|Việt Nam's new passports with navy blue covers. — Photo from Việt Nam Government Portal
HÀ NỘI — The National Assembly has officially agreed to add place of birth information back into Vietnamese new passports, following rejections from a number of Western countries earlier this year.
On Tuesday afternoon, the NA passed a resolution of the fourth plenary session after 21 working days, with the majority of the deputies in agreement, which includes the item on the controversial new passports.
The resolution states that the parliament agrees with the Government’s proposal on adding back the information, and told Government to direct relevant authorities to modify and supplement legal documents to carry out this task.
The Government was also told to study and submit to the National Assembly for consideration and making a decision on the amendment of Clause 3, Article 6 of the Law on Exit and Entry of Vietnamese citizens to meet practical requirements.
Previously, some countries – including Germany, Czech, and Spain – said they suspended the recognition of the navy blue covered passports of Việt Nam, which started to be issued from July 1, 2022 – because of the omission of the birthplace information.
They said the lack of this information would make it hard for their immigration authorities to verify the identity of the passport holders.
The Immigration Department under the Ministry of Public Security insisted the new passport complies with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards (which doesn't state the place of birth as a mandatory field of information in the passport's visual inspection area), but relented by supplementing birthplace information to the appendix of the passports, to facilitate Vietnamese citizens’ travels.
The NA’s approval would mean the birthplace information would return to the main inspection area of the passports.
General Secretary, Chairman of the National Assembly Office Bùi Văn Cường in the press conference held following the closing of the NA meeting, said that the addition of new field of information in the passport form will not cause extra fees or procedures, since in the application for passports already has included this information as a mandatory field already.
This is information that must be declared for the immigration authorities to include in the national database on immigration. The passport management agency can easily extract the place of birth information from the database of passport information, the official noted.
However there has not yet been official measure dealing with the already printed passports. — VNS