|New navy blue passports of Việt Nam. — Photo from the Immigration Department of Việt Nam|
HÀ NỘI — The Immigration Department (under the Ministry of Public Security) said it will continue to issue the new navy blue-coloured passport forms (the version with electronic chips), amid confusion over Germany's provisional suspension of visas on these new passports.
Previously, the Germany Embassy in Việt Nam announced on its Facebook page and website the non-recognition of the new navy blue-coloured passports of Việt Nam (issuance starting in July this year) and explained that this is due to the passports' lack of birth of place listed on the passports. This may make it difficult for the German immigration authorities in checking the information of the entrants, especially in cases with the same family names, the embassy noted.
The move prompted confusion among would-be applicants and travellers to Germany and Europe in general.
The immigration department said the new Vietnamese passports are designed in line with international regulations and practices, especially ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) standards, of higher quality, and more secure and fraud-proof.
Many countries' passports don't have the fields for birthplaces but are still recognised internationally, it claimed.
Arising problems will be settled in conformity with the law to ensure the interests of citizens, and unilateral moves from the German side will be responded to through diplomatic channels.
The old passports with the green colour can still be used until the imprinted expiry date, so there are two forms of passports in effect in Việt Nam concurrently.
In addition, a new version with electronic chips will start to be issued to the people starting in the third quarter of this year, according to the department.
The Consular Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs late Thursday said it is coordinating with relevant agencies to solve the problems related to Germany's new visa policy.
The department said on Thursday it received a diplomatic note from the German Embassy in Việt Nam which stated that Vietnamese citizens holding new passports will not be issued visas to enter Germany due to technical factors.
Upon receiving the information, the department said it has had exchanges with the Ministry of Public Security’s Immigration Department to map out plans to handle the issue.
On the same day, it contacted the embassy, suggesting that the two sides work together to find solutions for the technical problem to facilitate Vietnamese citizens' entry into Germany, suitable to the Việt Nam-Germany strategic partnership. The Vietnamese Embassy in Germany also got in touch with German authorities regarding the matter.
The Consular Department and the Vietnamese Embassy in Germany will continue to coordinate with domestic agencies and German counterparts to accelerate the handling of the issue, it said.
In response to multiple requests for information on potential similar policy updates, the French Embassy in Hà Nội said that for the time being and until further notice, the French authorities will continue to recognise the new passports of Việt Nam and issue new visas as normal.
However, according to the announcement of the German authorities and within the framework of the Schengen area, visas issued by the French Embassy in Hà Nội and the French Consulate General in HCM City on the new Vietnamese passport do not permit travel to Germany.
"Visa applicants holding a new Vietnamese passport therefore must adjust their stay to exclude the period of stay or transit in Germany. Holders of previously issued passports are not affected," French Embassy said, advising that the situation could change rapidly, and visa applicants should stay up to date. — VNS