Getting married overseas can either be a dream or a nightmare! Of course, this depends on you and your partner’s situation, and especially if you're an expat or a foreigner marrying a Vietnamese. Doing it in Vietnam just means you need a lot of paperwork done and a lot of patience in waiting —just like anywhere else in the world!

Before that, take note of the following:

Legal age for marriage is 18 years for women and 20 years for men. 

Bride and Groom may not be related by blood, marriage or adoption.

One of you will need to be resident in Vietnam in order to legally marry.

Foreign-element marriage registration documents are comprised of the following:

››Marriage declaration in the prescribed form, signed with photos of the male and female partners. You need one copy of this declaration if you go together to apply for the registration. If not, each one has to submit one copy;

››Certificate of marital status or marriage declaration with the marital status of the Vietnamese partner, certifying within six months of the date of the document receipt, that the partner is not married. If there is a certification of a governmental agent about the marital status on the marriage declaration, this paper is not necessary;

››Documents to prove the marital status of the foreign partner certified by his/her country’s authority within six months of the date of receipt, that the he/she is not married;

››In case according to the law of his/ her country, no such document is provided, this document can be replaced by a declaration made by this person about his/her single status;

››A certificate from a Vietnamese/foreign competent health organisation, issued within six months of the date of receipt, which states that both partners are not suffering from mental or any other illness which might render him/her unable to remain of cognitive status or in control of his/her behaviour.

Certified copies or copies attached to the originals for comparison of:

››Book of temporary or permanent residence (for Vietnamese citizens residing in Vietnam), permanent or temporary residence card, or a temporary residence certificate (for foreigners residing or staying in Vietnam);

››Proof of identity, such as an identity card or passport (for Vietnamese citizens residing in the country), a passport or other documents as alternatives such as a visa or residence card (for foreigners and Vietnamese citizens in foreign countries); In addition to the above documents, depending on the circumstances, men and women must submit the following relevant documents:

››Vietnamese people working in the armed forces or directly relating to government secrets must submit a certificate of the industry managing organisation to confirm that the marriage to a foreigner does not affect government secrets and is not inconsistent with the regulations of this industry;

››Vietnamese people divorced under foreign competent authority regulations shall submit the recorded certificate in the civil book proving that the divorce has been conducted overseas in accordance with the laws of Vietnam;

››Foreigners that divorce Vietnamese citizens under foreign competent authority regulations shall submit the certificate of recording in the civil book that the divorce has been carried out in foreign countries under the regulations of Vietnamese law;

››Vietnamese citizens with foreign citizenship must have a certificate of marital status issued by the competent authority of the foreign country;

››Foreigners not residing in Vietnam must submit a certificate from the foreign competent authority certifying them eligible to get married under the laws of that country, except for the case the law in that country doesn’t prescribe this certification;

Note that in the following cases, Vietnamese citizens must be consulted by the provincial Marriage Consultancy Centre, which will issue a certificate (this certificate will become a part of the application dossier):

››The age gap between the two partners is 20 years or more;

››This is the 3rd marriage of the foreign partner, or the foreign partner has gone through a divorce with a Vietnamese citizen;

››The partners do not completely understand about the families and backgrounds of each other, about the languages, traditions, customs, cultures, laws on marriage and families of each other’s country;

››This certificate will be unnecessary if the Vietnamese is fluent in a foreign language or the foreigner is fluent in Vietnamese;

››The fee to pay for this procedure to the governmental agent is VND1M.

For information on marriage in Vietnam go to How to Get Married in Vietnam