Marriage

The Vietnamese authorities are the proper point of contact for registering a marriage in Vietnam.  The information below is intended to be a general overview of known requirements for marriage registration in Vietnam.  Requirements for registering a marriage can vary from locality to locality and are subject to change.  Please contact the local People’s Committee where you or your fiancé(e) live for more information.  If you wish to reside in the United States with your foreign-national spouse or fiancé(e), your partner will need to apply for an immigrant visa.

In general, marriages 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 in your U.S. state of residence. You are not required to report your marriage to our office.

The laws of Vietnam do not regulate marriages between two non-Vietnamese citizens, unless at least one of the two foreigners has permanent or temporary resident permit.  We recommend that you check with the District Justice Office for guidance.

Marriage Requirements under Vietnamese Law:

Marriage applications should be filed in person at the District People’s Committee where you live.  If one individual is Vietnamese, Vietnamese authorities may require that the application be filed in the Vietnamese citizen’s district of residence.  Requirements for obtaining a marriage certificate may vary by locality.

The general requirements for a U.S. citizen partner are as follows:

  1. Marriage application: This form should be obtained from the Vietnamese District Justice Office at the District People’s Committee and must be signed in front of the People’s Committee civil status official.  It should be filled out by one person using one pen.  While the fee is set differently by each locality, the approximate cost of a marriage application is 1 million VND and must be paid in cash when picking up the marriage certificate. (As of February 2021, in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.)
  2. Passport photo: One 3×4 cm photo of each partner attached to the marriage application.
  3. U.S. citizen’s passport: One notarized copy, which can be obtained at a Vietnamese public notary. The certified copy must be authenticated at the Vietnamese External Relations Office.
  4. Proof of address: If the U.S. citizen resides in Vietnam, the apartment building where the U.S. citizen resides should request proof of residency from the police.
  5. Mental Health Certificate: A written certification granted by a Vietnamese or competent foreign health organization within 6 months of the date the marriage application is submitted.  The certificate must certify that the applicant does not have mental health conditions which render him/her incapable of making independent decisions.  Please contact your local District Justice Office for specific instructions.
  6. Affidavit of Single Status: The applicant can request this document from the civil registry in the state in which they reside or complete this affidavit at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in Vietnam. The affidavit must be signed within six months of application for a marriage certificate. Applicants who were previously married must present an authenticated copy of the divorce decree or death certificate of the previous spouse(s).  The notary fee at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate is $50 USD/document.  You are required to make an appointment online for this service.  Once notarized at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate in Vietnam, you must authenticate the notarized signature at the Vietnamese Consular Department at 40 Tran Phu, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi or External Relations Office at 184 bis Pasteur Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City before submitting this document as part of the marriage packet.
  7. U.S. vital statistics office letter: This letter, issued by the state or local authorities of the applicant’s place of residence in the United States, should certify that no records of a marriage license or marriage certificate for the applicant exist.  The search period must begin when the applicant was 18 and end at present day.  **This requirement varies from locality to locality and may not be required.

Additional Information:

  • Marriages in Vietnam must be registered within 15 days of the date the District Justice Office receives a complete marriage application. Cases which require police verification are eligible for a 10-day extension.
  • All documents not in Vietnamese must have a certified translation into Vietnamese from either the Vietnamese Consulate/Embassy in the U.S. or a Vietnamese notary public or certified translator.  Certified translation services may also be available at the District People’s Committee. Please consult the list of translators and public notary offices here.
  • After the application is submitted and all fees paid, the District Justice Office may conduct a face-to-face interview to confirm that both parties are voluntarily entering the marriage and can communicate with one another. This requirement varies from locality to locality.
  • If one of the partners holds Vietnamese citizenship, the Vietnamese citizen partner should consult with Vietnamese authorities about the requirements.