Joint circular 08/2009/TTLT-BCA-BNG: Guiding the overseas issuance of ordinary passports and laissez-passers under the Government's Decree No. 136/2007/ND-CP of August 17, 2007, on Vietnamese citizens' entry and exit

Link to law: http://vbpl.vn/tw/Pages/vbpqen-toanvan.aspx?ItemID=10546&Keyword=
Published: 2009

JOINT CIRCULAR
GUIDING THE OVERSEAS ISSUANCE OF ORDINARY PASSPORTS AND LAISSEZ-PASSERS UNDER THE GOVERNMENT'S DECREE NO. 136/2007/ND-CP OF AUGUST 17, 2007, ON VIETNAMESE CITIZENS' ENTRY AND EXIT
THE MINISTRY OF PUBLIC SECURITY -THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Pursuant to the Government's Decree No. 136/2007/ND-CP of August 17, 2007, on Vietnamese citizens' entry and exit (below referred to as Decree No. 136/2007/ND-CP);
In order to facilitate the issuance and modification of ordinary passports and laissez-passers for Vietnamese overseas citizens, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs provide the following uniform guidance:
Article 1. General provisions
1. Vietnamese overseas citizens who wish to be issued ordinary passports (below referred to as passports), have their passports modified or supplemented or to be issued laissez-passers shall submit dossiers and receive replies at overseas Vietnamese diplomatic representative missions, consular offices or other agencies authorized to perform consular functions (below referred to as Vietnamese representative missions). If they are in a country without Vietnamese representative mission, they shall submit dossiers to and receive replies from Vietnamese representative missions which are convenient to them.
2. The suspension of the issuance, modification or supplementation of passports and the suspension of the issuance of laissez-passers to overseas Vietnamese citizens prescribed in Clause 2, Article 23 of Decree No. 136/2007/ND-CP comply with notifications of the Public Security Ministry's Immigration Department.
3. The paper used as the ground for issuance, modification or supplementation of a passport or issuance of a laissez-passer is any of the following papers:
a/ Paper evidencing Vietnamese nationality (stuck with a photo) as prescribed by Vietnam's law on nationality in different periods;
b/ A valid paper issued by a competent Vietnamese state management agency to citizens, containing full personal information and stuck with a photo. A person's personal information covers his/her full name, date of birth, place of birth, gender and nationality.
If the above papers are no longer valid or not stuck with photos, they shall be used only for reference in the issuance, modification or supplementation of passports or issuance of laissez-passers.
4. Before issuing, modifying or supplementing a passport or issuing a laissez-passer, Vietnamese representative missions shall examine and check the list of those who have lost Vietnamese nationality to ensure that those who are to be issued passports or have their passports modified or supplemented and those who are issued laissez-passers hold Vietnamese nationality.
5. Vietnamese representative missions shall keep and manage dossiers of application for the issuance, modification or supplementation of passports and dossiers of application for issuance of laissez-passers within 10 years after the date of issuing, modifying or supplementing these passports or issuing these laissez-passers.
Article 2. Issuance, modification and supplementation of passports
1. For cases of application for first-time issuance of passports
a/ A dossier of application comprises:
- An application, made according to a set form.
- Two 4 x 6 cm white-background photos, recently taken with straight-looking eyes and bare head.
- A certified true copy or a copy of the paper used as a basis for the issuance of a passport (defined in Clause 3, Article 1 of this Circular).
- A certified true copy or a copy of the paper evidencing the applicant's presence in the host country.
For under-14 children:
+ An under-14 child may be issued a separate passport or share passport with his/her natural father or mother or adoptive father or mother (below referred to as father or mother) but may not share passport with his/her guardian; the passport shall only be issued to a child if he/she is determined as holding Vietnamese nationality.
+ In addition to the declaration and photos prescribed above, a dossier of application for a passport must also contain a certified true copy or a copy of the child's birth certificate specifying his/her Vietnamese nationality. In case the birth certificate does not show the child's Vietnamese nationality, papers evidencing his/her Vietnamese nationality are required. In case the child is adopted, a certified true copy or a copy of the decision recognizing the adoption is required.
