How to Get a Birth Certificate in Vietnam

If like us, you have given birth in Vietnam then you will need to obtain your baby’s birth certificate. After giving birth you have 60 days to register the birth of your baby at your district’s people’s committee (Uỷ ban Nhân dân – UBND). What seemed to be a straightforward procedure ended up with us traipsing to our local UBND 10 times! Yes, 10 times. So, here we have set out exactly what documents you need in order to save you time and multiple trips.

Local lake in Hanoi

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Documents needed to apply for a birth certificate in Vietnam for foreigners

  • Translated and notarised copies of both parent’s passports
  • Photocopy of visa or temporary residency cards
  • Translated and notarised copy of marriage certificate (only needed if the father is to be included on the birth certificate)
  • Residency confirmation form issued by your local police – you can obtain this from your landlord (this should be free)
  • Birth certificate/confirmation from the hospital where you gave birth
  • Confirmation of nationality from your embassy – Both parents will need to agree to the nationality and sign the form (see more info for British citizens below).
  • A letter of consent of nationality written in Vietnamese and signed by both parents (see below for template)
  • If the mother’s name on the marriage certificate is different to the name on her passport a confirmation letter written by the mother’s embassy is needed (read more about this below).

Note: Make sure you bring the original versions of your passports, visas, and marriage certificates for them to check, but do not let them keep them. This is what the translated and notarised versions are for

Procedure at your local UBND

1. Firstly, you will need to go to your District People’s Committee (also known as UBND). Note: Foreigners wishing to register a birth must go to the district-level people’s committee, not the ward-level people’s committee. We made that mistake and were sent away. Only local Vietnamese people can register births at the ward-level people’s committee.

2. When you arrive you need to ask for the birth registration form, known in Vietnamese as “To Khai Dang Ky Khai Sinh”. This form is written in Vietnamese. Here is when taking a translator with you comes in handy. Or, you could try using Google Translate to help you. However, you need to ensure you write your child’s name in the correct order. We’ve heard reports of people ending up with their child’s last name as their first name and vice versa. Once the birth certificate has been issued, this is accordingly pretty much impossible to rectify.

3. Once you have filled in the birth registration form, hand in your documents at the counter. You will be given a receipt to show what documents you have submitted. The form will also have a date you need to go to collect the birth certificate. This is usually 1 working day after you have submitted your application. Make sure you take your copy with you! If you are missing any documents, they are unlikely to tell you until you go back to collect your birth certificate. This is how we ended up having to go many times as the officer kept asking us to submit more forms one at a time, rather than telling us everything that was missing at the same time.

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4. When it is time for you to collect your child’s birth certificate, make sure to bring your receipt with you to show the officer dealing with your application. The fee for the birth certificate is 25,000 vnd.

Translating and notarising documents

Before going to the UBND, make sure to translate and notarise any foreign documents. This is essential for obtaining a birth certificate in Vietnam. Many companies are offering this service and the price varies depending on the company you use. We ended up paying 80,000 vnd for each document to be translated and 20,000 vnd for the notarization stamp on them. Totalling 100,000 vnd per document. Our notary was able to translate and notarise the documents in 1 working day.

Confirmation of nationality for a British citizen

Unfortunately, for us Brits wishing to pass on nationality to our babies and get a birth certificate in Vietnam we have another headache to contend with. Unlike other countries, the British embassy does not issue a nationality agreement as nationality can only be determined by the issuance of a British passport. And, of course, to get a British passport we need to submit a birth certificate. To get around this, you will need to request the UBND to leave the nationality section of the birth certificate blank. For them to do this, you need to call the British Embassy and ask them to send you a letter explaining they do not issue the nationality agreement. This will be written in English and Vietnamese. On the bright side though, we called the British embassy and they were able to deal with this request very quickly. It only took a matter of hours for us to receive an email back with the letter explaining that they cannot issue a nationality agreement.

Letter of nationality consent

Along with the nationality agreement, or letter from the British embassy, you will also need to write a consent letter in Vietnamese. Below is a template you can use. You will just need to edit it to fit your details.

Kính gửi: UBND Quận (name of the district you live in)

Tôi tên là: (father’s full name)

Sinh ngày: (father’s date of birth)

Hô chiếu số: (passport number) Cấp ngày: (passport issue date) Tại: (place passport was issued)

Quốc tịch: (nationality)

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Chỗ ở hiện tại: tạm trú tại (address in Vietnam)

Và vợ

Tôi tên là: (mother’s full name)

Sinh ngày: (mother’s date of birth)

Hô chiếu số: (passport number)  Cấp ngày: (passport issue date) Tại: (place passport was issued)

Quốc tịch: (nationality)

Chỗ ở hiện tại: tạm trú tại (address in Vietnam)

Chúng tôi xác nhận và đồng ý rằng trong giấy khai sinh của con chúng tôi tên là (child’s name) được để trống phần quốc tịch. Đề nghị UBND (name of district) giải quyết Cấp giấy khai sinh cho con chúng tôi.

Chúng toi cam đoan hoàn toàn chịu trách nghiệm trước pháp luật.

Xin chân thành cảm ơn!

Chữ ký của mẹ   (mother’s signature)                              Chữ ký của bố (father’s signature)

Your marriage certificate has a different name from that on your passport

If your marriage certificate has your maiden name on it, and you changed your name in your passport to your husband’s last name you will also need a letter from your embassy to confirm that you are the same person. Apparently, a marriage certificate isn’t a confirmation of your name change. We originally tried to submit an affirmation that I had made in order to get a work permit for teaching in Vietnam last year, but the UBND would not accept it. After a call to the British embassy, they were able to liaise with the UBND in Ba Binh and find out exactly what they wanted. We were later told that in Vietnam they do not accept self-declarations, so therefore the embassy would need to write a letter to state the different names I am known by. Once you have obtained that, you will then need to get it legalised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. MOFA in Hanoi is located at 40 Tran Phu Street, Ba Dinh district.

If you’re confident with Vietnamese, or have a friend to go with you, this is probably the cheapest way to get the legalisation done. There aren’t any English signs in the MOFA building and before you submit your document for legalisation, you must fill in a form on one of the computers in the building. I gave this a good go by using my little Vietnamese and Google Translate but struggled to find the option to legalise an affirmation made by a foreign embassy as this technically isn’t an official document like a birth certificate or marriage certificate. In the end, I gave up, and my notary guy did it for me. It took 3 days for the legalisation and cost 300,000 vnd using the notary service.

Finally, after gathering all those documents and ensuring the correct documents have been translated, notarized, and legalised, you will be able to obtain your baby’s birth certificate in Vietnam. We hope this post has been helpful. Feel free to send us a message if you have any questions.

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