MARRIAGE IN VIETNAM: How to get married in Vietnam

International marriage, intermarriage, or transnational marriage is a marriage between two people from different countries according to Wikipedia. In 2015, nearly 19 thousand transnational marriage was registered in Vietnam where 85% is with Vietnamese female.

This article will discuss about marriage in Vietnam, since we are an expat source page, we will only cover the culture, tradition, and process that involves a marriage between a Vietnamese citizen and a foreigner.

We will talk about cultural differences, how to incorporate two cultures together in a traditional Vietnamese wedding, and the legal process of how to get married in Vietnam. Please remember, we are not a consultation company that covers legal concerns, hence, we cannot offer you legal advice about this matter. We recommend you contact a family immigration lawyer regarding your concerns.


MARRIAGE IN VIETNAM - How to get married in Vietnam

Cultural Differences

Transnational marriage is fun because you can bring two cultures together. You can discover how weddings and marriages are different in each culture but also how alike are they. Some Vietnamese parents may be traditional and expect the wedding to be set in a traditional Vietnamese theme. This is something you should discuss with your future husband/wife.

Traditional Vietnamese Wedding

There are many Vietnamese traditions when it comes to marriages. This is something you should speak to your partner about before tying the knot. Regardless if you are planning to do a simple wedding or a traditional one, it’s important to discuss how to go about these Vietnamese wedding traditions:

  • Asking to receive the bride from their family
  • Meeting the bride’s family at their home
  • Bringing the bride to the groom’s house
  • Reception; prayers, dances, gifts
  • Traditional wedding ceremonies and symbols
  • Traditional Vietnamese clothes worn at weddings
  • The bridge’s change of dress

Wedding Settings

Some Vietnamese marrying foreigners would set two different weddings ceremonies to honour both cultures. For example, first a traditional wedding ceremony and reception, and the other might be done overseas, local destination in Vietnam, or the groom’s home country.

If you decided to get married both in Vietnam and your partner’s home country, the paperwork will be different. If you get married in Vietnam first, remember to bring the marriage certificate with you.


MARRIAGE IN VIETNAM - How to get married in Vietnam
Wedding traditions

Like what I mentioned before, getting married in Vietnam isn’t that complicated. It just takes time and lots of visits in different government offices. But getting registered or submitting your marriage application is not expensive nor complicated. Just make sure you have plenty of time to do the work.

The good thing is, you don’t need to hire anyone to assist you. The process of getting married in Vietnam is pretty straightforward work, just pack some patience and follow these steps.

Requirements To Get Married in Vietnam

1. Affidavit of Single/No-Marriage/Divorced Certificate

This is a requirement to both parties (foreigners and Vietnamese citizens).

This is basically a certificate that proves you are not married to anyone or if you have been, that marriage has been dissolved or voided. It’s proof that you are free to marry in Vietnam and in your home country.

Your embassy in Vietnam should be able to provide this to you, if not, make sure to have this ready before you leave your home country or check if someone can request this on your behalf and have it mailed to you.

Your embassy in Vietnam might require you to show your current visa or residence permit in Vietnam to request this document. For Vietnamese citizen, you should get this from you local People’s Committee.

2. Legalise and Translate your Single Certificate

Once you have your single/free to marry certificate, you must have this legalise and translate it into Vietnamese. Normally, this should only take 1 day to process. You should be given a receipt as proof that your documents have been received.

  • Where: Department of Internal Relations
  • Time: between 7:45 – 10.00 or 13.15 – 15.00
  • Fees: depends on the language and origin of the original documents
  • HCMC location
  • Hanoi location
  • UK Embassy
  • Australian Embassy

Remember to ask when you should come back to collect your documents.

3. Submit the Marriage Application Form – DOJ addresses

Get a marriage application form and fill in your details. You should be able to get this from your local District Justice Office. You should sign your signature in from of the People’s Committee civil status official.

Make sure that only one person fill in the details to make sure the handwriting in uniform.

