Thursday, 27 October 2011

Foreigner Marrying a Vietnamese Person. Pt 1.

(Update 8/12/2011: This all turns to custard, and the marriage never happens. But read on through the blog & posts if you want to see why).
This is the first of what I expect to be many posts on how to marry a Vietnamese citizen living in Vietnam. There is not much information available on-line. What there is I found to be confusing, not logically laid out, not intended to be a guide to others, or written in Vietnamese, or assumes that the foreigner is based in Vietnam.
My situation is that I live in Australia, I was born in Britain, I hold dual citizenship, that is English and Australian. My girlfriend, Fiancée now, lives in Vietnam. I struggle with Vietnamese, but am learning. My fiancée struggles with English. Despite that we are learning to communicate well.
I met my girlfriend while on holiday in Vietnam. I wasn't looking for love, or a relationship or even sex, I was just on holiday. In fact Vietnam was an add on at the end of the main holiday in Cambodia. The attraction was mutual and almost instantaneous for both of us. We kept in touch after my holiday and I have since been back to spend more time with her.
I am about to blog about this as both a record and an aid to others. I have trawled the net for the best part of 2 days and there is not a lot of helpful information, as I said above. One person who has married a Vietnamese lady blogs under the name The Final Word. You will need to look back in his Archive to July 2006 to start the thread.
I have been in touch with Jonathon who authors the blog, he has told me that a Vietnamese marriage is a lengthy bureaucratic process. Others have confirmed that. Processing speed and acceptance of documents is at the whim of the person that you are dealing with. Obstacles are put in your way that can sometimes dissappear with a gratuity. It was a lengthy process taking a full 3 months for Jonathon and he was based in Vietnam.
The Australian Embassy in Hanoi in Vietnam has some generic information about foreign marriages. However they assume that you are already in the country. I am not. According to the Australian Embassy web site my first steps are to obtain the following documents.
  • Certified copy of passport;
  • Original Single Status Certificate not older than 6 months;
  • If applicable, a certified copy of Decree Nisi of Dissolution of Marriage; Not required for me.
  • If applicable, a certified copy of the Death Certificate of previous spouse. Also not required for me.
That is where I intend to begin.
Until then the Bludger has work to do.

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