child relationship

1. The representative mission in consular region where recognized parent or child resides shall receive the registration of recognition of parent-child relationship between two Vietnamese citizens residing abroad or between a Vietnamese citizen and a foreigner jointly residing abroad.

The registration of recognition of parent-child relationship between a Vietnamese citizen residing abroad and a foreigner is accepted provided that it is in consistent with the law of the host country.

2. The applicant for registration of recognition of parent-child relationship must submit the following documents:

a) Registration form of recognition of parent-child relationship (using the regulated form).

b) The copy of birth certificate or extract of birth certificate (duplicate) of the child whose birth has been registered at a competent authority of Vietnam;

c) Certificate of father-child or mother-child relationship issued by health agency or assessment agency or other competent authority of Vietnam or foreign country.

The said certificate may be replaced by letters, photos, videos, records, tools and other things proving parent-child relationship and the written commitment made by parents with the witness of at least two relatives to certify that they are that child’s parents.

3. Within 7 days from the receipt of complete application dossiers, the consul shall check received application dossiers and post a notice of recognition of parent-child relationship at the representative mission’s head office. If the recognition of parent-child relationship is proper in conformity with the law and there is no dispute over thereof, the consul shall report it to the representative mission’s head. The representative mission’s head shall sign and issue the original extract of registration of recognition of parent-child relationship to the parties concerned.

The parties concerned must be present when carrying out the registration of recognition of parent-child relationship. The consul record the registration of recognition of parent-child relationship in Register of recognition of parent-child relationship, and together with the parties concerned affix signature to the Register of recognition of parent-child relationship. The representative mission shall add parent’s information to the child’s original birth certificate, if any.

The required verification may be carried out within 15 days, if necessary.

4. If the child is a Vietnamese citizen and has his/her birth registered at a competent authority of Vietnam, the representative mission must send a notice, enclosed with an extract from the register of recognition of parent-child relationship (duplicate), to the civil status registration office where the child’s birth is registered to take notes in the birth register.

Article 10. Registration of civil status change, correction and supplementation, and re-determination of ethnic group

1. The representative mission that received the previous civil registration shall receive the registration of civil status change, correction and supplementation, and re-determination of ethnic group.

The representative mission that recorded the vital events of a Vietnamese citizen, which have been handled by competent authorities in a foreign country, may also handle the application for civil status change, correction and supplementation, and re-determination of ethnic group.

2. The scope of civil status change and procedures for civil status change, correction and supplementation, and re-determination of ethnic group shall be governed by Articles 26, 28, 29, 47 of the Law on civil status.

3. If a civil status register has been handed over to Ministry of Foreign Affairs for retention, the representative mission must, after handling the application for registration of civil status change/correction/supplementation or re-determination of ethnic group, send a notice, enclosed with an extract of certificate of civil status change/correction/supplementation or re-determination of ethnic group (duplicate), to Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take notes in retained civil status registers.

Article 11. Death registration

1. The representative mission in consular region where is the last place of residence of the deceased person shall receive the registration of death of Vietnamese citizen dying abroad. If the last place of residence of the deceased person is not identifiable, the representative mission in consular region where that person dies or his/her body is found shall handle the death registration.

2. The applicant for death registration must submit the death registration form (using the regulated form) and the notice of death or other document substitute for the notice of death issued by a competent authority in foreign country.

3. The consul shall, upon the receipt of complete application dossiers, record the death information in the death register and affix his/her signature together with the applicant to the death register if he/she finds that the death registration is proper. The representative mission’s head shall sign the extract of death certificate issued to the applicant for death registration.

The required verification of death may be carried out within 03 days, if necessary.

Article 12. Recording of civil status changes in civil status registers according to judgments or decisions by competent authorities of Vietnam

1. The representative mission where vital events of a Vietnamese citizen has been registered shall record civil status changes in civil status registers as referred to in Clause 2 Article 3 of the Law on civil status on the basis of notice, enclosed with the extract of judgment or copy of decision by competent authority of Vietnam, sent by Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

2. Upon the receipt of notice sent by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the consul shall record changed contents and grounds thereof in corresponding civil status registers.

