Find out about the legal requirements for getting married in Vietnam...
Anybody can get married in Vietnam as long as they are living in Vietnam and the following requirements are met:
- The woman is over 18 and the man is over 20
- Neither the man nor the woman has a spouse under Vietnamese law
- Both partners are mentally capable of making independent decisions
- The couple does not have blood relatives in three generations
The following people are not allowed to get married:
- Adoptive parents and adopted children, stepfather and daughter-in-law, stepmother and son-in-law, stepfather and his wife’s daughter, stepmother and her husband’s son
- Same-sex couples (see LGBT page about current draft legislation on this issue)
Note: Two copies in Vietnamese of all marriage application documents are needed. They must then be submitted by one or both applicants to the Department of Justice in the area of residence. An application via a third party is not accepted.
- A completed marriage application form
- See an example of a marriage application form (PDF, in Vietnamese and English)
- Proof of marital status – an applicant must prove their single or divorced status, or that their spouse is deceased, with a document issued by a competent agency from their home country. This document must be dated no earlier than six months before the date when the marriage documents are submitted
- Medical certificate – this can be issued by a competent organisation in Vietnam or abroad and must be dated no earlier than six months before the date when the marriage document is submitted. It must certify that the applicants are not suffering from a mental illness or any other illness that impedes independent decision making
- Certified copy of personal identity – Vietnamese citizens
- Certified copy of household registration certificates or resident registration – Vietnamese citizens
- Passport or resident card – foreigners and Vietnamese citizens residing abroad
- Temporary/Permanent resident card – foreigners residing in Vietnam
- Marriage application fee
Department of Justice
The Department of Justice has the following responsibilities, which are carried out within 15 working days of receiving the documents for a marriage application:
- Interviewing applicants to ensure that they are getting married voluntarily and assessing their language ability for the purposes of communication and mutual understanding
- Recording the interview on paper with the interviewer’s comments and signature
- Listing the marriage within seven consecutive working days at the Department of Justice headquarters, and also sending a written request to the People's Committee of Communes in the applicants’ place of residence. The People's Committee of Communes are responsible for listing the marriage within seven consecutive days of receiving the request by the Department of Justice. During this period, if there are any complaints or accusations of violating marriage law, the People's Committee writes a report to the Department of Justice
Within 25 working days after receiving the documents and fee, the Department of Justice issues its decision.
Once the marriage certificate has been signed by the Head of the Provincial People’s Committee, the Department of Justice will arrange a civil marriage within five working days.
A Vietnamese citizen who is serving in the armed forces or whose work is directly related to state secrets must submit a certificate issued by central or provincial bodies, confirming that marriage to a foreigner does not affect the protection of state secrets and is not inconsistent with the provisions of this industry.