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Citizenship by Marriage in Vietnam

Citizenship by Marriage in Vietnam

One of the ways to obtain Vietnamese citizenship is through marriage. However, what you should know is that the main pathway to being granted this country’s nationality remains naturalization. In other words, there are no special benefits if you are married to a Vietnamese citizen if you want to become a citizen of this state yourself.

Below, our lawyers explain the main Vietnam’s citizenship by marriage regulations and the 5-year visa exemption available for foreign citizens with Vietnamese spouses. You can rely on us to obtain both residency and citizenship.

The Nationality Law in Vietnam

The 1988 Nationality Act is the main body of law providing for the means to obtain citizenship in Vietnam as a foreign citizen. The only way is naturalization. This means that if you are interested in Vietnamese citizenship by marriage, you will need to meet the same conditions as a person who is not married to a national of this country.

Naturalization implies living in Vietnam for at least 5 years under a permanent residence permit. In this case, you might wonder if you have any benefits as a spouse of a citizen of this state. The answer is yes: you are eligible for the 5-year exempted visa or for a residence permit.

If you want to move to this country in order to obtain citizenship, you can check if you meet your relocation requirements with one of our lawyers in Vietnam.

The 5-year visa exemption for foreign citizens married to Vietnamese nationals

Vietnam does not have a spouse visa a foreign life partner can obtain. This gives them 2 options:

  • to secure a temporary residence permit;
  • to obtain a 5-year visa exemption.

Both options can lead to a so-called citizenship by marriage in Vietnam.

For foreigners who have a Vietnamese wife or husband:

  • visa-free entry and leave to/from Vietnam is available for a period of 5 years;
  • during this time, the foreign spouse must exit the country every 180 days;
  • this means that the foreign national cannot live in Vietnam for 5 uninterrupted years.

 This is a good option if you are a foreign citizen and need to travel back and forth to Vietnam for employment or business purposes.

Our law firm in Vietnam can offer additional information on this visa exemption.

Securing a residence permit as a means to Vietnam’s citizenship by marriage requirements

Foreign citizens married to Vietnamese nationals and planning on remaining in this country can choose to apply for residence permits that have a validity of 2 or 3 years. The main advantage of getting this card is that the foreign partners can stay in Vietnam without leaving.

The following documents need to be obtained in order to be granted a residence visa:

  • the Vietnamese spouse’s house registration book;
  • the foreign spouse’s original passport and ID;
  • the marriage certificate;
  • 2 recent photographs of the foreign spouse.

The same documents are required when applying for the 5-year visa exemption.

The residence permit is then issued in about 5 to 10 working days.

Once the foreign citizen has lived in Vietnam for 5 years, he or she can apply for citizenship.

Feel free to enquire about Vietnam’s citizenship by marriage conditions with our local law firm.

Marriage and divorce statistics in Vietnam

Vietnam is one of the countries with a low rate of divorce cases, however, recent data indicates that:

  • in 2021, the number of divorces was 22.3% per every 1,000 marriages;
  • in 2022, this number increased to 29.01% per 1,000 marriages;
  • in 2022, the number of registered marriages was 7,104.

If you need assistance in filing for citizenship as a spouse of a Vietnamese national, do not hesitate to contact our lawyers.