|An example of the main page of the new passport with the place of birth information added back in. — Photo from Việt Nam Immigration Department|
HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Public Security and Vietnam’s overseas representative agencies will add 'place of birth' information in new passports (navy blue cover) from January 1, 2023, said the Việt Nam Immigration Department.
Ordinary passports issued before January 1, 2023, according to previously issued forms, are still valid until the expiry of the period stated in the passport.
Another change is that the 'surname', 'middle name' and 'first name' will be printed on two separate lines, making it easier for Vietnamese citizens to handle immigration and residence procedures abroad and avoid mistakes in transactions and document issuance, said the department.
Each page of the new passport features the country’s iconic and heritage landscapes such as Hạ Long Bay, Huế Imperial City, Hùng Kings Temple, Hội An Ancient Town, Mỹ Sơn Sanctuary, Nhà Rồng Wharf, Lũng Cú Flag Tower, Tò Vò Gate – Lý Sơn Island, contributing to efforts of popularising Việt Nam’s images to the world.
The move is in accordance with the Law on Entry and Exit of Vietnamese Citizens, the Civil Code and Law on Civil Status, and international practices used by most countries globally, such as the US, the UK, France, Germany, Laos and Cambodia.
It is also meant to realise the Resolution adopted by the 15th National Assembly's fourth session in November.
The re-adding of birthplace information was in response to a row of rejections by several countries – mostly in Europe, such as Germany, Spain and the Czech Republic – in August and September 2022 as they contested the removal of such information (compared to the old green cover passports of Việt Nam) would make it harder for immigration authorities to verify the identity of the new passport holders.
The public security ministry insisted that the change was consistent with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) guidelines, which say birthplace information is not a mandatory field in the passport's main page, but eventually relented and added the field back in. — VNS