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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – American Citizen Services

If you have questions regarding American Citizen Services (ACS) in Vietnam, please read the frequently asked questions below.  If you still cannot find the answer to your question, please contact us.  You can also review our frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the Consular Report of Birth Abroad application process, and Passport application FAQs.

I made an appointment online but don't have my confirmation sheet. How can I enter the Embassy or Consulate?

If you have successfully submitted the appointment request but could not print the confirmation page, you may attend your scheduled appointment without the confirmation printout.  When you come to our office on your appointment date, please provide your full name and passport number to our security guards to locate your appointment on the daily appointment list.

Remember, appointments for American Citizen Services are free (no cost).

I am a U.S. citizen who was born in Vietnam. I lost my Vietnamese birth certificate. How do I get a new one?

You may wish to contact the district People’s Committee of the place where you were born to issue certified copies of your birth certificate (Ban Sao Giay Khai Sinh). Alternatively, you may ask them to provide an Extract (Trich Luc Giay Khai Sinh) of your birth certificate.  If you are not able to obtain your birth certificate because records have been destroyed or the government will not issue one, you must obtain a statement to that effect from the local civil registrar’s office.

How do I get a copy of my U.S. birth certificate?

To obtain a copy of your U.S. birth certificate, contact the Vital Statistics Office in the state where you were born.  If you are a U.S. citizen who was born abroad and you lost your Consular Report of Birth Abroad, you can request a new one through the Department of State.

How do I get married in Vietnam?

If you are getting married in Vietnam, you’ll need to follow a few steps (PDF 159KB) to do so. Please keep in mind, the Vietnamese authorities are the proper point of contact for marriage registration in Vietnam. Vietnamese officials administer marriage requirements and it is possible that these requirements may vary from province to province.

If I apply for dual citizenship with Vietnam, do I have to renounce my U.S. citizenship?

A U.S. citizen may acquire foreign citizenship by marriage, or a person naturalized as a U.S. citizen may not lose the citizenship of the country of birth.  U.S. law does not mention dual nationality or require a person to choose one citizenship or another.  Also, a person who is automatically granted another citizenship does not risk losing U.S. citizenship.  However, a person who acquires a foreign citizenship by applying for it may lose U.S. citizenship.  In order to lose U.S. citizenship, the law requires that the person must apply for the foreign citizenship voluntarily, by free choice, and with the intention to give up U.S. citizenship.

See Dual Citizenship on the State Department’s website for further information.

How do I get a U.S. criminal background check?

U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide do not have the ability to perform criminal background checks for U.S. citizens abroad.  As a U.S. citizen, you have two options that are generally acceptable:

  1. You may contact the local police where you were last resident and follow their procedures.
  2. You may consider requesting a background check from the FBI.

I need to obtain FBI clearances for a job. Where can I get my fingerprints taken?

Please see our Criminal Background Check page for more information.

How do I notarize an academic degree?

While U.S. Embassies and Consulates offer routine notary services, academic degrees and credentials are certified differently.  We do not certify academic degrees and credentials. To notarize an academic degree or credential you will need to follow a process of authentication that can be completed in the U.S.

However, Vietnamese authorities will sometimes accept a sworn statement attached to the academic document.  As such, you may wish to consult with your employer to see if they would accept an affidavit executed by yourself at the U.S. Consulate attesting to the authenticity of your degree.  However, we cannot guarantee the acceptance or applicability of such affidavits by local authority.

I'm traveling to Vietnam. How do I obtain a visa/ e-visa?

You may obtain a visa in three ways:  (1) in advance from a Vietnamese consulate or Embassy; (2) a Vietnamese single-entry e-visa at the website of Vietnam Immigration Department (please view the E-visa Application Steps for more instructions); (3) or you may obtain a written approval letter for a visa upon arrival.  To obtain a written approval letter, you must contact a travel agency prior to departure for Vietnam.  Please also note that to enter Vietnam, you need a valid U.S. passport with at least six months validity remaining beyond the date of your arrival.  For more information, please view our Country Specific Information.

What is the penalty for overstaying my visa in Vietnam?

Vietnamese visas and immigration issues fall within the purview of the Vietnamese authorities. Financial penalties for overstaying the validity of your visa are determined on a case-by-case basis.  You may wish to directly contact the Vietnam Immigration Department at 44-46 Tran Phu Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi (Tel: (024) 3825-7941); or 7 Tran Qui Cap, Thach Thang Ward, Hai Chau District, Da Nang (Tel: (0236) 3822381)or 333-335-337 Nguyen Trai Street, Nguyen Cu Trinh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City (Tel: (028) 3920-1701 – (028) 3920-0353 – (028) 3920-2300 – (028) 3838-6425) for further assistance.

Can the U.S. Embassy/Consulate assist me in renewing my Vietnamese visa?

The U.S. Embassy/Consulate cannot assist with renewing Vietnamese visas.  Depending on the type of visa you want to renew, you will need to contact a local travel agent or the Vietnam Immigration Office. For your reference, please find below the contact information of the Vietnamese immigration offices:

Vietnam Immigration Department in Hanoi

Vietnam Immigration Department in Da Nang

(handing Vietnamese visa and residence applications for foreigners residing in Central Vietnam)

  • Website: https://xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/
  • Phone: (0236) 3822381
  • Fax: (0236) 3826670
  • Address: 7 Tran Qui Cap, Thach Thang Ward, Hai Chau District, Da Nang

Vietnam Immigration Department in Ho Chi Minh City

(handling Vietnamese visa and residence applications for foreigners residing from Binh Thuan downwards to the Southern provinces; resolving complex immigration cases such as re-issuance of an exit visa for lost/stolen passport,  visa overstay, visa waivers, etc.)

