THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
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SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
Independence - Freedom – Happiness

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No: 12/1999/TT-BTP
Hanoi, June 25, 1999
 
CIRCULAR
GUIDING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A NUMBER OF PROVISIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT’S DECREE No. 83/1998/ND-CP OF OCTOBER 10, 1998 ON CIVIL STATUS REGISTRATION
Pursuant to the Government’s Decree No.38/CP of June 4, 1993 on the functions, tasks, powers and organization of the Ministry of Justice;
Pursuant to the Government’s Decree No.83/1998/ND-CP of October 10, 1998 on civil status registration;
The Ministry of Justice hereby guides the implementation of a number of provisions on civil status registration as follows:
I. CIVIL STATUS REGISTRATION
A. BIRTH REGISTRATION
The birth registration shall comply with the provisions in Articles from 17 to 21 of the Govern-ment’s Decree No.83/1998/ND-CP of October 10, 1998 on civil status registration (hereafter referred to as the Decree).
1. The competence to register births defined in Article 17 of the Decree is effected as follows:
The registration of births for children must be made at the People’s Committees of communes, wards or district towns (hereafter referred to as the commune-level People’s Committee), where the mothers register their permanent residence.
Where a mother has no or has yet got a place of permanent residence registration, but has got a time-limited temporary residence according to the provisions of legislation on residence registration, the commune-level People’s Committee in the locality where the mother has registered her temporary residence for a given period of time shall effect the registration of birth for the child.
Where a mother has got a place of permanent residence registration, but, for plausible reasons, is unable to return to such place to register the birth for her child, the commune-level People’s Committee in the locality where the child is born shall effect the birth registration; in this case, the mother shall have to file an application clearly explaining the reasons why she could not return to her place of permanent residence registration for the registration of her child’s birth. After making the birth registration and issuing an original of the child’s birth certificate, the People’s Committee of the commune where the child’s birth has been registered shall send a notice and a copy of the child’s birth certificate to the People’s Committee of the commune where the mother has registered her permanent residence. The People’s Committee of the commune where the mother has registered her permanent residence shall make recording in the birth register; the serial number, the date of registration, the full name and title of the person who has signed the birth certificate and the full name of the juridical-civil status official must be recorded in strict accordance with the contents of the birth certificate copy. In the "Ghi chu" (notes) column of the birth register, the following "Da dang ky khai sinh tai..." (have already registered the birth at...) must be inscribed with the clear statement of the locality (commune, district and province) where the child’s birth has been registered. The subsequent issuance of copies of the birth certificate must be based on this register.
2. When registering birth, the determination of a child’s nationality and family name for writing in the birth certificate shall comply with the provisions of Article 30 and Article 55 of the Civil Code.
3. A child who is born and stays alive for 24 hours or more before he/she dies must also have his/her birth registered; if the person who has the responsibility to register the birth for the child fails to do so, the juridical-civil status official shall have to make the registration at his/her house; if the birth certificate is not requested, it shall not be issued; in the "Ghi chu" (notes) column of the birth register, the "tre chet so sinh" (the child died infant) must be clearly inscribed for statistical purposes.
4. In case of registration of birth for an abandoned child, if the place where the record of the abandonment is made is different from the place where the child is abandoned, the commune-level People’s Committee of the place where the record is made shall have to coordinate with the commune-level People’s Committee of the place where the child is abandoned in carefully inspecting the observance of the provisions of Article 21 of the Decree; if the procedures are complete, the registration shall be effected.
The record of the abandonment of a child must contain the following details: day, month, year and location of discovering the child; the sex, weight, identity characteristics, property and other objects of the child (if any); the full name, address and identity card of the person who has discovered the child.
5. Within 30 days after the birth registration, if any error is detected in the birth certificate as the result of miswriting by the juridical-civil status official or wrong declaration by the involved person, the commune-level People’s Committee of the locality where the birth is registered may issue a new birth certificate to the involved person; the former certificate with error must be recovered and destroyed; the registration number, day, month and year of the new birth certificate must be the same as those in the former certificate; in the "Ghi chu"(notes) column of the birth register, the adjustment of day, month and year of effection must be additionally inscribed and the adjusted contents shall be stamped with a seal.
For errors detected beyond the above-said time limit, if the involved person wish to adjust them, he/she shall have to fill in the procedures for civil status corrections according to the provisions in Articles from 52 to 55 of the Decree and the provisions at Point G, Section I of this Circular.
B. MARRIAGE REGISTRATION
The registration of marriage shall comply with the provisions in Articles from 22 to 26 of the Decree.
1. The competence to register marriages according to the provisions in Article 22 of the Decree shall be effected as follows:
The registration of marriage must be made at the commune-level People’s Committee in the locality where the permanent residence of either the male or female party is registered.
Where both the male and female parties have no or have not yet got their places of permanent residence registration, but have got the time-limited temporary residence registration according to the provisions of legislation on residence registration, the commune-level People’s Committee of the locality where either of the couple has registered his or her time-limited temporary residence shall effect the registration of marriage.
Where both the male and female parties are Vietnamese citizens who are studying, laboring or working for given periods of time in foreign countries, have disregarded their permanent residence registrations and now return to the country applying for registration of their marriage, the commune-level People’s Committee of the locality where the parents of either of the couple have registered their permanent residence shall effect the marriage registration.
2. The certification of marital status in the marriage certificate must be effected by the commune-level People’s Committee of the locality where the involved person registers his/her permanent residence; if the involved person has no or has not yet got a place of permanent residence registration but has got the time-limited temporary residence registration according to the provisions of the legislation on residence registration, the commune-level People’s Committee of the locality where the involved person has registered his/her time-limited temporary residence shall make such certification after verifying the marital status of the involved person before the time of his/her temporary residence in the locality.
Where the involved person is an official, employee or laborer working at a Party or State agency, a socio-political organization, a State enterprise or is serving in the People’s Armed Forces unit, the certification of the marital status in the marriage certificate shall be made by the head of his/her agency or unit.
The certification of marital status should be written according to the following contents:
Mr.(Ms.)....... (writing clearly the full name) has the permanent/temporary residence registration at....... (or is working at.......), is at present not married to anyone. This is the...... marriage (clearly writing the time of marriage).