3. If a civil status register has been handed over to Ministry of Foreign Affairs for retention, Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall also record civil status changes and grounds thereof in retained civil status register.

Article 13. Re-registration of births, marriages and deaths

1. The representative mission that has handled the registration of birth/death/marriage before January 01, 2016 shall receive the re-registration of birth/death/marriage as requested in cases where both civil status register and original civil status certificate are lost.

The re-registration of birth/marriage shall be accepted if the applicant is still alive at the time of receiving re-registration application.

2. Upon the receipt of an application for re-registration of birth/death/marriage, the consul shall check the civil status register and records retained at the representative mission.

In case the verification is required, the representative mission shall, within 02 working days as of the receipt of complete application dossiers for re-registration of birth/death/marriage, send a written request for verification to Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Within 05 working days as of receipt of written request for verification, Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall provide the representative mission with verification results.

In case a civil status register is still retained at the representative mission or Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the representative mission shall instruct the applicant for re-registration of birth/death/marriage to carry out procedures for issuance of copy of civil status extract as regulated.

3. Application dossiers and procedures for birth re-registration shall be governed by regulations in Article 26 of Decree No. 123/2015/ND-CP and Articles 9, 10 of Circular No. 15/2015/TT-BTP.

Application dossiers and procedures for re-registration of marriage/death shall be governed by regulations in Articles 27, 28 of Decree No. 123/2015/ND-CP.

Article 14. Recording of birth registration in civil status register

The representative mission in charge of consular region where the child’s parent resides or where the child was born shall record in the civil status register the registration of birth of the child who is a Vietnamese citizen and has birth registered at competent authority in a foreign country as referred to in Article 49 of the Law on civil status.

Article 15. Recording of marriage registration in civil status register

1. The recording of marriage of a Vietnamese citizen, which has been handled by an overseas competent authority, in civil status register (hereinafter referred to as marriage note) shall be governed by regulations in Article 34 of Decree No. 123/2015/ND-CP.

2. The representative mission in the consular region where the Vietnamese citizen resides shall take marriage note.

3. The application for marriage note consists of:

a) The application form for marriage note (using the regulated form);

b) Document certifying the marriage, issued by a competent authority in foreign country.

c) A Vietnamese citizen who has got a divorce or has his/her marriage dissolved at an competent authority abroad must submit the extract of divorce note.

4. The period for handling an application for marriage note shall not exceed 05 working days from the receipt of complete application dossiers; if the verification is required, the period shall not exceed 10 working days.

5. The consul shall record in the civil status register if the application for recording of the marriage in civil status register meets conditions mentioned in Article 34 of Decree No. 123/2015/ND-CP. The representative mission’s head shall issue the original extract of marriage note to the applicant.

6. If the marriage is one of the cases prescribed in Clause 1 Article 36 of Decree No. 123/2015/ND-CP, the representative mission’s head shall reject the application for recording of that marriage in civil status register by giving a written notice, in which reasons thereof are specified, to the applicant.

Article 16. Recording of divorce/ dissolution of marriage handled at a competent authority abroad in civil status register

1. The divorce/ dissolution of marriage of a Vietnamese citizen, which has been handled by a competent authority in foreign country, shall be recorded in civil status register at the representative mission if it meets all requirements prescribed in Clause 1 Article 37 of Decree No. 123/2015/ND-CP.

2. The representative mission in consular region where the Vietnamese citizen resides shall record the divorce/ dissolution of marriage for that Vietnamese citizen (hereinafter referred to as divorce note) in the civil status register.

The representative mission in consular region where the Vietnamese citizen resides shall record the divorce/ dissolution of marriage for that Vietnamese citizen (hereinafter referred to as divorce note) in the civil status register.

3. The application for divorce note consists of:

- The application form for divorce note (using the regulated form);

- The copy of judgment/decision on divorce/ dissolution of marriage, effective divorce settlement agreement or other document recognizing the divorce, issued by a competent authority in foreign country (hereinafter referred to as divorce papers).

4. Within 05 working days as of the receipt of complete application dossiers, the consul shall check received application dossiers. If the application for divorce note complies with regulations of the Law on marriage and family of Vietnam and divorce papers are not in the list of judgments and decisions on divorce/ dissolution of marriage issued by competent authorities abroad and enforced in Vietnam or there is no request for rejecting the application for divorce note posted on the portal of Ministry of Justice, the consul shall record it in the civil status register. The representative mission’s head shall issue the original extract of marriage note to the applicant.