+ The declaration must be signed by the child's father, mother or guardian. If the declaration is signed by the guardian, a certified true copy or a copy of the paper valid to determine that this person is the child's guardian is required. If the parent wishes to use his/her passport also for the child, he/she shall declare information on the child in his/her declaration form and submit two 3x4 cm photos of the child.
- For submitted copies of papers specified in this Point, their originals must be produced for examination and comparison.
b/ The handling of dossiers by Vietnamese representative missions:
- Within 5 working days after the receipt of a complete and valid dossier, the Vietnamese representative mission shall decide to issue a passport and reply the applicant.
- In case the dossier is incomplete, the Vietnamese representative mission shall ask the applicant to clearly declare his/her personal identity details and request the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Public Security, to conduct verification. A person's personal identity details cover his/her personal information and relevant information to support the identification of that person such as his/her address of permanent or temporary residence in the country before exit, details of the entry and exit paper (type of paper, serial number, date of issue and issuing agency) and his/her relatives in Vietnam.
- Within 45 days after the receipt of the request for verification of the applicant's personal identity details, the Immigration Department shall conduct verification and issue a written rely to the Vietnamese representative mission.
- Within 5 working days after the receipt of the notification from the Immigration Depart­ment, the head of the Vietnamese representative mission shall consider and decide on the issuance of a passport and issue a reply to the applicant.
2. For cases of application for re-issuance of passports (which are lost, damaged or expired or separately issued for accompanied children) or renewal of valid passports:
a/ A dossier comprises:
- The declaration, photos and papers defined at Point a. Clause 1 of this Article.
- The applicant must return the issued passport. In case the issued passport is lost, the applicant shall submit a report on the loss of the passport.
- In case of application for a separate passport for a child, the applicant shall submit two 4x6 cm photos of this child.
- If the passport was issued by the Vietnamese representative mission itself, it is not required to submit papers used as a basis for the issuance of a passport.
b/ The handling of dossiers by Vietnamese representative missions:
- Within 5 working days after the receipt of a complete and valid dossier, the Vietnamese representative mission shall decide to re-issue or renew the passport and reply the applicant.
- In case of issuance of a passport to a child separated from the Vietnamese passport of his/her father or mother, after issuing a passport to this child, the Vietnamese representative mission shall make a remark in Vietnamese and English on page 6, 7 or 8 of the father's or mother's passport as follows "To obliterate the name of the child ……from page 4 of this passport."
- In case of re-issuance of passports in replacement of damaged or expired ones or renewal of valid passports, after issuing a new passport, the Vietnamese representative mission shall duplicate the personal information page in the old passport for archive and perforate the old passport (on the lower right side of the passport, from page 1 thru 24, except pages stuck with valid visas or residence permits issued by foreign authorities) and return it to the applicant.
- In case the dossier is incomplete for passport re-issuance or renewal, the overseas Vietnamese mission shall ask the applicant to clearly declare his/her personal identity details and request the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Public Security, or the Vietnamese representative mission which has issued the passport to conduct verification. The issuance of verification requests by Vietnamese representative missions, the time limit for passport-issuing agencies to reply and the time limit for Vietnamese representative missions to reply applicants comply with Point b. Clause 1 of this Article.
3. For cases of application for modification of a passport (adjusting the name, date of birth, place of place, gender and ID number) or addition of an under-14 child to the Vietnamese passport of his/her father or mother:
a/ A dossier comprises:
- In case of application for adjustment of the name, date of birth, place of birth, gender or ID number, the applicant shall submit a declaration, one 4x6 cm photo and a certified true copy or a copy of the legally valid paper evidencing the adjustment (for a copy, the original must be produced for examination and comparison).
- In case of application of addition of an under-14 child to the Vietnamese passport of his/ her father or mother, the dossier complies with Point a, Clause 1 of this Article (the part prescribed for under-14 children). If the child is an offspring of a Vietnamese citizen and a foreigner, the Vietnamese representative mission shall add him/her to the Vietnamese passport of his/her mother only if he/she holds Vietnamese nationality.
b/ The handling of dossiers by Vietnamese representative missions
- Within 5 working days after the receipt of a complete and valid dossier, the Vietnamese representative mission shall decide to modify the passport and reply the applicant.
- In case of addition of an under-14 child to the Vietnamese passport of his/her mother or father, the Vietnamese representative mission shall make a remark in Vietnamese and English on page 6, 7 or 8 of this passport as follows: "To add the child.... to page 4 and adjust the validity of this passport through..." according to the adjusted validity of passports prescribed in Clause 3, Article 3 of this Circular.
- In case of adjustment of the name, date of birth, place of birth, gender or ID number, the Vietnamese representative mission shall make the remark: "To amend ...at page 4 of this passport into..."
- In case the dossier is incomplete, the Vietnamese representative mission shall ask the applicant to clearly declare his/her personal identity details and request the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Public Security, to conduct verification. The issuance of verification requests by Vietnamese representative missions, the time limit for verification by the Immigration Department and the time limit for Vietnamese representative missions to reply applicants comply with Point b, Clause 1 of this Article.
4. In case the applicant for issuance or modification of a passport produce a certificate of personal identity details issued by the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Public Security (made according to a set form), the Vietnamese representative mission shall decide to issue or modify the passport and return it to the applicant within 5 working days.
Article 3. Validity of passports
1. Passports issued to citizens aged full 14 years or older are valid for 10 years at most from the date of issuance and inextensible. Issued passports which have a validity of 5 years may be extended once for not more than 3 years, if the holders so wish but the extension must be carried out at least 30 days before the expiration date of the passports.
2. Passports issued to under-14 children (separate passports or passports of those who share passports with their fathers or mothers) are valid for 2-5 years from the date of issuance in conformity with the host countries' law on residence of foreigners and inextensible.
3. In case of addition of under-14 children to Vietnamese passports of their fathers or mothers, the validity term of the fathers' or mothers' passports will be extended for 2-5 years from the date of adding these children in conformity with the host countries' law on residence of foreigners.
Article 4. Reporting on loss of passports and handling of these cases by Vietnamese representative missions
1. Within 48 hours after being aware of the loss of a Vietnamese passport, the passport holder shall file a report with the nearest overseas Vietnamese representative mission and the competent authority of the host country.
2. After receiving the report, the Vietnamese representative mission shall notify the passport holder's personal identity details and the passport's number, date of issuance and place of issuance to the Immigration Department, the Ministry of Public Security, for cancellation of the passport and. to competent agencies and the diplomatic corps in the host country.
3. If the lost passport which has been invalidated is found, its validity will not be restored.
Article 5. Issuance of laissez-passers
1. Laissez-passers will be issued to Vietnamese citizens who:
a/ Go abroad for a definite term for working, study or tourism or for settlement of personal affairs but their passports are lost or have expired and they wish to return to Vietnam.
b/ Are not allowed by foreign authorities to reside in foreign countries, are forced to repatriate or wish to return to Vietnam but have no valid passport.
c/ Are subject to expulsion under written decisions of competent foreign authorities but have no valid passport.
d/ Are ordered to repatriate by competent Vietnamese agencies but have no valid passport.
2. Dossiers, procedures and settlement by Vietnamese representative missions
a/ For those who go abroad for a definite term for working, study or tourism or for settlement of personal affairs but their passports are lost or have expired (specified at Point a. Clause 1 of this Article) and those who are not allowed to reside in foreign country, are forced to repatriate or wish to return to Vietnam but have no valid passport (specified at Point b, Clause 1 of this Article):
- A dossier comprises:
+ A declaration, made according to a set form.
+ Two 4 x 6 cm white-background photos, recently taken with straight-looking eyes and bare head.
+ A certified true copy or a copy of the paper used as a basis for the issuance of a laissez-passer prescribed in Clause 3. Article 1 of this Circular (for a copy, the original must be produced for comparison);
+ The expired passport or a report on loss of a passport;
+ Those who wish to return to Vietnam shall write down their aspiration in the declaration.
- The handling of dossiers by Vietnamese representative missions:
+ Within 5 working days after the receipt of a complete and valid dossier, the Vietnamese representative mission shall decide to issue a laissez-passer and reply the applicant.