3. Where both the male and female parties work at the same agency or unit or reside in the same locality (commune, ward, district town) and request the registration of their marriage, only one declaration for marriage certificate is filled in.
4. Persons applying for marriage registration, who are Vietnamese citizens studying, laboring or working for given periods of time in foreign countries, and now return home to apply for their marriage registration, must obtain the certification by the Vietnamese diplomatic missions or consulates in the foreign countries where they are studying, laboring or working of their marital status during their stays in such foreign countries and the certification by the commune-level People’s Committees of the localities where they had previously registered their permanent residences of their marital status before leaving abroad, if the place of marriage registration is different from the place of previous permanent residence registration.
5. The public written notice on the application for marriage registration at the office of the commune-level People’s Committee must contain the following contents: the full names, dates of birth, native places, permanent/temporary residence places, identity cards/ valid substitute papers of both the male and female parties, and the following inscription:
"Within 7 days after the public notice is posted up, if no complaint or denunciation is made against this marriage as being illegal, the People’s Committee shall effect the marriage registration".
6. While the marriage registration is being processed and either party or both parties withdraw the dossiers of application for registration of their marriage, the commune-level People’s Committee shall return the dossiers, but the involved persons shall not be refunded the fees.
C. DEATH REGISTRATION
The death registration shall comply with the provisions in Articles from 27 to 34 of the Decree.
1. The death-registering competence defined in Clauses from 1 to 4 of Article 27 of the Decree shall be effected as follows:
The death registration must be effected at the commune-level People’s Committee where the dead person registered his/her permanent residence; if the dead person has had no place of permanent residence registration but the time-limited temporary residence registration according to the provisions of legislation on residence registration, the commune-level People’s Committee where the dead person made his/her time-limited temporary residence registration shall effect the registration of death.
The death registration at the commune-level People’s Committee of the locality where the person has died shall be effected in the following cases:
- The dead person has neither place of permanent residence registration nor place of time-limited temporary residence registration;
- The dead person’s place of last residence cannot be identified;
- No traces of the dead person can be found.
2. A newborn who stays alive for 24 hours or more before he/she dies must also have his/her death registered; if the person who would have to make such registration fails to do so, the juridical-civil status official shall make the registration at such person’s house; no death certificate shall be issued if it is not so requested; in the "Ghi chu" (notes) of the death register, the following " the child dies infant" must be inscribed for statistical purpose.
3. When making death registration for an unidentified dead person, the commune-level People’s Committee shall have to fully comply with the procedures defined in Article 31 of the Decree. The minutes certifying the status of the unidentified dead person must be regular and contain the following details: day, month, year and location of discovering the dead person; sex, identity characteristics, property and other objects of the dead person (if any); the full name, address and identity card of the person who discovered the dead person. In the "Ghi chu" (notes) column of the death register, the burial location and the serial number of the grave card (if any) must be clearly inscribed; columns without details shall be left blank.
Where the trace of the dead person is detected and his/her relatives are identified after the death registration and burial, the commune-level People’s Committee where the death is registered shall additionally fill the necessary information in the blank columns in the death register and issue the death certificate to the relatives of the dead person.
4. The death notice defined in Clause 1, Article 33 of the Decree, shall be sent to the commune-level People’s Committee which is competent to make the death registration under the guidance at Point C.1, Section I of this Circular.
D. REGISTRATION OF CHILD ADOPTION
The registration of child adoption shall comply with the provisions in Articles from 35 to 40 of the Decree.
1. The competence to register child adoption defined in Article 35 of the Decree shall be effected as follows:
The child adoption registration must be effected at the commune-level People’s Committee where the child adoptor or the adopted child has his/her permanent residence registered.
Where both have no or have not yet got the places of permanent residence registration, but have the time-limited temporary residence registration according to the provisions of legislation on residence registration, the commune-level People’s Committee of the locality where the child adoptor or the adopted child has his/her time-limited temporary residence registered shall effect the adoption registration.
The place of residence of an abandoned newborn who is accepted as an adopted child is determined according to the place of residence of the fostering person or organization.
2. The written consent to let the child to be adopted must be signed by the natural parents of the child to be accepted as the adoptive child, even when they have already been divorced; if the father or the mother is declared missing or losing his or her civil act capacity by the court, only the signature of the other person is needed.
Where the natural parents are dead or declared missing or losing their civil act capacity by the court, the guardian may sign such written consent; if it is the appointed guardian, the opinion of the person, agency or organization that has appointed the guardian is also required.
Where the person to be adopted is an abandoned child living in a medical establishment or a fostering center, the written consent shall be signed by the head of such medical establishment or fostering center; if it is discovered that such child still has the father and/or mother, the written consent must also be signed by the father and/or mother.
Besides the above-mentioned subjects, no one or organization, including the foster parents, have the right to sign the written consent to the child adoption.
3. Before registering the child adoption, the commune-level People’s Committee shall have to examine and verify the dossiers of application for the child adoption in accordance with the provisions of law, with special attention being paid to the following points:
a/ The voluntariness and legality of the give and take in the child adoption;
b/ The status of the child adoptor;
c/ The purpose of the child adoption;
d/ The origin of the abandoned child to be accepted as the adoptive child.
4. The notice posted up at the office of the commune-level People’s Committee and the announcement on the mass media in cases where the child to be adopted has the unclear origin must have the following details: day, month, year and location of discovery; the sex, weight, identity characteristics, property and other objects of the child (if any) and the adoption of such child. The information on the child adoptor shall not be posted up or publicized.
5. The consent of the to be-adopted person who is full 9 years or older must be evidenced with the inscription "Dong y" (consent) and the signature in the written consent to the child adoption (according to the set form); if the child is illiterate, the juridical-civil status official shall have to read and explain clearly the child adoption; if the child agrees, he/she shall have to press his/her fingerprints instead of signing on the written consent.
6. Where an abandoned child is to be adopted, after the decision on such child adoption takes effect, the commune-level People’s Committees of the locality where the child’s birth is registered shall write the names of the persons recognized to be the foster parents in the sections on the father and mother in the birth certificate and the birth register; in the "Ghi chu" (notes) column of the birth register, the following "cha, me nuoi" (foster father, mother) must be clearly inscribed.
