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Aug 05, 2022 / 14:56

Vietnam to add information in new passports following non-recognition in some countries

Vietnam will add the place of birth on the remark page of the holder's passport.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security (MPS) said it has added information relating to citizen’s birthplace in new passports that were issued on July 1, 2022 after facing non-recognition by few countries.

The ministry will also consider adding this information to the redesigned passports, MPS Spokesman To An Xo said at the government’s regular press meeting on August 3.

 Spokesman of the MPS To An Xo speaks during the government’s regular press meeting held on August 3. Photo: Pham Dong

To An Xo said in response to a question raised by local reporters following the fact that three European countries namely Germany, Spain, and the Czech Republic refused to grant visas to Vietnamese passport holders due to lack of birthplace. 

The official argued that Vietnam's new passport complies with the country's laws and standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), adding that “Many countries like Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, Mongolia, and Saudi Arabia also take citizens’ place of birth out of their passports because this is not mandatory. Most countries still accept Vietnam's new passport. Only Germany, Spain, and the Czech Republic temporarily stopped recognizing it due to some technical issues,” Xo said.

He added that MPS and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are working with the three nations to soon tackle the problems.

“Besides, to create favorable conditions for Vietnamese citizens to study, work, and travel abroad, the MPS will add holders’ place of birth on the remark page of their passports, and citizens can go to the local immigration office or Vietnam’s overseas representative agencies for this,” Xo noted.

The official stressed that MPS will coordinate with relevant agencies to add the place of birth on the personal information page of the redesigned passport. 

The new passport, whose cover is blue-violet, consists of pages printed with the country’s famous landscapes and cultural heritage sites, ensuring technical safety and preventing counterfeiting.

The old passports which include the holders' place of birth are still valid until expiration.

Last week, Germany was the first country to announce that they would not issue visas to Vietnamese holders of the new passports due to the place of birth omission.

On August 1, the Spanish Embassy in Vietnam temporarily suspended granting Schengen visas, short-term visas for tourism or business purposes, to holders of Vietnam’s new passport for the same reason.  

The Czech Republic said on August 2 that it had stopped accepting the document, explaining that it does not meet the ICAO’s specifications.