The required verification may be carried out within 10 days, if necessary.

If an application for divorce note fails to satisfy regulated conditions, the representative mission shall reject that application and inform the applicant thereof.

5. Updating information of divorce note:

a) In case the marriage has been registered at a Vietnamese civil status registration agency, the representative mission shall, after taking divorce note, send a notice enclosed with the extract of divorce note (duplicate) to Ministry of Foreign Affairs to request that civil status registration agency to take notes in relevant civil status register.

b) In case the marriage has been registered at another representative mission, the representative mission taking divorce note shall send a notice enclosed with the extract of divorce note (duplicate) to the previous representative mission to take notes in relevant civil status register.

Article 17. Recording of the guardianship, recognition of parent-child relationship, parent and child identification, child adoption, death registration and other civil status changes, which have been handled by competent authorities abroad, of Vietnamese citizens in civil status register

1. The representative mission in the consular region where a Vietnamese citizen resides shall record the guardianship, recognition of parent-child relationship, parent and child identification, child adoption, death registration or other civil status changes, which have been handled by competent authorities abroad, of that Vietnamese citizen in civil status register (hereinafter referred to as note of other vital events).

2. The application for note of other vital events consists of:

a. The application form (using the regulated form);

b. The copy of document proving the vital event has been handled by a competent authority abroad.

3. The consul shall take note of that vital event in the civil status register upon the receipt of complete application dossiers as regulated. The representative mission’s head shall grant an extract of note of vital events registered at competent authority abroad.

If the verification is required, the period for handling an application for note of other vital events shall not exceed 03 working days.

Article 18. Issuance of copies of civil status extracts

1. The representative mission that retaining civil status register shall grant copies of civil status extracts at the request of individuals, competent organizations or authorities.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall be responsible for issuing copy of civil status extract the person who has carried out the civil registration at the representative mission but currently resides in Vietnam.

2. Upon the receipt of an application for issuance of copy of civil status extract, the representative mission's head shall issue a copy of civil status extract to that applicant. If an application is submitted after 15:00 PM, it shall be handled in the following working day.

3. The issuance of copies of civil status extracts by Ministry of Foreign Affairs is also governed by regulations in Clause 2 of this Article.

In case Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not receive civil status register handed over by the representative mission for retention, Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall, upon the receipt of an application, request the representative mission to provide relevant information. The representative mission must respond to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs within 03 working days as of receipt of request for verification. Ministry of Foreign Affairs must grant a copy of civil status extract to the applicant within 03 working days as of receipt of response from the representative mission.

Article 19. Issuance of marital status certificate

1. The representative mission in consular region where Vietnamese citizen resides shall issue marital status certificate to that Vietnamese citizen to serve his/her marital purpose or other legal purposes.

2. The applicant for issuance of marital status certificate must submit the following documents:

a) The application form for ussuance of marital status certificate (using the regulated form);

b) The applicant must submit the copy of effective divorce paper if he/she has got married but divorced; if his/her spouse died, the copy of death certificate or document proving his/her spouse’s death must be submitted.

The copy of extract of divorce note must be submitted if the application is in cases prescribed in Clause 1 Article 17 herein.

c) If the application for issuance of marital status certificate is to register the marriage at a competent authority abroad, the following documents must be submitted:

- Marital status certificate issued by communal-level people’s committee where the applicant who is a Vietnamese citizen has permanently resided before immigration if he/she was of marriageable age as referred to by regulations of the Law on marriage and family of Vietnam before immigration; in case a Vietnamese citizen has registered his/her marriage before immigration but he/she gets divorce or his/her spouse dies while he/she is living abroad, regulations in Point b Clause 2 of this Article shall apply.

- Marital status certificates issued by representative missions in consular regions where a Vietnamese citizen has resided if he/she has resided in different regions. If a person can not apply for marital status certificates issued by competent authorities in regions where he/she has resided, he/she must submit a written commitment on his/her marital status during his/her residence in those regions and shall assume responsibility before the law for his/her committed contents.