  • Website: https://xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/
  • Phone: (028) 3920-1701 – (028) 3920-0353 – (028) 3920-2300 – (028) 3838-6425
  • Address: 333-335-337 Nguyen Trai Street, Nguyen Cu Trinh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam Immigration Office in Ho Chi Minh City

(handing Vietnamese visa and residence applications for foreigners residing in Ho Chi Minh City)

Is there a time limit for how long U.S. citizens can stay overseas?

There is no time limit for how long U.S. citizens may stay overseas.  The validity of your Vietnamese visa, which allows you to legally stay in Vietnam, is determined by the Vietnamese government. Lawful Permanent Residents risk losing their status if they are outside the United States for over one year.

I lost my debit/credit card. Can I have a replacement mailed to the Embassy/Consulate?

The U.S. Embassy/Consulate cannot receive mail for U.S. citizens.  We suggest you have your replacement card sent to your lodging address in Vietnam.

Where can I find a list of hospitals with English-speaking doctors/staff?

Please refer to our Medical Practitioners page for more information.

I know someone who recently died in Vietnam, what do I do?

You should notify the death to the police office in the district where the U.S. Citizen passed away and contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  When an U.S. citizen dies abroad, a consular officer notifies the next-of-kin and offers information to the family regarding the options and costs involved in making funeral arrangements.  If the deceased has no legal representative or trustee in Vietnam, a consular officer will act as ‘provisional conservator’ of the deceased’s effects.  A consular officer will also prepare a Consular Report of Death Abroad based on the local death certificate for use by the next-of-kin.

More information is available regarding the death of a U.S. citizen in Vietnam.

How do I get additional copies of the Consular Report of Death Abroad?

A consular officer will send the family up to 20 original/certified copies at the time of death at no fee. Additional copies can be obtained at a later time by contacting the Department of State, Passport Vital Records Section at the following address:

Department of State
Passport Vital Records Section
44132 Mercure Circle
P.O. Box 1213
Sterling, VA 20166-1213

Please note, you must submit a notarized written request to the above address, with the following information. There is a $50 fee for each additional certified copy of a Report of Death.

  • Full name of the deceased;
  • Date and place of death;
  • A copy of requester’s valid identification;
  • Your return address and telephone number;
  • Signature of requester; and
  • Appropriate fees, payable to the “Department of State” by check or money order.

Can I renew my U.S. driver's license at the Embassy or Consulate?

U.S. driver’s licenses cannot be renewed or transferred in Vietnam.  Please contact your state’s Department of Transportation or Motor Vehicles for the proper procedure for obtaining a new driver’s license.  If you need a Vietnamese driver’s license you have to apply for it locally.  Please click here to see the guidelines of applying for a driver’s license in Vietnam.

How do I adopt a child in Vietnam?

If you are interested in adopting a child in Vietnam, please see our page on adoptions in Vietnam.

How do I register with the Embassy or Consulate while traveling in Vietnam?

Registering your travel plans is one of the best ways to stay informed about travel warnings and alerts.  You can register for this service through the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

What can the U.S. Embassy and Consulate do to locate a missing person in Vietnam?

We can assist in locating a U.S. citizen in Vietnam in cases of parental child abduction or missing person cases, or when a friend or loved one has not arrived at a location on the scheduled date and time.  For more information regarding International Parental Child Abduction, please visit the U.S. Department of State’s website.  We cannot help you trace your ancestry in Vietnam.

We can help pass messages to U.S. citizens in Vietnam.  Consular officers use the information provided by the family or friends of a missing person to locate the individual, and pass the caller’s message.  We check with local authorities in Vietnam to see if there is any report of a U.S. citizen hospitalized, arrested, or otherwise unable to communicate with those looking for them.  Depending on the circumstances, consular officers may personally search hotels, airports, hospitals, or even prisons.  The more information that the caller can provide, the better the chances are that we can find the missing U.S. citizen.

Please note that the Privacy Act of 1974 limits what we can tell you about our interaction with any U.S. citizen over 18 years of age.  We cannot release any information about a U.S. citizen’s situation without his or her express permission to waive the Privacy Act.  Without this permission we can only notify the individual of your concern and suggest that they contact you directly.

What is the current consular exchange rate?

The consular exchange rate, as of February 3, 2023, is $1 USD  = VND 24,000.  This rate is used exclusively for Consular Services.

Contact Us

Please note that we will not respond to inquiries sent by postal mail or fax.

Submit an inquiry: Inquiry Form

U.S. Embassy in Hanoi
Consular Section,
Rose Garden Building
Second Floor, 170 Ngoc Khanh Street
Hanoi, Vietnam
Mailing Address:
Consular Section
U.S. Embassy in Hanoi
7 Lang Ha Street, Hanoi, Vietnam

U.S. Consulate General in HCMC
American Citizen Services
4 Le Duan Blvd., Dist. 1
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam