The police clearance certificate (or also called Police check, criminal record, or in Vietnamese – Phieu Ly lich tu phap) (according to Clause 1, Article 2 of the Law on Judicial Records in 2009) is the paper issued by agencies managing judicial record databases (provincial-level Justice Departments or National Center for Judicial Records), in which the content proves:
Individuals with or without criminal records, judgments or decisions of the Court during their stay in Vietnam
Whether an individual is currently banned from holding a position in the enterprise or establishing or managing an enterprise declared bankrupt by the Court.
Foreigners who want to apply for Vietnam work permit need a criminal record (or police clearance certificate):
If a foreigner has not entered Vietnam or has entered the country but has not yet reached the period of 06 months, a criminal record in the country of nationality is required. The laws of each country are not the same, so the rules for issuing criminal records are different.
For foreigners who have been temporarily residing in Vietnam for more than 6 months, the procedure for applying for criminal records for foreigners is a mandatory activity. Foreigners can apply for a criminal record at the Justice Department of the province where the foreigner resides.
Forms of police clearance certificate in Vietnam
There are 02 forms of police clearance certificate in Vietnam: No. 1 and No. 2.
The police clearance certificate No. 1 is for:
those who want to get a Criminal Record for personal/professional purposes: apply for a new job, apply for college/university, apply for a marriage certificate abroad, apply for residence abroad, etc.
political organizations who want to verify about someone for the purpose of employment or promotion
And it will show the following information:
Applicant’s personal information: Full name, gender, date of birth, place of birth, nationality, permanent/temporary residence, ID/Passport number
Those who have never violated the law or had a criminal record but have been cleared will show “Không có án tích” (No criminal record).
Those who have committed violations or previous criminal records that have not been deleted will show “Có án tích” (Criminal record) with the contents of that criminal record.
The police clearance certificate No. 2 is for:
those who just want to know their criminal record which is stored in government database (not to apply for job or any other purpose)
proceeding-conducting agencies (courts, procuracies) for the purpose of investigating a case/lawsuit.
This Form No. 2 states both spent and unspent convictions.
This means you usually only need to apply for a Police clearance certificate No. 1.
Where and how to get a police clearance certificate in Vietnam
Conditions for granting criminal records to foreigners
According to the provisions of the Law on Judicial Records, the conditions for granting criminal records for foreigners in Vietnam are to be temporarily staying in Vietnam.
The temporary residence in Vietnam is expressed at the time of the visa or temporary residence card of the foreigner who has registered temporary residence with the police of the commune, ward or town where she/he is staying. The registration of temporary residence is indicated in the temporary resident book or certificate of temporary residence registration issued by the police.
Document for applying for the criminal record No. 1 for foreigners
Form requesting issuance of the police clearance certificate 05a/2013/TT-LLTP (you can download it here).
Certified copy of passport of the person requested to be issued a criminal record;
Certified copy of valid Vietnam visa or certificate of permanent or temporary residence
In case of authorization, the following papers are required:
Original authorization document in accordance with the law (which is notarized, authenticated in accordance with the law)
Identity card (or passport) of the authorized person.
In case the applicant for a criminal record is a parent, spouse and child of the person who is issued with a police clearance certificate, no power of attorney is required but it is replaced by papers to prove the relationship (birth certificate; marriage certificate; etc.)
Note: The documents in the profile can be submitted without a certified copy, but it is necessary to bring the original for comparison.
Place of submission
Foreigners residing in Vietnam shall submit their application documents to the Department of Justice in the place of residence;
In case of living outside Vietnam, the applicant submit their application documents at the National Center for Judicial Records.
In addition, state agencies, political organizations and socio-political organizations, requesting the police clearance certificate for a person, shall send documents to the Department of Justice where that person permanently resides or temporarily stay. In case it is impossible to identify the permanent or temporary residence place of that person issued, the documents can be submitted to the National Center for Judicial Records.
How to get a police clearance certificate in Vietnam
Step 1: Register for issuance of online criminal record certificate
Press the “GET STARTED” button on the main screen.
Register Vietnam police check online for foreigners in Vietnam
Enter the full details of the declaration in the corresponding fields.
There are 6 sections you have to complete:
Information of family members
Residence process (from age of 14 to present)
The information which needs to complete in “Personal information” includes:
Date of birth
Place of birth
Identity documents (Number of ID card, date of issue, place of issue)
in the “Information of family members”, you provide the information (name and date of birth) of the mother, father, and spouse (if any).
In the “Residence process (from age of 14 to present)”, you should note clearly what and where you do, that is a permanent or temporary residence.
The section of “Other information” makes clear some details about the type of declaration, object of declaration, purpose, request criminal record certificates, whether manage or run a company that has been declared bankrupt by a court, and the fee level.
Next, you attach all the necessary documents (Application form, Identification card/Passport (Scan), Family register (Scan), Payment receipt) in the “Upload file”.
Finally, you decide to use or not use the post service, then click “I hereby certify that all the information given above is true and I am responsible for my testimony and all the services registered”.
After finishing, press “NEXT” button.
Review the information you have just entered. If it is correct press “NEXT”. You can print the declaration and sign it at this step.
Record your code displayed on the screen. Click the “FINISH” button to finish;
Step 2: Visit the Department of Justice or National Center for Judicial Records to submit your documents or send them via the postal service
The submission should be done in the morning as the Department of Justice or National Center for Judicial Records is often closed or cannot accept applications in the afternoon.
Step 3: Pay the fee for a criminal record issuance
There are 3 methods of payment of the fee for the issuance of a criminal record:
Transfer money directly to the Department of Justice’s account. (If paid in foreign currency, it will be converted into Vietnamese currency at the current exchange rate).
Direct payment at the Department of Justice (not applicable to payment in foreign currencies).
Transfer money via postal service when sending the application file with the receipt of the fee transfer to the Department of Justice (not applicable to payment in foreign currency).
Step 4: Receive an appointment paper to get the results
After completing all procedures, you will be issued an appointment paper. If submitted by mail, the appointment paper will be sent to the requestor’s email at the time the application is completed.
Step 5: Get the result
After the application is approved, the applicant arrives at the place where the application was submitted to get the result. Besides, the police clearance certificate will be sent to the address listed in the registration form via mail, if the applications are submitted by post.
Vietnam police check Processing time & fees
Normally, the processing time of a request for police check by the Department of Justice or National Center for Judicial Records is 15 working since receipt of full documents and payment.
The Vietnam Police Check Fee is 200,000 VND. In case the person who is issued with the police clearance certificate requests to issue more than 2 copies at a time, from the 3rd copy onwards, the additional cost is 5,000 VND/copy.
Validity of criminal record
In fact, there are no clear and uniform regulations on how long the judicial record will last. Depending on the legal documents in different fields and the requirements of agencies and organizations wishing to find out the criminal status of individuals, the criminal record will be valid for a certain period of time.
Therefore, when requesting a criminal record, you must know what the purpose is for and specific requirements of the relevant agencies and organizations to ensure the validity of the document.
Above is the information about how to get a police check for expats in Vietnam. We hope that it will be helpful for you! Good luck!
Disclaimers: While we put an effort to ensure that the provided information is correct and up-to-date, there are probably changes which we are unaware of.