3. The applicant for issuance of marital status certificate to serve his/her marital purpose must meet all of conditions to get married as referred to by regulations of the Law on marriage and family of Vietnam.

4. Within 03 working days as of the receipt of complete and valid application dossiers, the consul shall, on the basis of civil status register and records kept at the representative mission, check the marital status of the applicant, record information in the register of marital status certificates and issue 01 original marital status certificate to the applicant if he/she finds that all conditions are satisfied and the application for issuance of marital status certificate is in conformity with the law regulations.

If a marital status certificate is issued to serve a purpose other than marital purpose, the number of marital status certificate shall be issued as requested by the applicant.

5. Contents of a marital status certificate shall be specified as regulated in Article 25 of the Circular No. 15/2015/TT-BTP.

If an application for issuance of marital status certificate is to register the marriage at a competent authority abroad, the representative mission only certifies the marital status of the applicant up to the date of application.

If an application for issuance of marital status certificate is to register the marriage in Vietnam or to serve other purposes, the representative mission shall base on the application status and requests of the applicant to issue a marital status certificate to certify the marital status of the applicant up to the date of application or for a definite period.

Chapter III

MANAGEMENT OF CIVIL STATUS REGISTERS, CIVIL STATUS PAPERS, VITAL STATISTICS AND REPORTS

Article 20. Management and use of civil status registers and civil status papers

Guidelines for recording information in civil status registers and civil status papers; the management and use of civil status registers are regulated in Section 2 Chapter II of Decree No. 123/2015/ND-CP, Circular No. 15/2015/TT-BTP and the following regulations:

- Civil status registers shall be closed in December 31st annually. In case a closed civil status register has many unused pages, the representative mission may use that register to record vital events registered in the following year. Ordinal numbers of vital events registered in the following year shall be restarted.

- After closing a civil status register, the representative mission must send a certified copy of closed civil status register to Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Article 21. Retention of civil registration dossiers

Civil registration dossiers must be numbered in corresponding with registration numbers in civil status registers, arranged in order and kept at representative missions in accordance with regulations of laws on archives.

Article 22. Vital statistics and reports

1. Representative missions must send reports on civil registration status and vital statistics to Ministry of Foreign Affairs for aggregating and sending to Ministry of Justice.

2. Before March 01st of every year, representative missions must send reports on civil registration status and vital statistics of previous year to Ministry of Foreign Affairs for aggregating and sending to Ministry of Justice.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall send aggregated report on civil registration and vital statistics at representative missions to Ministry of Justice before March 15th.

3. This Circular is enclosed with the form of vital statistics prepared by representative missions and the form of aggregated vital statistics prepared and sent by Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Ministry of Justice.

Chapter IV

IMPLEMENTATION PROVISIONS

Article 23. Effect

1. This Joint Circular takes effect on August 15, 2016.

2. This Joint Circular shall replace for the following legislative documents:

a) The Joint Circular No. 11/2008/TTLT-BTP-BNG dated December 31, 2008 by Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Foreign Affairs guiding the implementation of regulations in the Government's Decree No. 158/2005/ND-CP dated December 27, 2005 providing for registration and management of civil status by overseas Vietnamese diplomatic missions and consular offices;

b) The Joint Circular No. 06/2012/TTLT-BTP-BNG dated June 19, 2012 amending a number of regulations of the Joint Circular No. 11/2008/TTLT-BTP-BNG dated December 31, 2008 by Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Foreign Affairs guiding the implementation of regulations in the Government's Decree No. 158/2005/ND-CP dated December 27, 2005 providing for registration and management of civil status by overseas Vietnamese diplomatic missions and consular offices.

2. Difficulties that arise during the implementation of this Joint Circular should be reported to Ministry of Foreign Affairs for consideration in cooperation with Ministry of Foreign Affairs./.

For the Minister of Justice

The Deputy Minister

Nguyen Khanh Ngoc

For the Minister of Foreign Affairs

The Deputy Minister

Vu Hong Nam

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Department of International Cooperation, The Supreme People’s Court of Viet Nam
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Email: phapluatquocte@toaan.gov.vn or hunglm@toaan.gov.vn
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