7. Where the foster parents wish to terminate the child adoption, they must carry out the procedures for the termination thereof according to the provisions of law, and must not terminate the child adoption at their own will or hand over the adopted child to other people.
E. REGISTRATION OF GUARDIANSHIP
The registration of guardianship shall comply with the provisions in Articles from 41 to 46 of the Decree.
1. The competence for guardianship registration defined in Article 41 of the Decree shall be effected as follows:
The guardianship registration must be effected at the commune-level People’s Committee of the locality where the guardian registers his/her permanent residence or where the agency or organization undertaking the guardianship is headquartered.
Where the guardian is an individual who has no or has not yet got the place of permanent residence registration, but has the time-limited temporary residence registration according to the provisions of legislation on residence registration, the commune-level People’s Committee of the locality where the guardian registers his/her definite temporary residence shall effect the registration of guardianship.
Where an agency or organization appoints its representative to undertake the guardianship, the competence for guardianship registration shall comply with the above provision.
2. When the guardianship is registered, if the paper of guardian appointment states the personal property of the ward, the decision recognizing the guardian must inscribe the list of property handed over to the guardian for management and the status of such property.
In this case, when the guardianship is altered or terminated, the decision recognizing the termination of guardianship must also inscribe the list of existing property and their status; if the dispute over the ward’s property has not yet been settled by the court, the commune-level People’s Committee shall not register the guardianship alteration or termination.
F. REGISTRATION OF RECOGNITION OF FATHERS, MOTHERS, CHILDREN
The recognition of fathers, mothers and/or children shall comply with the provisions in Articles from 47 to 51 of the Decree.
1. The competence to register the recognition of fathers, mothers and/or children defined in Article 47 of the Decree shall be effected as follows:
The recognition of fathers, mothers and children must be registered at the commune-level People’s Committees of the localities where the children register their permanent residence.
Where the children do not have or have not yet got the place of permanent residence registration but have the time-limited temporary residence registration according to the provisions of legislation on residence registration, the commune-level People’s Committees of the localities where the children register their time-limited temporary residence registration shall register the recognition of fathers, mothers and/or children.
Where the children have neither the place of permanent residence registration nor the place of time-limited temporary residence registration, the commune-level People’s Committees of the localities where the children are living shall register the recognition of fathers, mothers and/or children.
2. The registration of father, mother or child recognition shall only be effected in cases where the recognizer and the recognized as being father, mother or child are still alive by the time of registration.
3. Where a father or a mother registers to recognize his or her child, the application for child recognition must be evidenced with the consent of the other person except where such person has been declared missing or losing her or his civil act capacity.
4. Where a child registers to recognize his/her father or mother, the application for father or mother recognition must be evidenced with the consents of the person who is his/her current mother or father and of the person recognized as father or mother; if the current mother or father has been declared missing or losing her or his civil act capacity, the consent of such person is not required.
5. The consent of a child recognized as son or daughter aged full 9 or more must be indicated by the inscription "Dong y" (Agreed) and his or her signature in the application (according to the set form); if the child is illiterate, the juridical-civil status official shall have to read the application and explain that he or she is to be recognized as son or daughter; if the child agrees, he or she shall press his or her finger-prints on the application instead of the signature.
The above regulations also apply to cases where children aged from full 9 to under 15 apply for recognition of fathers or mothers.
6. The notice posted up at the office of the commune-level People’s Committee must contain the following details: the full names, dates of birth, native places, places of permanent/temporary residence of both the recognizer and the recognized as being the father, mother or son/daughter and the father, mother or child recognition.
G. REGISTRATION OF CHANGES OF FAMILY NAMES, GIVEN NAMES, MIDDLE NAMES; CORRECTION OF FAMILY NAMES, GIVEN NAMES, MIDDLE NAMES, DAYS, MONTHS AND/OR YEARS OF BIRTH; REDETERMINATION OF NATIONALITY
The change of family names, given names and/or middle names; the correction of family names, given names and/or middle names, days, months and/or years of birth; the redetermination of nationality (hereafter referred to as civil status change and correction, redetermination of natioinality) shall comply with the provisions in Articles from 52 to 55 of the Decree.
1. The provisions in Article 52 of the Decree on the provincial-level People’s Committee’s competence to register civil status changes and corrections as well as the redetermination of nationality shall be implemented as follows:
The registration of civil status changes and corrections as well as the redetermination of nationality shall be effected at the provincial-level People’s Committee of the locality where the applicant has registered his/her permanent residence or where he/she had his/her birth formerly registered.
Where the involved person has no or has not yet got a place of permanent residence registration, but has the time-limited temporary residence registration according to the provisions of legislation on residence registration, the provincial-level People’s Committee of the locality where the time-limited temporary residence is registered shall also have the competence to effect the civil status change and correction as well as the redetermination of nationality of such person.
2. The civil status correction, particularly the correction of birth days, months and/or years shall only be made for cases where there are enough grounds to confirm that the errors were made in the birth registration due to miswriting by the juridical-civil status officials or misdeclaration by the involved persons. Where a civil status correction in a birth certificate is requested by a person who deliberately makes false correction of previously registered details in order to legalize his/her available personal dossiers or papers, such request shall not be met.
3. The applicant for civil status changes and/or corrections or the redetermination of nationality shall, in principle, have to produce the original of the birth certificate; if the birth certificate original was lost, it can be replaced by the birth certificate copy made from the original book, issued for not more than 3 months. For this case, only the provincial-level People’s Committee of the locality where the involved person previously registered his/her birth can register such civil status changes and/or corrections or such redetermination of nationality.
4. When writing the changed or corrected details in the birth certificate, attention should be paid to the following:
a/ Only writing the changed and/or corrected details at the back, not at the front of the original of the birth certificate;
b/ For former model forms of birth certificate and the birth certificate copies from the original book, which have no sections for notes on civil status changes and corrections at the back of the birth certificates, the provincial/municipal Justice Services shall base themselves on the contents of the model form issued together with the Justice Minister’s Decision No.1203/QD/TP-HT of December 26, 1998 to write the changed and/or corrected details.
After the civil status changes and/or corrections are noted down in the birth certificate originals or the birth certificate copies from the original books and the birth registers, the birth certificate copies shall be issued according to the changed contents.
