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UK will continue to recognise Việt Nam's new passports

VIETNAM, August 3 - HÀ NỘI — The United Kingdom will continue to recognise all passports issued by Việt Nam despite some countries in the European Union rejecting the latest version due to missing place-of-birth information.

“Visa applicants and travellers (including those in transit) should ensure they are fully aware of, and regularly checking, the situation on acceptance of these documents for all their destination(s),” the UK Embassy in Hà Nội said in a notice posted on Wednesday.

Last week, Germany abruptly announced that owners of the new Vietnamese passports, which have a navy-blue cover (compared to the traditional mossy green cover) and began being issued to the general public on July 1, 2022, could not enter the country.

German took issue with the omission of the province/city of birth information in the new passports. While this information can be identified using the first three numbers of the personal identification number, it is not available in the case of minors.

This decision means Vietnamese nationals with these passports cannot apply for German visas (types C and D), Schengen partners must exclude Germany from the area of validity for newly issued C-visas, and transiting through a German airport is also not an option.

The green-covered passports continue to be valid.

Following Germany’s decision, the Czech Republic on Monday declared its own non-recognition of Vietnamese new passports, for the same reason. The decision took effect immediately and the nation no longer accepts visa applications for these new passports.

Spain also said they cannot issue Schengen visas for holders of the new passports.

Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính on Wednesday asked the Ministry of Public Security to find solutions to the passport issue, to avoid any negative impacts while the country reopens and actively pursues socio-economic recovery.

In response to the media’s queries, the Immigration Department (under the Ministry of Public Security) on Tuesday said all issues related to Vietnamese new passports are being handled by the department, along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant countries.

Issues are being addressed via diplomatic channels, a representative of the department noted, adding that detailed updates will be made public when they are available.

The UK is the second country to have expressly stated their recognition of the Vietnamese new passports.

On July 28, 2022, the French embassy said, for the time being and until further notice, the French authorities will continue to recognise the new passports of Việt Nam and issue visas as normal.

“However, according to the announcement of the German authorities and within the framework of the Schengen area, visas issued by the French Embassy in Hà Nội and the French Consulate General in HCM City on the new Vietnamese passport do not permit travel to Germany,” it said.

"Visa applicants holding a new Vietnamese passport therefore must adjust their stay to exclude the period of stay or transit in Germany. Holders of previously issued passports are not affected," the French Embassy said, advising that the situation could change rapidly, and visa applicants should stay up to date. — VNS