When people meet and form social relationships, many marriage cases arise. Particularly, marriage between foreigners happens regularly nowadays. When marrying a foreigner, each party should learn about his or her spouse’s marriage laws. In Vietnam, private international law governs marriage regarding foreign relations through certain laws and regulations. In this article, LSX legal firm will help you to answer the question: “How long does it take to register marriage with a foreigner in Vietnam?”
- Law on Marriage and Family 2014
- Law on Civil Status 2014
Marriage according to private international law
Marriage and family relations involving foreign elements under Private International Law mean marriage and family relations in the following cases:
- Firstly, at least one partner participates as a foreigner or an overseas Vietnamese.
- Secondly, partners are Vietnamese citizens but the bases for establishing, changing, or terminating that relationship is governed by foreign law.
- Thirdly, the relation arises abroad, or the property related to that relation is located abroad.
On the other hand, Article 126 of the Law on Marriage and Family 2014 stipulates that:
Article 126. Marriage involving foreign elements1. For marriages between Vietnamese citizens and foreigners, each party shall comply with his/her country’s law on marriage conditions; if their marriage is conducted at a competent Vietnamese state agency, the foreigner shall also comply with this Law’s provisions on marriage conditions.
2. Marriages between foreigners permanently residing in Vietnam at competent Vietnamese agencies must comply with this Law’s provisions on marriage conditions.
Accordingly, each spouse must follow the conditions of marriage under his or her nation’s law on marriage. In addition, when the couple decides to register their marriage with a Vietnamese authority, the foreign party has to satisfy the conditions regulated by Vietnam Law on Marriage and Family 2014.
That means, the Vietnamese party must comply with Vietnamese law on marriage conditions and the foreign party must comply with their country’s law on marriage conditions. For example, among other conditions, the legal age to get married in the UK is 16 years old, while in Vietnam it’s 20 for men and 18 for women. So in this case, 20 years old Vietnamese men can marry 16 years old English women and 16 years old English men can marry 18 years old women. Besides, if the couple register their marriage in Vietnam, the English men or women must comply with Vietnamese conditions on legal age for marriage (20 for men and 18 for women)
Marriages between foreigners permanently residing in Vietnam at competent Vietnamese agencies must adhere to the provisions of Vietnam Law on Marriage and Family which governs marriage conditions.
Conditions on marriage
A man and a woman wishing to marry each other must satisfy the following conditions:
- Firstly, the man is full 20 years or older, the woman is full 18 years or older.
- Secondly, the marriage voluntarily decided by the man and woman.
- Thirdly, the man and woman do not lose the civil act capacity.
- Fourthly, the marriage does not fall into one of the following cases:
- Sham marriage or sham divorce;
- Underage marriage, forcing a person into marriage, deceiving a person into marriage, obstructing marriage;
- A married person getting married to or cohabitating as husband and wife with another person, or an unmarried person getting married to or cohabitating as husband and wife with a married person;
- Getting married or cohabitating as husband and wife between people of the same direct bloodline; relatives within three generations; 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;
On the other hand, the Vietnamese State does not recognize marriage between persons of the same sex.
Competence to settle cases and matters of marriage and family involving foreign elements
The Law on Marriage and Family 2014 regulates that:
- The competence to register civil status related to marriage and family relations involving foreign elements must comply with the law on civil status.
- The competence to settle cases and matters of marriage and family involving foreign elements at court must comply with the Civil Procedure Code.
- District-level People’s Courts of localities where Vietnamese citizens reside are competent to cancel illegal marriages, settle divorce cases, disputes over the rights and obligations of husband and wife, parents and children, recognition of parents, children, child adoption and guardianship between Vietnamese citizens residing in border areas and citizens of neighboring countries living in areas bordering on Vietnam in accordance with this Law and other Vietnamese laws.
How long does it take to register marriage with a foreigner in Vietnam?
Decree 123/2015/ND-CP detailed provisions of some Articles and measures for the implementation of the Law on Civil Status, including procedures for marriage registration as well as granting marriage licenses. In particular:
Article 31. Marriage registration procedures
Procedures for marriage registration shall be consistent with Clauses 2, 3, and 4 Article 38 of the Law on civil status and the following:
- Within 10 working days from the date on which the satisfactory application received, Committee Division of Justice shall assess it and carry out verification deemed necessary. Chief of Committee Division of Justice shall be answerable to the assessment results and any request of Committee Division of Justice in the processing of application for marriage registration.
- If the application is considered satisfactory, and both partners meet conditions for marriage as prescribed in the Law on marriage and family and are not subject to refusal cases prescribed in Article 33 of this Decree, Committee Division of Justice shall request the President of People’s Committee of district to sign 2 originals of marriage licenses.
- Subject to particular situations, whenever necessary, the Ministry of Justice shall request the Prime Minister to provide additional regulations on inquiry procedures included when the application for marriage registration is processed so as to protect lawful rights and interests of the partners and ensure the effective state management.
Article 32. Granting marriage licenses
- Within 3 working days from the date on which the President of People’s Committee of district signs marriage licenses, Committee Division of Justice shall grant marriage licenses to the partners in person.
- The granting marriage licenses shall be consistent with Clause 3 Article 38 of the Law on civil status.
Marriage licenses shall be valid from the date on which they are documented in the vital records and granted to the partners as prescribed in this Clause.
- If either or both partner(s) cannot present to receive marriage license(s), Committee Division of Justice shall, upon their request in writing, give an extension of granting period providing not exceeding 60 days, from the date on which the President of People’s Committee of district signs marriage licenses. Upon expiration of such 60-day period, if both partners fail to present and receive marriage licenses, Committee Division of Justice shall request the President of People’s Committee of district to cancel the signed marriage licenses.
If the partners still wish to get married thereafter, they shall follow the procedures for marriage registration from the beginning.
So, overall, it takes about 13 days for the marriage registration and issuance of the marriage registration certificate.
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Regulations on marriage with foreigners in Vietnam
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Frequently asked questions
Husband and wife participate equally in their marriage relationship, having equal rights and obligations in all family affairs and in the performance of citizens’ rights and obligations prescribed in the Constitution, the Law on Marriage and Family 2014, and relevant laws.
Husband and wife have the right and obligation to make transactions to meet their family’s essential needs.
When husband and wife have no common property or their common property not enough to meet their family’s essential needs, they shall contribute their separate property according to their financial capacity
– Real estate.
– Movable assets required by law to registered for ownership.
– Assets as major income-generating source for the family.