5. Where a child applies for the change of his/her family name from the father’s family name to his/her mother’s family name or for redetermination of his/her nationality from the father’s to the mother’s nationality, or vice versa, the consents of both his/her father and mother are required.
6. The change and/or correction of other details in the birth certificate shall also comply with the provisions in Articles from 52 to 55 of the Decree and the provisions at Point G, Section I of this Circular.
7. The requests for correction in other civil status papers (other than the birth certificate) shall not be subject to the regulation of Point G, Section I of this Circular. Where an involved person asks for the correction in such papers, the People’s Committee which previously issued such civil status papers shall base itself on the birth certificate original or the birth certificate copy from the original book of the involved person, issued for less than 3 months, to make the appropriate correction.
H. BOOK ENTRY OF OTHER CIVIL STATUS CHANGES
The book entry of other civil status changes shall comply with the provisions in Articles from 56 to 58 of the Decree.
1. When making book entry of other civil status changes, attention should be paid to some following points:
a/ Divorces and annulment of illegal marriage shall be recorded in the "Ghi chu" (Notes) column of the marriage register;
b/ The change of citizenship shall be recorded in the "Ghi chu"(Notes) column of the birth register;
c/ The determination of fathers, mothers, children shall be recorded in the "Ghi chu" (Notes) of the children’ birth registers;
d/ Decisions on declaration of missing, losing civil act capacity, the restriction of civil act capacity, the restriction of parents’ rights toward their minor children shall be temporarily not recorded in books, but only kept at the commune-level People’s Committees of the localities where the involved persons are residing for management and monitoring.
2. When recording in books things mentioned at Points a, b and c above, the juridical-civil status officials shall have to clearly record the changed contents, serial numbers of the decisions, days, months and years of issuing decisions, agencies issuing decisions and persons signing the decisions.
3. When recording in books the determination of fathers, mothers or children based on decisions of the People’s Committees or courts, the juridical-civil status officials shall have to add the names of the fathers or mothers into the children’ birth registers and the children’s birth certificates, if such have been left blank. Where such sections of the birth registers and the birth certificates had been previously filled with the names of other people, the involved persons shall have to carry out the procedures applying for civil status changes or corrections according to the provisions in Articles from 52 to 55 of the Decree and the provisions at Point G, Section I of this Circular.
I. OVERDUE REGISTRATION, RE-REGISTRATION
The overdue registration of births or deaths and the re-registration of births, deaths, marriages and child adoptions shall comply with the provisions in Articles from 59 to 67 of the Decree.
1. Competence to effect the overdue registration of births and deaths prescribed in Article 60 of the Decree shall be effected as follows:
The overdue registration of birth and death must be effected at the commune-level People’s Committee where the involved person registers his/her permanent residence.
Where the involved person has no or has not yet got the place of permanent residence registration but has the time-limited temporary residence registration according to the provisions of legislation on residence registration, the commune-level People’s Committee of the locality where the involved person registers his/her time-limited temporary residence shall effect the overdue registration of birth or death.
2. The competence to effect the re-registration of births, deaths, marriages and child adoptions defined in Article 64 of the Decree shall be effected as follows:
The re-registration of birth, death, marriage and child adoption must be effected at the commune-level People’s Committee of the locality where the involved person has registered his/her permanent residence or his/her previous civil status.
Where the applicant for the re-registration of birth, death, marriage or child adoption has no or not yet got the permanent residence registration, but has the time-limited temporary residence registration according to the provisions of legislation on residence registration, the commune-level People’s Committee of the locality where the involved person has registered his/her time-limited temporary residence registration shall effect the re-registration of birth, death, marriage or child adoption.
3. When effecting overdue registration or re-registration, a seal must be put under the heading of the overdue registration or the re-registration form according to the following samples:
- The overdue registration seal sample is:

 

OVERDUE REGISTERED
- The re-registration seal sample is:

 

RE REGISTERED
Such seal samples must be in smaller letters than the headings of the civil status papers.
4. When making the overdue registration or re-registration of birth, the contents of the birth declaration must be recorded strictly according to the time of birth; particularly the day, month and year recorded in the birth register and the birth certificate shall be recorded according to the day, month, year of overdue registration or re-registration.
II. CIVIL STATUS REGISTRATION INVOLVING FOREIGN ELEMENTS
A. REGISTRATION OF BIRTH
The birth registration involving foreign elements shall comply with the provisions in Articles 68, 69, 70 and 74 of the Decree
1. The competence to make birth registration prescribed in Articles 68 and 74 of the Decree shall be effected as follows:
a/ The registration of birth for an infant born in Vietnam, whose father and mother are foreigners or Vietnamese citizens residing overseas shall be effected in accordance with the applicant’s request at the provincial-level People’s Committee of the locality where the child’s parents have registered their permanent residence; in cases where the parents have no permanent residence registration in Vietnam, the provincial-level People’s Committee of the locality where the parents have registered their temporary residence shall effect the registration;
b/ The registration of birth for an infant born in Vietnam with only the father or the mother being foreigner or Vietnamese citizen residing overseas while the other person is a Vietnamese citizen permanently residing in Vietnam shall be effected at the provincial-level People’s Committee of the locality where the mother or the father, who is a Vietnamese citizen, registerers his/her permanent residence. Where the mother or the father has no or not yet got a place of permanent residence registration but the time-limited temporary residence registration according to the provisions of legislation on residence registration, the provincial-level People’s Committee of the locality where such person has the time-limited temporary residence registration shall effect the registration of birth for the child.
2. When registering birth for an infant born in Vietnam with his/her father or mother being a foreign national while the other being a Vietnamese citizen, the written agreement of the parents on the selection of nationality for their child should be checked. Where the parents select the foreign nationality for their child, there must be the certification by the competent State body of the country which the foreigner bears the nationality that the selection of such foreign citizenship for their child conforms to legislation of that country. The written certification must be consularly legalized and translated into Vietnamese; the translation must be notarized according to the provisions of Vietnamese legislation.
B. DEATH REGISTRATION
The death registration involving foreign elements shall comply with the provisions in Articles from 71 to 74 of the Decree.