+ If the dossier is incomplete, the Vietnamese representative mission shall ask the applicant to clearly declare his/her personal identity details and request the Public Security Ministry's Immigration Department to conduct verification. The issuance of verification requests by the Vietnamese representative mission, the time limit for the Immigration Department to conduct verification and the time limit for Vietnamese representative mission to reply the applicant comply with Point b. Clause 1, Article 2 of this Circular.
b/ For those who are subject to expulsion under written decisions of competent foreign agencies but have no valid passport (defined at Point c. Clause 1 of this Article):
A dossier comprises the declaration, photos and papers specified at Point a, Clause 2 of this Article and a copy of the effective expulsion decision issued by a competent agency of the host country.
The handling of dossiers by Vietnamese representative missions:
+ The Vietnamese representative mission shall send to the Public Security Ministry's Immigration Department a request for verification of personal identity details of the person subject to expulsion and the expulsion decision issued by the host country's authority (serial number and date of issue of the decision, the reasons for expulsion, and statute of limitations). Within 45 days after receiving the verification request, the Immigration Department shall issue a written reply to the Vietnamese representative mission.
+ The Vietnamese representative mission shall issue a laissez-passer to the applicant only after obtaining the approval of the Public Security Ministry's Immigration Department.
c/ For those who are ordered by competent Vietnamese agencies to repatriate but have no valid passport (defined at Point d. Clause 1 of this Article), the Vietnamese representative mission shall issue them a laissez-passer under the notification of the Public Security Ministry's Immigration Department.
3. After issuing a laissez-passer to those who are subject to expulsion under a written decision of competent foreign authorities and those who are ordered by competent Vietnamese agencies to repatriate but have no valid passport, the Vietnamese representative mission shall notify the Public Security Ministry's Immigration Department of the number and date of issuance of the laissez-passer, vehicle and border gate of entry of the laissez-passer holder.
4. In case Vietnamese citizens who are forced to repatriate by foreign authorities or subject to expulsion under a written decision of a competent foreign authority fall within the governing scope of treaties between Vietnam and the host country on the receipt of Vietnamese citizens, provisions of these treaties prevail.
Article 6. Organization of implementation
1. The Public Security Ministry's Immigration Department shall:
a/ Propose the Minister of Public Security to promulgate forms of passport and laissez-passer after reaching agreement with the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
b/ Promulgate forms of application for issuance or modification of passports, form of application for issuance of laissez-passers; forms of certificate of personal identity details; form of report on loss of passports in foreign countries and other relevant forms of papers after reaching agreement with the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
c/ Manage blank passports and laissez-passers; print and supply blank passports and laissez-passers as estimated at the request of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
d/ Assume the prime responsibility for, and coordinate with the Consular Department, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in. establishing a computer network with an uniform and synchronous program for transmission of data on the issuance of passports and laissez-passers to citizens from Vietnamese representative missions and the Consular Department to the Immigration Department.
e/ Coordinate with the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in guiding and answering inquiries of Vietnamese representative missions about problems arising in the implementation of this Circular; examine and review the implementation of this Circular by Vietnamese representative mission when so requested.
2. The Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall:
a/ Guide and answer inquiries of Vietnamese representative missions about problems arising in the implementation of this Circular, after reaching agreement with the Immigration Department, the Ministry Public Security.
b/ Assume the prime responsibility for. and coordinate with the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Public Security, in, examining and reviewing the implementation of this Circular by Vietnamese representative missions.
c/ Organize and guide Vietnamese representative missions to establish a computer network for transmission of data on the issuance and modification of passports and issuance of laissez-passers to the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Public Security.
d/ Estimate and request the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Public Security, to print blank passports and laissez-passers; receive blank prints and calculate costs for printing blank passports and laissez-passers with the Immigration Department; supply blank passports and laissez-passers to Vietnamese representative missions.
3. This Circular takes effect 45 days from the date of its signing and replaces Joint Circular No. 03/2002/TTLT/CA-NG of January 29, 2002 of the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, guiding the overseas issuance of ordinary passports and laissez-passers under the Government's Decree No. 05/2000/ND-CP of March 3, 2000 on Vietnamese citizens' entry and exit.
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