This will be a two part (hopefully) post on how to get a birth certificate in Vietnam for FOREIGNERS. I hope that this post will help somebody else out there scratching his head on how to get his newborn baby a Vietnamese birth certificate. As you all know, getting the official birth certificate is most essential in getting your kid a passport.
I gave birth last April and after 3 months, we still don’t have a birth certificate! None. Zilch. Nada! I don’t think it’s a difficult process but having no specific checklist makes it difficult. The checklist I got from a friend was most helpful BUT when I was about to pass everything to the Department of Justice (where you get the birth certificate), they asked me for a few more documents. *sigh* I’ve been at this for over a month already. I didn’t process the papers right away because I couldn’t physically. And now, it’s crunch time as we hope to have the certificate on hand before the Consular Mission this August!
Above is the photo of my accumulated documents in this whole journey. I began with one envelope but found that the photocopy and original documents are dizzying to rifle through so I had to have two envelopes!
So what do you prepare?
1. Certificate of Live Birth issued by the hospital
2. Marriage Certificate of the parents
3. Original and photocopy of the Father’s passport
4. Original and photocopy of the Mother’s passport
5. Affidavit of the Child’s nationality
6. Original and photocopy of the Landlord’s Police Registration Book
7. Child Birth Registration Form from the DOJ
Sounds easy? Uh no.
In addition, we were asked to get:
8. Affidavit on One and the Same Person – for the mom who has taken their husband’s last name
9. Affidavit that the Person in the Father’s Passport is the same as the Person in the Marriage Certificate
10. Affidavit that the Person in the Mother’s Passport is the same as the Person in the Marriage Certificate
11. Affidavit of the Child’s Nationality from the Vietnamese government (People’s Committee)
1. ALL documents issued by your country should be AUTHENTICATED by YOUR CONSULATE / EMBASSY. For us Pinoys, we need to get the RED RIBBON. Better if your Marriage Certificate got authenticated in the DFA in the Philippines. But you’d still need to get it re-authenticated from the consulate in Vietnam. Prepare 2 photocopies of all documents.
2. ALL documents after authentication by your own consulate/embassy shall be brought to the Department of Foreign Affairs for VIETNAMESE AUTHENTICATION. Prepare 1 photocopy of all documents.
3. After authentication, ALL non-Vietnamese documents will be brought to the People’s Committee (Window 8) for translation and notarization. For the Affidavit of Nationality, the People’s Committee shall prepare the document first. So you can apply for this together when you have your other documents translated and notarized. Then when you come back, bring your spouse as both parents should be available to sign the affidavit. Prepare 2 photocopies of all documents.
4. Go to the Department of Justice to have your papers assessed for completion. I’ll tell you all about it in my next post. PLEASE, PLEASE WISH ME LUCK!
You’d essentially be transacting at 4 offices:
Processing fees at our Philippine Consulate for authentication is $25 EACH. And you wait a week before you can get the document OR pay extra $10 and you get it after 3 days. You can pay in VND and currently the exchange rate in the consulate is 23,000 VND to a dollar.
People’s Committee (47 Le Duan St., D1 | Open: M-F /Sat (half day))
For translation and notarization at the People’s Committee, you’d have to pay roughly 100,000 VND each document. If you’re just going to have it notarized, it’s much, much cheaper. Transaction time is 3 days.
Department of Foreign Affairs (6 Alexandre de Rhodes St., D1 | Open: M-F / Sat (half day))
For authentication, you’d have to visit the Department of Foreign Affairs. Upon entering the premises, get your ticket number by the guard house and go directly to the small office at your right behind the guard house. Transaction fee is at 30,000 VND per document. Transaction time is 1 day. HOORAY!
The DFA also translates documents but is much more expensive compared to the People’s Committee. However, this is good to know in case you’re trying to cut your transaction time.
Department of Justice (141 & 143 Pasteur St., D3 | Open: M-F)
This is where you pass all the documents to get the Birth Certificate which shall be in Vietnamese. Therefore, you’d need to have this translated back to English, then authenticated at the Department of Foreign Affairs and your own consulate/embassy.
Word of advice. Wear proper attire when transacting at these offices. A friend went to the People’s Committee in shorts and was asked to come back in pants. I’m not sure if this is a new directive coz I actually went one time in long shorts (because it was so darn hot!). 😀 But since these are offices, it’s just right to wear business casual clothes. Just don’t go there in shorts and flip-flops!