1. The competence to register death for foreigners prescribed in Article 71 and for Vietnamese citizens residing overseas prescribed in Article 74 of the Decree shall be effected as follows:
The death registration for foreigners or Vietnamese citizens residing overseas who die in Vietnam shall be made according to written applications at the provincial-level People’s Committee of the locality where the dead person’s permanent residence has been registered; if the dead person has no place of permanent residence registration in Vietnam, his/her death shall be registered at the provincial-level People’s Committee of the locality where such person has registered his/her temporary residence.
2. After registering the death in Vietnam of a foreigner or a Vietnamese citizen residing overseas, the provincial/municipal Justice Service shall send to the Consular Department of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs a copy of the death certificate for notification to the competent body of the country which the dead person is the citizen of or for sending to the Vietnamese diplomatic mission and consulate in the foreign country where such Vietnamese citizen resides.
C. REGISTRATION OF MARRIAGE BETWEEN FOREIGNERS
The registration of marriage between foreigners in Vietnam shall comply with the provisions in Articles 76, 77 and 78 of the Decree.
1. The competence to register marriage between foreigners defined in Article 76 of the Decree shall be effected as follows:
The registration of marriage between foreigners shall be effected upon the request of the involved persons at the provincial-level People’s Committee of the locality where the permanent residence of the man or the woman is registered; if both the man and the woman have no permanent residence registration in Vietnam, the registration of their marriage shall be effected at the provincial-level People’s Committee of the locality where either of them has registered the temporary residence.
2. The marriage registration dossier shall be made in two sets for submission to the provincial/municipal Justice Service; each set shall comprise:
a/ The marriage registration declaration (according to the set form) by the man and the woman;
b/ The birth certificate copies or papers certifying the dates of birth of the man and the woman;
c/ The written certification by the competent body(ies)of the country(ies) which the foreigners are citizens that such persons fully meets conditions for marriage and are allowed to register their marriage in Vietnam.
Where the foreigners pemanently residing in Vietnam or having lived in Vietnam continuously till reaching full 18 years of age cannot, for objective reasons, obtain the written certifications by foreign countries as stipulated at Points b and c above, such papers can be substituted by the written certifications by the commune-level People’s Committees of the localities where such people permanently reside.
The papers issued by the foreign competent bodies must be legalized by consular offices, translated into Vietnamese and the translation must be notarized according to the provisions of Vietnamese law.
3. The registration of marriage between foreigners shall be rejected if the marriage falls into one of the cases banned from marriage according to Vietnam’s Law on the Family and Marriage.
D. REGISTRATION OF CIVIL STATUS CHANGES AND/OR CORRECTIONS AS WELL AS THE REDETERMINATION OF NATIONALITY FOR OVERSEAS VIETNAMESE
The registration of civil status changes and/or corrections as well as the redetermination of nationality for overseas Vietnamese shall comply with the provisions of Articles 79, 80 and 81 of the Decree.
1. The competence to register civil status changes and/or corrections as well as the redetermination of nationality for overseas Vietnamese rests with the provincial-level People’s Committee of the locality where the involved persons formerly registered their birth.
2. The applicants for civil status changes and/or corrections as well as the redetermination of their nationality shall, in principle, have to produce the originals of their birth certificates; if the birth certificate originals are lost, they can be substituted by the copies of birth certificates from the original books, which have been issued for not more than 3 months.
3. Where a child applies for the change of his/her family name from his/her father’s family name to his/her mother’s or for the redetermination of his/her nationality from his/her father’s nationality to his/her mother’s or vice versa, the consents of both the father and the mother are required.
4. Where the involved persons are unable to return home to personally carry out the procedures applying for civil status changes and/or corrections or nationality redetermination, they may authorize in writing their relatives in the country to do it.
The letter of authorization must clearly state the full names, dates of birth, places of permanent residence, passports or valid substitutes of the authorizer and the authorized; the authorization contents; the reasons for the authorization; the relations between the authorizer and the authorized. The letter of authorization must be certified by the Vietnamese diplomatic mission or consulate in the country where the concerned overseas Vietnamese are residing. If the involved person is of Vietnamese stock, he/she may obtain the certification from the competent agency of the country which he/she is a citizen of; for this case, the letter of authorization must be consularly legalized, translated into Vietnamese and the translation must be notarized in accordance with the provisions of Vietnamese law.
E. OVERDUE REGISTRATION OF BIRTHS AND DEATHS AND RE-REGISTRATION OF BIRTHS, DEATHS, MARRIAGES AND CHILD ADOPTION FOR OVERSEAS VIETNAMESE
The overdue registration of births and deaths as well as the re-registration of birth, death, marriage and child adoptions (hereafter referred to as the overdue registration and re-registration) for overseas Vietnamese shall comply with the provisions in Articles from 86 to 91 of the Decree.
1. The competence to make the overdue registration prescribed in Article 86 and the re-registration prescribed in Article 89 of the Decree shall be effected as follows:
- For the overdue registration: the overdue registration of birth or death occurring in Vietnam for the overseas Vietnamese shall be carried out at the provincial-level People’s Committee of the locality where such birth or death has occurred.
- For the re-registration: The re-registration of birth, death, marriage and/or child adoption for overseas Vietnamese shall be effected at the provincial-level People’s Committee of the locality where the involved person formerly registered such birth, death, marriage, child adoption or where he/she last resided before his/her departure.
2. In case of overdue registration or re-registration of birth for a person of Vietnamese origin (who has relinquished (lost) his/her Vietnamese nationality), the birth certificate is still inscribed with the Vietnamese nationality. If the involved person produces papers evidencing his/her relinquishment (loss) of Vietnamese nationality, such shall be noted down on the back of the birth certificate.
3. Where the involved person cannot return to the country to personally apply for birth or death overdue registration or re-registration, he/she may authorize his/her relative(s) in the country to do it. The authorization must comply with the provisions at Point D.4, Section II of this Circular.
No authorization for re-registration of marriage or child adoption is accepted.
E. BOOK ENTRY OF CIVIL STATUS CHANGES ALREADY REGISTERED AT FOREIGN COMPETENT BODIES.
The book recording of civil status changes due to marriage, child adoption, divorce or termination of child adoption of Vietnamese citizens, which have been registered or settled at the competent agencies of foreign country(ies) (hereafter referred to as book entry of civil status alterations in foreign countries) shall comply with the provisions in Articles 83, 84 and 85 of the Decree.
