Forbidden marriage with foreigners under Vietnamese law

by QuynhHuong

Forbidden marriage with foreigners under Vietnamese law may prevail in various conducts; and with the increasing rate of marriage involving foreign elements, understanding these acts is crucial. In this article, LSX will give you a brief on this issue.

  • Law on Marriage and Family 2014
  • Criminal Law 2015
  • Decree 82/2020/ND-CP

Sham marriage

Sham marriage is the first forbidden marriage with foreigners in Vietnam. Accordingly, sham marriage means making use of marriage for the purpose of immigration, residence, naturalization in Vietnam, a foreign country; for enjoying preferential regimes of the State, or for another purpose other than that of building a family. Indeed, this kind of marriage does not base on the basis of love and long-term cohabitation; but on individual benefits.

By prohibiting sham marriage with foreigners, the legal system could also protect the marriage and family regime. Anyone carry out the act will be administratively sanctioned according to regulations. Clause 2, Article 59 of Decree 82/2020/ND-CP, with a fine ranging from VND 10,000,000 to VND 20,000,000. In addition, depending on the nature and seriousness of the violation, the competent Court will revoke and cancel the issued marriage certificate.

Underage marriage

Underage marriage means getting married when one or both partners has or have not reached the marriage age. Specifically, the age of marriage registration in Vietnam requires “men from full 20 years old, women from full 18 years old”, which also applied to foreigners.

This type of marriage in Vietnam was a serious problem, due to poverty, illiteracy, lack of understanding, and heavy conceptions of customs and practices. In fact, this issue has actively affected Vietnam’s socio-economic development. Therefore, preventing and mitigating underage marriage is crucial conduct that needs to comply.

According to the provisions of Vietnamese law, sanctions for underage marriage can fall into a warning or a fine of between VND 500,000 and VND 1,000,000; or criminal penalties in serious cases.

Forcing a person into marriage, deceiving a person into marriage

Forced marriage is the practice of threatening, mentally intimidating, tormenting, ill-treating, demanding property; other acts to force another person to get married against their will. The act of forcing a person into marriage can address in different ways such as threatening, intimidating spiritually, maltreating, ill-treating. 

On the other hand, deceiving a person into marriage is an intentional act of one party or a third person, misleading a person into marriage; without this act, that person has not agreed to the marriage.

Since these types of behaviors have broken the principle of voluntary marriage, and at the same time affected the freedom of people, it is necessary to prohibit it by law. In the case of forcing a person into marriage, a fine of between VND 10,000,000 and 20,000,000; warning, non-custodial reform for up to 3 years, imprisonment from 3 months to 3 years are possible handling methods.

The parallel existence of more than one marriage at a time

Accordingly, the Law on Marriage and Family prohibits the act of marrying another married person, due to the principle of monogamous marriage.

Sanctions for this act may contain a fine from VND 3,000,000 to VND 5,000,000; or warning, non-custodial reform for up to 1 year, imprisonment from 3 months to 1 year.

Marriage between the adoptive parent and adopted child; or former adoptive parent and adopted child, father-in-law, and daughter-in-law, mother-in-law and son-in-law, or stepparent and stepchild

Under Vietnamese law, adoptive parent and adopted child; or former adoptive parent and adopted child, father-in-law and daughter-in-law, mother-in-law and son-in-law, or stepparent and stepchild are part of a person’s family. It is possible that a Vietnamese and a foreigner obtaining this kind of relationship; thus, one should never marry his/her family member.

For this act, from September 1, 2020, there will be a sanction according to Decree 82/2020/ND-CP, a fine from VND 3,000,000 to VND 5,000,000.

Thank you for giving your attention to the article. If there were any questions, feel free to contact Lawyer X for quick and best legal services: 0833102102.

Who are foreigners under Vietnamese Law?

Foreigners are persons bearing the nationalities of other countries, who are studying, working, living in the Vietnamese territory.

What is monogamous marriage?

Monogamous marriage is a marriage relationship, establish when the conditions prescribed by the Law on Marriage and Family have complied, whereby a married individual may only have one wife or husband.

Can a member of the Communist Party of Vietnam marry a foreigner?

Yes, a member of the Communist Party of Vietnam can marry a foreigner. Hence Article 2, Law on Marriage and Family 2014, marriages between Vietnamese citizens and foreigners are respected and protected by law. Moreover, in the Party Charter and guiding documents, there are no provisions prohibiting Party members from marrying foreigners.

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