MARRIAGE IN VIETNAM
Disclaimer: The following information relating to marriage
requirements of specific foreign countries is provided for general information
only and may not be accurate in a particular case. Questions involving
interpretations of specific foreign laws should be addressed to foreign
attorneys or foreign government officials.
Marriages performed abroad are conducted in accordance with the laws
of the foreign country. US Foreign Service officers are not permitted
to perform marriages (Title 22, Code of Federal Regulations 52.1). The
validity of marriages abroad is not dependent upon the presence of a
US diplomatic or consular officer, but upon adherence to the laws of
the country where the marriage is performed. Marriages abroad are subject
to the residency and documentation requirements of the country in which
the marriage is performed. In general, marriages which are legally performed
and valid abroad are also legally valid in the United States. Inquiries
regarding the validity of a marriage abroad should be directed to the
attorney general of the state in the United States where the parties
to the marriage live.
Vietnamese Marriage Requirements:
Any application for marriage between a citizen of a foreign country
and a Vietnamese citizen residing in Ho Chi Minh City should be filed
in persons at the Principal Registrar's Office (Justice Department,
Ho Chi Minh City). If the Vietnamese citizen is residing elsewhere,
we suggest that you contact that person to inquire where an application
for marriage may be filed. It is our understanding that non-Vietnamese
citizens are required to present the following documents.
1. An application for marriage legally registered (the form is available
at the Principal Registrar's Office);
2. A notarized, authenticated photocopy of your passport;
3. An authenticated copy of your birth certificate;
4. A notarized, photocopy of your visa registered at the city policy
headquarters in Vietnam (exit/entry control office);
5. Medical certificates for marriage;
6. An authenticated statement from the local registrar of marriage
documents from your state of residence attesting to the fact that there
is no record of a previous marriage in your state of residence for two
7. An authenticated copy of a death certificate or divorce decree
terminating any previous marriage.
8. A certificate of no impediment to marriage.
Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage:
Many countries require persons who wish to marry to provide proof
issued by a governmental authority that there is no legal impediment
to the marriage. There is no such authority in the United States.
The Department of States does not issue any statement or authorization
regarding whether a person living in the United States is free to marry
abroad. No such document exists in the United States. In the United
States, marriage laws are enacted by the governments of the individual
states, and there is no federal (national) marriage law or federal record
of marriages. The laws of the several states with regard to marriage
differ, and the stipulations for, or impediments to marriage vary widely.
Marriage licenses in the United States are granted upon written application
by the individuals concerned who declare themselves free to marry and
are required to present evidence of the termination of any previous
marriage. Thus the individuals concerned are held responsible for and
accountable for their statements. Since 1888, US regulations have reflected
that US consular officers are not competent to certify officially as
to the civil status of persons domiciled in the United States and proposing
to be married abroad. Moreover, 22 C.F.R. 52.3 provides that although
a consular officer may have knowledge respecting the laws of marriage,
the consular officer shall not issue any official certificate with respect
to such laws.
Affidavit of Eligibility/Freedom to Marry:
Generally, Americans who wish to marry abroad execute a sworn statement
regarding their civil status in the form of an "Affidavit of Eligibility/Freedom
to Marry" before a consular officer at the US Embassy or Consulate
in the Foreign Country. In the absence of a state or national certificate
of no impediment to marry, this sworn statement seems to satisfy foreign
Completing the Affidavit of Eligibility/Freedom to Marry for
Use in Vietnam:
The following information is drawn from experiences provided by persons
who have been married in Vietnam. Essentially, a US citizen wishing
to marry in Vietnam must execute an affidavit of eligibility to marry.
This may be accomplished before a US consular officer in Hanoi or before
a notary public in the United States.
1. Sworn Statement before a US consular officer: The US citizen may
appear before any consular officer at the US Embassy in Hanoi located
at 7 Lang Ha, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, Vietnam, and execute an Affidavit
of Eligibility to Marry. The signature and the notarizing consular officer
and the US Embassy seal must then be authenticated by the Consular Department
of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs located at 6 Chu Van An Street, Hanoi,
open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:00 to 11:30 am.
2. Notarized Statement Executed in the United States: The US citizen
may prepare a statement of eligibility to marry and have it notarized
before a notary public in the United States. That person would then
follow the procedures outlined in "Authentication (or Legalization)
of Documents for Use Abroad" in obtaining further certification
from his state's Secretary of State, the Authentications Office of the
US Department of State (515 23 rd Street, NW SA-1, Washington, DC 20520),
and the Vietnamese Embassy (1233 20 th Street, NW - Suite 501, Washington,
DC 20036, tel. (202) 861-0737.)
3. Authenticated Statement from Local Registrar in Your State of Residence:
As noted in item 6, above, Vietnamese authorities apparently also require
that foreigners wishing to marry present a statement issued by the local
office responsible for marriage records in their state of residence
in the United States. This statement should reflect the absence of any
marriage record for that individual for the past two years. The state
or local registrar's statement must be authenticated in accordance with
the procedures set forth in the enclosed information flyer regarding
authentication of documents. This means that the document must be authenticated
by the state Secretary of State's office, by the US Department of State's
Authentications Office and by the Vietnamese Embassy (addresses provided
in item 2). Please note the original registrar's statement will not
be accepted by the Vietnamese marriage authorities more than three months
AFTER THE MARRIAGE, THE US CITIZEN MAY PETITION THE VIETNAMNESE
SPOUSE FOR A K3 MARRIAGE VISA.
ALTERNATIVE TO MARRIAGE ABROAD:
Instead of the above procedures, it is possible to file a K1 fiance visa petition
for an alien to enter the United States as the fiancee of an American
citizen. Thus, enabling the parties to marry in the United States. Note
that this is only possible if you have previously physically met your
fiancee. K1 Fiance Visa.
To consult a K3 marriage visa attorney, please call us at (626)
279-5341 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. An attorney in our office
would be happy to assist you.