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Vietnam works with some European countries for new passports
Minh Vu 20:55, 2022/08/11
Vietnamese authorities have realized that the birthplace-omitted passports have troubled other countries’ immigration work.

Vietnam’s Ministries of Public Security (MPS) and Foreign Affairs (MoFA) have been working on redesigned passports with some European countries due to the omission of birthplace in the paper.

 Vietnam's redesigned passport. Photo: Hoang Lam/Zing

MoFA Spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang informed at the press conference on August 11 following questions on the visa application rejected by Germany, Spain, and the Czech Republic over the place of birth information.

“The Consular Department of MoFA and the Immigration Department of MPS on August 8 worked with the embassies of Germany, Spain, and the Czech Republic in Hanoi to discuss the temporary suspension of visa issuance by these countries to holders of the redesigned passport as the document does not explicitly display information about the place of birth,” Hang said in a statement.

At the meeting, representatives of the Consular Department and the Immigration Department stated Vietnam’s views and handling of this issue, she stated.

She went on to say that MoFA and MPS have requested countries to coordinate with Vietnam in removing difficulties in order to soon issue visas to holders of the new passport version.

“We also welcome representatives of the German, Czech, and Spanish embassies for confirming their willingness to coordinate with Vietnamese authorities to solve problems in the issuance of visas for holders of Vietnam’s new ordinary passport design on the condition that citizens must provide information to verify the place of birth when they apply for visas to the above countries,” the spokeswoman noted.

In the latest move, Spain on August 8 recognized Vietnam's redesigned passports. 

At the same time, the above agencies said that the Vietnamese authorities have agreed to print the place of birth on the remark page in the new passports when requested by citizens.

In the coming time, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Vietnamese missions abroad will continue to closely coordinate with the Ministry of Public Security and local authorities in solving problems, and facilitating travel for Vietnamese citizens, Hang emphasized.

Since it does not explicitly display the place of birth data, Vietnam’s new passport has been rejected for visa issuance in the three aforementioned European countries. Today [August 11], Finland is the fourth nation making the same move, saying that the birthplace is “required for personal identification.”

So far, France and the UK have announced that they accept Vietnam’s new passports.

The new passport, which was issued on July 18, 2022, has the same size as the old model but different in the color of the cover (purplish blue) and contains no information about the place of birth.

Vietnamese Minister of Public Security To Lam. Photo: VGP 

On August 10, Vietnamese Minister of Public Security To Lam spoke at an interpellation of the National Assembly’s session that the related authorities have realized that passports without birthplace would trouble other countries’ immigration management. For that reason, the ministry will add that information to the passports and temporarily notes it in the remark.

According to Vietnamese officials, the place of birth is optional in the identification guidelines by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).  

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