  • HCMC location – 143 Pasteur, Phường 6, Quận 3, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh
  • Hanoi location – 221 Tran Phu, Ha Dong
  • Da Nang location – 16 Bạch Đằng, Thạch Thang, Hải Châu, Đà Nẵng 550000, Vietnam

4. Proof of Residency

Both parties can get this from their local police of the ward they currently live in. Your landlord should be able to assist you with this. If the foreigner resides outside of Vietnam, they must obtain this from their local office in their home town or Embassy if possible.

5. Mental Health Check

Remember to bring your marriage application form and four (4) copies of passport photos (both parties). You will be asked a series of questions individually and will be assessed that both parties are mentally stable to make an independent decision.

You have to inquire your local District Justice Office if they require a specific hospital to do this or if you can seek the service from independent hospitals.

ALSO READ: Best Medical Clinics and International Hospitals in Vietnam

6. Document Submission

Next, you must bring all your documents to your local District Justice Office and submit your application. You will be scheduled for an interview to prove that the marriage is bonafide, if your partner does not speak Vietnamese fluently, you may bring a translator with you.

  • Fee: 1,000,000 VND – must be paid in cash

7. Picking up your Certificate

Once your application is approved, you will be notified to pick up your documents. Bring your passport and TRC. Note that some District Justice Office might ask you to pay during the submission of the application or after when you come and pick up your documents.

Obtaining a Notarised Translation of Marriage Certificate

This is optional, but if you want, you can easily get a copy of your notarised translation of your marriage certificate.

  • Where: Department of Justice


Let’s do a recap of documents you must prepare for your application to get married in Vietnam:

  • Marriage application form with passport photos attached: 1 original copy
  • Mental Health Certification: 1 original copy for each party/person
  • Single/No-Marriage Certificate: 1 original consular-legalised copy for each party/person and 1 original notarised Vietnamese translation
  • Temporary Residence Card: 1 certified true copy (you can do this in any place that offers notary service)
  • Pink book: 1 certified true copy
  • Passport: 1 certified true copy each party/person
  • Passport photos, 4×6 cm: 8 pieces
  • Proof of residency in Vietnam: 1 original true copy from the police
  • Must wear semi-formal clothing: no shorts or flipflops


  • Your marriage application form must be sent where the Vietnamese partner is from (born)
  • If both parties are foreigners, the marriage application form must be submitted to the city where you reside
  • Woman must be at least 18 years old, and man must be at least 20 years old
  • Same-sex wedding is allowed in Vietnam, however, they are not legally protected by the law
  • All documents must be translated to Vietnamese and then notarised
  • Make photocopies of all your documents (you have to submit all documents in original copy)
  • Marriages must be registered within 15 days from the date the District Justice Office receives the application, you may apply for a 10-day extension
  • Rules may vary according to provinces to provinces or cities to cities, it’s best to inquire or double-check the requirements before submitting your application since it’s time-sensitive once you submit your application


I know we just talked about marriage and wedding in Vietnam, why am I spoiling it already? I know some people might appreciate knowing about this. We will discuss deeply divorce in Vietnam in a separate article.

For now, here are the basic things to know:

  • Divorce is legal in Vietnam
  • The application must be sent to the External Relations
  • A lawyer might be required if dividing assets and child/ren are involved

Getting the papers to get married in Vietnam is pretty easy, it just takes some time and lots of visit in different places. In Vietnamese culture, marriage in Vietnam is still a very big part of their tradition and culture.

While there are traditional practices that must be incorporated on your wedding day, it’s no news that many weddings today can be done in a much modern or wester style. From beach to mountain wedding, everything is possible. For example, Dalat, Halong Bay, and Phu Quoc are the most popular wedding destinations in Vietnam.

I hope you found this how to get married in Vietnam guide useful. We tried to cover as many areas as possible and include as any information as much as we can. We will keep this post update as often as we can to give you the freshest and most accurate information about marriage in Vietnam

7 thoughts on “MARRIAGE IN VIETNAM: How to get married in Vietnam”

  1. Thank you very much this was very helpful. I have one question tho, do you know if they accept a copy of a previous divorce certificate or does it need to be the exact divorvce certificate. Getting the original is near impossible for me right now.

