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Consular legalization of foreign documents for use in Vietnam

Last update: Aug 19, 2021

In order to have your University Degree, Police check, Marriage Certificate, Birth Certificate, etc. legally used in Vietnam, you need to have it certified by the diplomatic missions of your country in Vietnam and then consular legalized in Vietnam. The former procedure is called document authentication for use in Vietnam while the latter one is called consular legalization. In this post, we will learn about the latter as the former may vary depending on the diplomatic missions of foreign countries in Vietnam.

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Consular legalization in Vietnam
Consular Legalization in Vietnam – All things expats should know

1. What is Consular Legalization in Vietnam?

According to the Government Decree No. No. 111/2011/ND-CP of December 5, 2011 on consular certification and legalization, consular legalization in Vietnam means the competent Vietnamese agencies’ certification of stamps, signatures and titles on papers and documents issued by foreign agencies for being recognized and used in Vietnam.

The consular legalization simply certifies stamps, signatures and titles on papers and documents, not certifying contents and forms of papers and documents.

Sample of consular legalization stamp in Vietnam
Sample of consular legalization stamp in Vietnam

2. Documents Exempted from Consular Legalization in Vietnam

According to article 9 of Decree No. No. 111/2011/ND-CP, the following 4 types of papers and documents will be exempted from consular legalization in Vietnam:

  1. Papers and documents exempted from consular legalization under treaties to which Vietnam and foreign countries concerned are contracting parties, or on the reciprocity principle. You can see the list here.
  2. Papers and documents delivered directly or via diplomatic channel between competent Vietnamese and foreign agencies.
  3. Papers and documents exempted from consular legalization under Vietnamese laws.
  4. Papers and documents not required of consular legalization by receiving Vietnamese or foreign agencies under relevant Vietnamese or foreign laws.

3. Requirements for Documents to Be Consular Legalized in Vietnam

First of all, to be consular legalized by the competent Vietnamese agencies, the papers and documents issued by the foreign agencies should satisfy the following requirements:

  • They should not contain any modifications or erasures without proper correction as required by law.
  • They should not contain contradictory details.
  • They should not be forged or unduly issued or certified according to law.
  • They should not bear non-original signatures or stamps.
  • They should not contain contents infringing upon the interests of the Vietnamese state.

And then, before carrying out the consular legalization procedure, you must ensure that:

  • Your paper or document comprising two or more pages must bear a seal appended on adjoining pages;
  • your papers and documents must be first certified by overseas diplomatic missions, consulates or other authorized agencies of your country in Vietnam;
  • your papers and documents must be translated into Vietnamese or English (if they are not prepared in those languages).

4. Where to Carry Out Consular Legalization in Vietnam?

In Vietnam, you may submit the application for consular legalization of your papers and documents to the following competent agencies:

  • In Vietnam:
    • For consular legalization in Hanoi: Consular Department, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at 40 Tran Phu street, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi.
    • For consular legalization in Saigon: Ho Chi Minh City Department of External Relations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at 184 bis Pasteur, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
  • In foreign countries: Vietnam embassy/consulare general which are authorized to provide Vietnam consular legalization service.

You can submit your application and receive the result on weekdays, except public holidays.

5. How to Consular Legalize Documents for Vietnam

To get your papers consular legalized in Vietnam, you may have 02 options as follows:

  • Option 1: Authentication by MOFA of issuing country ► Consular Legalization by Vietnam Embassy in issuing country
  • Option 2: Authentication by MOFA of issuing country ► Authentication by Embassy/Consulate General of Issuing Country in Vietnam ► Legalization by Vietnam MOFA

After getting your document legalized by the process mentioned above, you will get it translated into Vietnamese and certified for use in Vietnam.

The processes to legalize foreign documents for use in Vietnam
The processes to legalize foreign documents for use in Vietnam

Option 1: Authentication by MOFA of issuing country ► Consular Legalization by Vietnam Embassy in issuing country

As told by the option name, you will need to finish the following 02 steps to get your document ready to be used in Vietnam:

Step 1: Document authentication for use in Vietnam

In this step, you need to submit the documents that need to be used in Vietnam to the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the issuing country for authentication.

Important note: You are required to follow the requirements set by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for authentication. For example,

  • certain MOFAs request you to have documents certified by a Notary Public in advance,
  • certain MOFAs request your diplomas certified by the Ministry of Education and training in advance,
  • etc.

Step 2: Vietnam embassy legalization

This step is also known as Vietnam embassy attestation or Vietnam embassy authentication, in which you will, firstly, need to prepare the following documents:

  • 01 application for certification/legalization of documents – form LS/HPH-2012/TK (download)
  • Original of the identification papers for the case of direct submission; OR 01 copy of identification papers for the case of submitting by mail;
  • Original and 01 copy of documents to be legalized which have been certified MOFA of the issuing country;
  • original and 01 copy of the translation of documents requested for Vietnam embassy legalization into Vietnamese or English, if such documents are not prepared in the above languages;

You then need to submit those items to the Vietnam embassy/consulate general in the issuing country for consular legalization.

Option 2: Authentication by MOFA of issuing country ► Authentication by Embassy/Consulate General of Issuing country in Vietnam ► Legalization by Vietnam MOFA

Step 1: Document authentication for use in Vietnam

You do as the same way as Step 1 in Option 1.

Step 2: Authentication by Embassy/Consulate General of Issuing country in Vietnam

After getting your document authenticated by the Consular Department of the MOFA of the issuing country, you bring it to the Embassy/Consulate General of its issuing country in Vietnam for further authentication.

You, of course, must follow the requirements of the Embassy/Consulate General.

Step 3. Consular legalization by Vietnam MOFA

This is the final step to get Vietnam consular legalization. In this step, you will work with the:

  • Consular Department of Hanoi, or
  • Ho Chi Minh City Department of External Relations

The dossiers that you need to prepare for application for consular legalization in Vietnam shall include:

  • Vietnam consular legalization request form No. LS/HPH-2012/TK (download or complete online here and then print it out for submission)
Request form for consular legalization in Vietnam
Request form for consular legalization in Vietnam
  • Original of the identification papers for the case of direct submission;
  • 01 copy of identification papers for the case of submitting by mail;
  • The requested document(s), which have been certified by foreign diplomatic missions, consular offices or other agencies;
  • 01 translation of requested documents for consular legalization into Vietnamese or English, if such documents are not prepared in the above languages;
  • 01 copy of documents mentioned in Items 4 and 5 for saving at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

In case it is required to check the authenticity of your documents; the dossier-receiving officials may request you to present original documents, relevant documents and submit 01 copy of these documents.

You then may submit your dossiers to one of the addresses mentioned above in person or by post. If your dossiers are not sufficient, the official there will request you to add. If your documents are sufficient, you will pay the consular legalization fee and get an appointment from the official.

Normally, the processing time is 1 working day since your submission of the full required dossiers. However, if your papers or documents consist of at least 10 pages, it may take up to 5 working days for your consular legalization.

👉Check Vienam consular legalization procedure by country

6. Consular Legalization Service in Vietnam

If you are not familiar with the translation of your documents into Vietnamese or English, completion of application form for consular legalization, or the procedure itself, refer to our Consular Legalization Service. If possible, we will also help you to find out the procedure for document authentication for use in Vietnam applied by the diplomatic mission of your home country.

Your benefits when using our Vietnam consular legalization service:

  • No form completion.
  • Fast and reliable processing. We will deliver the result to you within 03 working days.
  • Payment by PayPal, bank transfer or card or cash.

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Fri Mar 05 2021, 10:18:06 (GMT+7)