1. The following cases shall have to go through procedures of book recording of civil status changes overseas:
a/ Returning to the country for permanent residence, including repatriates;
b/ Having had one’s marriage or child adoption formerly registered in the country;
c/ Other cases at the request for settling in Vietnam the civil status matters related to the civil status changes overseas.
Where the involved person requests book entry of his/her divorce or child adoption termination but the marriage or child adoption was formerly not yet book-recorded in Vietnam, he/she shall have to fill in the procedures for book entry of the marriage or child adoption first before his/her request for book entry of the divorce or child adoption termination is met.
2. The competence to book-record civil status changes overseas prescribed in Article 83 shall be effected as follows:
a/ The provincial-level People’s Committee of the locality where the involved person previously registered his/her marriage or child adoption shall make the book entry of the divorce or child adoption termination overseas.
b/ The provincial-level People’s Committee of the locality where the involved person has registered his/her permanent residence shall make the book entry of civil status changes overseas; if the involved person has no or has not yet got the permanent residence registration but only the time-limited temporary residence registration according to the legislation on residence registration, the provincial-level People’s Committee of the locality where the involved person has registered his/her time-limited temporary residence shall make the book entry thereof.
Where the involved person lives abroad (not permanently residing in Vietnam), the provincial-level People’s Committee of the locality where the involved person had registered his/her permanent residence before leaving the country shall make the book entry of civil status changes overseas.
3. The dossier of application for book entry of civil status changes overseas shall be made in 02 sets to be submitted to the provincial/municipal Justice Service, each comprising the following papers:
a/ The application for book entry of civil status changes overseas (according to set form);
b/ The copy of the passport or the regular substitute paper which is still valid;
c/ Copies of civil status papers should be book-recorded (including marriage certificate, decision to recognize child adoption, judgement/decision on divorce or child adoption termination) with certification of competent foreign agencies. These papers must be consularly legalized, translated into Vietnamese and the translation must be notarized according to the provisions of Vietnamese law.
Where the involved person cannot return to the country to personally carry out the procedures applying for the book entry of civil status alterations overseas, he/she may authorize his/her relative in the country to do it. The authorization must comply with the provisions at Point D.4, Section II of this Circular
If deeming that the dossier, after being examined, is complete and regular, the provincial/municipal Justice Service shall make a report and send it to the Ministry of Justice together with a dossier set.
4. The book-recording of civil status changes overseas shall be effected only after the Ministry of Justice send its written consent to the provincial-level People’s Committee.
5. When book-recording civil status alterations overseas, attention should be paid to some following points:
a/ The marriage and divorce shall be recorded in the marriage register; the child adoption and termination thereof shall be recorded in the child adoption register;
b/ The divorce shall be recorded in the book where the marriage was previously registered; the child adoption termination shall be recorded in the book where the child adoption was formerly registered;
c/ Previous civil status happenings which have not been registered in Vietnam shall be book-recorded anew.
6. After book-recording civil status alterations overseas, the provincial/municipal Justice Service shall notify such in writing to the commune-level People’s Committee of the locality where the involved person formerly registered his/her civil status or where he/she registered his/her permanent residence or time-limited temporary residence for making additional notes on the civil status alterations overseas.
7. The noting in the domestic civil status register of the civil status papers issued by Vietnamese diplomatic missions or consulates overseas as prescribed in Clause 2, Article 82 of the Decree shall be effected as follows:
Vietnamese citizens returning to the country for permanent residence, including repatriates, and being granted civil status papers by Vietnamese diplomatic missions or consulates overseas, shall have to produce them to the commune-level People’s Committee of the locality where the permanent residence is registered for making notes in the civil status book. The book-recording must be made in strict accordance with the contents of the civil status papers issued by Vietnamese diplomatic missions or consulates overseas.
8. The provisions on consular legalization at Points A.2, C.2, D.4 and E.3, Section II of this Circular shall not apply to papers of the competent agencies of the foreign country(ies) which has(have ) signed with the Vietnamese State international agreement(s) which contains provisions on exemption of consular legalization.
III. SOME REGULATIONS ON SUBSTITUTE REGULAR PAPERS
1. In case of lack of the family household residence register as prescribed in Articles 23, 34, 36, 43, 46, 48, 49, 53 and 65 of the Decree, the time-limited temporary residence registration paper or written residence certification of the Police office shall be considered regular paper substituting the family household residence register.
Particularly where a marriage is registered at the place of permanent residence of the father, the mother of the male or female party according to the provisions at Point b, Section I of this Circular, the family household residence register of the father/mother is considered the regular paper substituting the family household residence register of the male or female party.
2. Where there is no passport as prescribed in Articles 69,72,80,85,87 and 90 of the Decree, the laissez- passer shall be considered the regular paper substituting the passport.
IV. ORGANIZATION OF IMPLEMENTATION
A. THE COMMUNE-LEVEL JURIDICAL-CIVIL STATUS OFFICIALS
The appointment of juridical-civil status officials to help the commune-level People’s Committee perform its tasks and exercise its powers in the field of civil status management shall have to comply with the criteria defined in Article 13 of the Decree. Particularly for the criterion of graduation from the senior high-education or higher, in mountain, deep-lying and far-flung communes which meet with difficulty in personnel, the junior high-school graduate may be temporarily appointed, who, however, must be further trained according to plans in order to achieve the prescribed educational level.
B. CIVIL STATUS FORMS AND BOOKS
For civil status forms and books printed and distributed by the Ministry of Justice under Decision No.1203/QD/TP-HT of December 26,1998 of the Justice Minister, before the 15th of October every year, the provincial/municipal Justice Services shall have to submit their respective estimates for the subsequent year so that the Ministry of Justice may work out plan for printing and timely distribution. The provincial/municipal Justice Services and district Justice Bureaus shall have to distribute the civil status forms and books in time, fully meeting the demands of the provincial/municipal as well as district People’s Committees.
For civil status forms and books which the Ministry of Justice only manage in term of their contents, the provincial/municipal Justice Services shall base themselves on the Ministry of Justice’s guidance to print and distribute them in time to civil status registry offices in their respective provinces.