    • Hi John, I believe it has to be an original or copy certified by your Embassy and then translated to Vietnamese which should also be certified true copy through either the Embassy or notary public. I hope this helps.

  2. Wanted to know on the marriage procedure during Covid 19 lockdown.
    If the foreigner husband is residing in his own country during lockdown, and the Vietnamese wife is in Vietnam, would marriage still be possible?
    * with the final intention of having the wife staying with the husband in his country

    • Hi Leong,

      Depending on where the husband’s country is. For example, if he’s from the USA, both of you can process a fiance visa which will let the Vietnamese person travel to the US and get married there and live there. You will have to check with the Embassy if they have this kind of visa option.

  3. Hi Isabelle,

    Great article, the best and most useful I’ve seen in my research on the topic!

    I’m from the UK currently working in Vietnam on a long term contract so I have all the correct work permits etc, my fiance of 6 years is from Brazil (she is still in Brazil), she cannot enter VN right now due to the current COVID situation.

    Firstly, I just need clarification that once the VN borders are open again can she enter on a tourist visa and we can get married here legally by following the process above? Secondly, would the process go much smoother if we hire a lawyer/solicitor?


    • Hi Adam,

      Thank you for your kind words, we really appreciate it!

      Last year, immigration changed a lot of things on visas including tourists and businesses. None of the changes mentioned anything about getting married while on those types of visas. My friend, who recently (earlier year) got married (to a Vietnamese) was on a business visa and everything worked just fine for them.

      I’m not sure about getting a lawyer to help with the process, but I can imagine if neither you nor your fiance speaks Vietnamese, it might be a bit challenging to go through the process, hence a local who can help you with paper and translation. If you are not in a hurry or have time to do the work, I recommend doing it yourself first and see. At the same time, you can start speaking to some lawyers/solicitors in case you need help, in that way, you can compare their rates and look up some reviews on their services.

      I hope this helps.

  4. Marriage in VietNam can be complicated in two respects. One is bureaucratic and the other personal.

    Although the law on marriage to non-Vietnamese has been through several revisions over the years, it is still subject to city/provincial variations as to adherence to the legislation. Smaller Vietnamese locations follow the rules with dedication whereas larger city-provinces are more practical. Ho Chi Minh City/SaiGon is by far the most advanced in easing regulations.

    Most everything can be influenced by donations to an official’s “pension fund”. From acceptable forms, to the speed of an application – there are many opportunities for exploitation.

    There are two types of Notary Public – governmental and non-governmental – determined by the ultimate use of the document being notarised.

    For ease of documentation, it is easiest to get the non-Vietnamese documents processed for validity in the non-Vietnamese spouse’ country. The document + supporting affidavit is processed through the Foreign Office/State Department/whatever and they communicate with the VietNam embassy (government to government) which eliminates delays.

    Often, Viet owned travel agents in the overseas country can assist of provide contacts such as Vietnamese-born lawyers who have taken up residence in that country.

    The meeting of two cultures can be difficult at the best of times. Obviously one of the spouses will not reside in their culture as they will move to another country. This can be harder on females.

    Most countries have a governmental participation in a marriage along with the cultural aspects. Quite honestly the civil (governmental) part is the easiest. The cultural part can be more difficult & expensive.

    The MOST IMPORTANT aspect is the REAL REASONS for marriage. Foreigners can be seen as financial security or a pathway to emigration. A male Foreign partner might be surprised just how many “relatives” pop-up out of the woodwork, with hands outstretched. Telling a Vietnamese female that you will live in VietNam rather overseas is one way to test the sincerity of a female spouse.

    Decisions about money – where is it kept (overseas or VN banks). Equally, property ownership is definitely different to many countries; divorce in VietNam is relatively simple compared to, say, the USA. All governmental compliance, for children, etc. such as birth registrations, /citizenship (both that of the parents is best), etc.

    Personally I prefer to keep the snouts of governments out of my business and as a (legal) holder of three passports not one of them know of my marriage to a Vietnamese citizen.

    All this said, I have been very happily married to a Vietnamese national for several decades.


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