How to become a Vietnamese citizen

Process to gain citizenship or naturalization

Foreign nationals who have held a Permanent Resident Card for a period of five years may apply for Vietnamese citizenship.

Approval for naturalization will be considered if the applicant satisfies the following conditions:

  • Having the full civil act capacity as prescribed by Vietnam’s laws.
  • Obeying the Constitution and laws of Vietnam; respecting the traditions, customs and practices of the Vietnamese nation.
  • Understanding of the Vietnamese language sufficiently enough to integrate themselves into the Vietnamese community.
  • Being capable of making their livelihood in Vietnam.

A person who wishes to apply will be asked to file a dossier to the Justice Department of the locality where he/she resides. The dossier will consist of:

  • An application for Vietnamese citizenship.
  • Copy of permanent residence card.
  • Copy of birth certificate, passport or other appropriate document for replacement.
  • Curriculum vitae form by the Ministry of Justice regulation.
  • A criminal record issued by a competent Vietnamese authority for the period the applicant has resided in Vietnam and a criminal record issued by a competent foreign authority for the period the applicant resided in the foreign country. Judicial records must be issued within 90 days before the date of filing the dossier.
  • Papers evidencing the applicant’s Vietnamese language skills (any apply): copy of a Vietnamese postgraduate, university, college, professional secondary, upper secondary or lower secondary diplomas; copy of a diploma or certificate of Vietnamese language skills granted by a Vietnamese language training establishment. If the applicant declares that they know Vietnamese sufficiently to integrate into the Vietnamese community, but have none of the above-said papers, the Department of Justice shall directly interview them to test their Vietnamese language skills under the guidance of the Ministry of Justice.
  • Papers proving the applicant’s ability to make a living in Vietnam (any apply): paper evidencing property ownership rights; written certification of the wage or income level, issued by the employing agency or organization of the applicant; written certification of taxable incomes, issued by a tax office; paper evidencing the guarantee by an organization or individual in Vietnam; written certification of the applicant’s ability to make his/her living in Vietnam, made by the People’s Committee of the commune, ward or township where the applicant resides.

In some special cases, a  person may be exempted from the conditions listed above. Persons exempted shall submit papers proving their eligibility for exemption, specifically:

  • Persons whose spouses are Vietnamese citizens shall submit copies of marriage certificates to evidence their marriage relations.
  • Persons who are natural parents or natural offsprings of Vietnamese citizens shall submit copies of birth certificates or other valid papers to evidence their father/mother-child relations.
  • Persons who have made special meritorious contributions to Vietnam’s national construction and defense shall submit copies of their orders, medals, certificates of other honorable titles or written certification issued by competent Vietnamese agencies or organizations.
  • Persons whose naturalization in Vietnam is helpful to the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam shall submit written certifications made by their employing agencies or organizations and written certification by a ministerial-level state management agency or a provincial-level People’s Committee of on their contribution to the development of any of the domains.

It usually takes 115 days for the authorities to process the application and make the final decision. It will cost about 3,000,000 VND (US$ 144) in fees.

Anyone who is naturalized, or gains citizenship, in Vietnam must renounce their foreign nationality. Also, a person applying for Vietnamese citizenship must have a Vietnamese name. Names may be selected by the applicants, and written in the decisions of naturalization. Lastly, a person will not be permitted citizenship if the applicant is found, for any reason, detrimental to Vietnam’s national interests.

Further reading

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