The civil status official of the provincial/municipal Justice Services and the commune-level People’s Committees, when effecting civil status registrations, must not accept forms presented by the involved persons themselves.
The provincial/municipal Justice Services and the district Justice Bureaus shall have to coordinate with concerned agencies in inspecting and strictly dealing with individuals and organizations that circulate civil status forms in contravention of the Ministry of Justice’s regulations.
C. CIVIL STATUS BOOK AND DOSSIER-KEEPING REGIME
1. Civil status books keeping
a/ The civil status register is the original document, serving as legal bases for consultation, copying and granting certificates of personal status for individuals when necessary; hence they must be kept and preserved for a long term and must absolutely not be left damaged or lost.
b/ In principle, the civil status register shall be closed on the 31st of December every year. Basing themselves on the situation of actual use in their respective localities, the directors of the provincial/municipal Justice Services may allow the continued use of the book, half of which has not been used yet in the preceding year. The continued use of books must not last for more than 1 year.
b/ The civil status register keeping shall be effected as follows:
- For books with civil status registrations undertaken by the commune-level People’s Committees:
Right after the closing date of a book, the commune-level People’s Committee shall have to carry out procedures to put 01 of such book in its archive and send the second to the district-level People’s Committee (through the Justice Bureau) before January 15 for keeping at the provincial/municipal Justice Service.
The district-level People’s Committee shall have to examine and collect in full the civil status registers of the commune People’s Committees within the district and send them to the provincial/municipal Justice Service before January 31.
Right after receiving the civil status registers of the commune-level People’s Committees, which have been forwarded by the district-level People’s Committee, the provincial/municipal Justice Service shall have to fill in procedures for putting them into archive.
- For books with civil status registrations undertaken by the provincial-level People’s Committees:
Right after the closing date of books, the provincial Justice Services shall have to carry out the procedures for putting them in their archive
2. Civil status dossiers archiving
The civil status dossiers are all the papers submitted by the involved persons when applying for civil status registration.
In order to serve the consultation and use when necessary, the civil status registration dossiers must be kept and preserved at the registry offices for 5 years. The further archiving after 5 years shall comply with the State’s general regulations on archive.
D. ISSUING COPIES OF CIVIL STATUS PAPERS FROM THE ORIGINAL BOOKS
1. The issuing of copies of civil status papers must be based on the original books;
2. The agencies which issue the originals of civil status papers shall issue the copies thereof from the original books, except for cases where the registration of birth for infants is made at the place of birth as provided for at Point A.1, Section I of this Circular.
Where the commune-level People’s Committee has failed to keep the original of the civil status register, the provincial-level People’s Committee of the locality where the original register has been kept shall issue the copies thereof.
3. When issuing copies of civil status papers from the original books, attention should be paid to the following points:
- The details inscribed in the copies must be in line with the current model forms of copy.
- Where the current copy form contains details which are not available in the original books, such contents in the copy form shall be left blank; where the original books contains details which are not avaible in the current copy form, such details shall not be written therein.
E. STATISTICAL AND REPORTING REGIME
The civil status statistical data are of important significance for the drawing up of the socio-economic development plans of the State as well as the localities, serving as basis for the elaboration of the population and family planning policies. The implementation of regime of biannual and annual reporting on the civil status statistical data according to the provisions of the Decree is compulsory for the People’s Committees at all levels. The justice offices at all levels shall have to help their People’s Committees to perform this task under the following guidance:
1. The report contents must fully reflect the actual situation on civil status registration, the civil status management in the localities and at the same time clearly state the difficulties and problems which have arisen as well as recommendations (if any) on amendments and/or supplements to the legislation on civil status registration;
Enclosed with reports shall be tables of the statistical reports on the civil status registration data (according to set forms). The statistical data enclosed with the biannual reports shall be reckoned from January 1st to the end of June 30; the statistical data enclosed with the annual reports shall be reckoned from January 1st to the end of December 31 of that year. The reporting data must be true, without depending on norms, particularly the birth registration data. The higher-level People’s Committees must not readjust the data reported by the subordinate People’s Committees.
2. The time-limit for submitting reports by the People’s Committees at all levels is stipulated as follows:
- The commune-level People’s Committees shall have to send to their district-level People’s Committees (through the district Justice Bureaus) their biannual reports before July 10 of that year and their annual reports before January 31 of the following year;
- The district-level People’s Committees shall have to send to their provincial-level People’s Committees their biannual reports before July 31 of that year and their annual reports before January 31 of the following year;
- The provincial-level People’s Committees shall have to send to the Ministry of Justice their biannual reports before August 31 of that year and their annual reports before March 1st of the following year.
V. SETTLEMENT OF COMPLAINTS AND DENUNCIATIONS
The settlement of complaints and denunciations aims to protect the legitimate interests of citizens, agencies and organizations, thus contributing to the enhancement of the qualifications of the contingent of civil status officials from the central to grassroots levels. The competent State bodies shall have to create conditions for citizens, agencies and organizations to exercise their right to make complaints and denunciations in strict accordance with the legislation on complaints and denunciations.
A. SETTLEMENT OF COMPLAINTS
Pursuant to Clause 1, Article 1 and Clause 3 of Article 2 of the Law on Complaints and Denunciations, regarding the civil status field, citizens, agencies and organizations may complain about decisions to refuse civil status registration if having grounds to believe that such decisions are illegal, infringing upon their legitimate rights and interests.
The competence and time-limit for settling complaints shall be as follows:
1. The presidents of the commune-level People’s Committees shall accept and settle complaints of citizens and organizations about decisions to refuse their civil status registration. Within 10 days after receiving a complaint, the concerned president of the commune-level People’s Committee shall have to process and settle the complaint and notify in writing the complainant thereof; in case of refusal, a written notification shall also be sent to the complainant, clearly stating the reason(s) therefor.
Within 30 days after the expiry of the time limit for settlement as defined in Article 36 of the Law on Complaints and Denunciations, if the complaint is not settled or after the receipt of the settling decision of the president of the commune-level People’s Committee, if the complainant disagrees therewith, the involved person may lodge his/her complaint to the president of the district-level People’s Committee or initiate an administrative lawsuit at court as prescribed by law. For mountainous, deep-lying and distant regions with difficult conditions for movement, the above time-limit may be prolonged but shall not exceed 45 days.
2. The presidents of the district-level People’s Committees shall process and settle complaints already settled by presidents of the commune-level People’s Committees but further lodged. In this case, the complainant shall have to file an application enclosed with the copy of the settling decision of the president of the commune-level People’s Committee and relevant documents (if any) to the president of the district-level People’s Committee.
Within 10 days after receiving a complaint, the president of the district-level People’s Committee shall have to process and settle it and notify such in writing to the complainant and the president of the commune-level People’s Committee who earlier settled the complaint; in case of refusal, a written notification must also be sent to them, clearly stating the reason(s) therefor.
Within 30 days after the expiry of the settling time limit as defined in Article 43 of the Law on Complaints and Denunciations, if the complaint is not settled or after the receipt of the decision on settlement of the complaint, if the complainant disagrees therewith, he/she may further lodge the complaints to the president of the provincial-level People’s Committee.
3. The directors of the provincial/municipal Justice Services shall process and settle complaints of citizens and organizations about the refusal to register their civil status registrations by the civil status officials of the Justice Services. The time limit for notifying the complainant and settling the complaint by the directors of the provincial/municipal Justice Services shall comply with those prescribed for the provincial-level People’s Committee.
4. The presidents of the provincial-level People’s Committees shall accept, process and settle the following complaints:
a/ About decisions to refuse civil status registration by the provincial-level People’s Committees;
b/ About decisions on settlement of civil status complaints of directors the provincial/municipal Justice Services ,but the complaints are further lodged; the decisions of the presidents of the provincial-level People’s Committee shall be the final;
c/ About decisions on settlement of civil status complaints of presidents of the district-level People’s Committees, but the complaints are further lodged; the decisions of the presidents of the provincial-level People’s Committees shall be the final.
Within 10 days after receiving complaints, the concerned presidents of the provincial-level People’s Committees shall have to process and settle them and notify such to the complainants. For complaints already settled by presidents of the district-level People’s Committees, but further lodged, the presidents of the district-level People’s Committees shall be informed in writing of the further complaint. In case of refusal, a written notification must also be sent to them, clearly stating the reason(s) therefor.
The time limit for the settlement of a complaint at the provincial-level People’s Committee shall not exceed 30 days after the receipt of the written complaint ( for first-time complaints) and 45 days ( for second-time complaints).
5. The Ministry of Justice shall process and settle complaints about decisions on the settlement of first-time complaints by the presidents of the provincial-level People’s Committees, which have been further lodged; the decisions of the Justice Minister shall be the final.
B. SETTLEMENT OF DENUNCIATIONS
Pursuant to Clause 2, Article 1, and Clause 5, Article 2, of the Law on Complaints and Denunciations, in the civil status domain, citizens may denounce with competent bodies, organizations or individuals any illegal acts committed by civil status registries or officials, causing damage or threatening to cause damage to the legitimate interests of their own or others.
The competence and time limit for settling denunciations as follows:
The denouncers shall have to file applications to the competent bodies, organizations or individuals according to the provisions of law. The applications must clearly state their full names, addresses and the contents of denunciation. Where a denouncers personally goes to make the oral denunciation, the responsible person shall have to accept the denunciation and carefully record the contents of denunciation, the full name and address of the denouncers; the record of the contents of the denunciation must be re-read or re-heard by and signed for confirmation by the denouncers.
If a written denunciation is made against a civil status official for his/her law violations in the civil status registration, the head of the civil status registry shall have to settle it.
If a written denunciation is made against the head of a civil status registry for his/her law violation in civil status registration, the head of the immediate superior agency of such civil status registry shall have to settle it.
Within 10 days after the receipt of the denunciation, the agency, organization or individual accepting it shall have to process and settle it; where the denunciation does not fall under its or his/her settling jurisdiction, it must be forwarded to the competent body or organization for settlement, and the denouncers shall be notified of this in writing.
In case of emergency, the denunciation-accepting bodies, organizations or individuals shall have to promptly inform the responsible agencies for the application of measures to prevent in time acts of law offenses, as well as necessary measures to ensure safety for the denouncers when they so request.
The time limit for settling a denunciation shall not exceed 60 days after it is accepted and processed for settlement; for complicated cases, the time limit may be prolonged, but shall not exceed 90 days after the cases are accepted and processed for settlement.
The denunciation-accepting, - processing and- settling bodies, organizations and individuals shall have to keep confidentiality for the denouncers; must not disclose their full names, addresses, autographs and other information detrimental to them.
The competence to settle denunciations shall comply with the provisions of the legislation on complaints and denunciations. Pursuant to the Law on Complaints and Denunciations, the Ministry of Justice hereby temporarily guides a number of contents as follows:
1. The presidents of the commune-level People’s Committees shall accept, process and settle written denunciations of citizens about law violations in the field of civil status registration by commune officials in charge of civil status registration and juridical matters.
2. The presidents of the district-level People’s Committees shall accept, process and settle written denunciations by citizens about acts of law violation in the field of civil status registration by members of the commune-level People’s Committees, who have been assigned to take charge of the civil status registration.
3. The directors of the provincial/municipal Justice Services shall accept, process and settle citizens’ denunciations about acts of law violation in the field of civil status registration by the Services’ officials who have been assigned to take charge of the civil status registration.
4. The presidents of the provincial-level People’s Committees shall accept, process and settle citizens’ denunciations about acts of law violations in the field of civil status registration by leading members of the provincial/municipal Justice Services who have been assigned to take charge of the civil status registration.
5. The Ministry of Justice shall accept, process and settle denunciations about acts of law violations in the field of civil status registration by members of the provincial-level People’s Committees, who have been assigned to take charge of the civil status registration.
VI. IMPLEMENTATION PROVISIONS
1. This Circular takes effect as from July 10, 1999.
2. In the course of implementation, if any problems or matters arise, the concerned bodies, provincial-level People’s Committees and provincial/ municipal Justice Service shall report them in their official dispatches to the Ministry of Justice for written guidance.
 

 

 
THE MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
MINISTER

Nguyen Dinh Loc