Ministry plans to add 'place of birth' to new Vietnam passport

The new version of the Vietnamese passport will soon include place of birth details. — courtesy of Vietnam Government Portal

HANOI (Vietnam News/Asia News Network): The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) is planning to add 'place of birth' information to the new Vietnamese passport.

The move comes after a number of European countries refused to recognise the new passport due to the omission of the information.

The granting and use of the new passport will be among the issues Minister of Public Security Gen. Tô Lâm is questioned on at the 14th session of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Aug 10.

Compared to the old passport, the new version meets higher security requirements and standards of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), according to the MPS’ report sent to lawmakers prior to the meeting.

Images of Vietnamese landscapes and cultural sites are featured in the new passport with the aim of introducing the country’s land and people to international friends, it noted.

So far, the MPS has granted 272,000 new passports.

In the report, Lâm said according to the ICAO regulations, compulsory information in a passport consists of the type of passport, full name, passport number, date of birth, sex, and passport expiration date. ICAO also gave detailed regulations on the design and layout of information on the page of personal details to ensure consistency.

The new passport version has closely followed the above rules and met international standards, the minister said.

Explaining why the new passport doesn’t contain information about the place of birth, he said ICAO did not designate other information like the place of birth as mandatory. According to the Law on Exit and Entry of Vietnamese Citizens, information in passports also doesn’t include the place of birth.

On that basis, the MPS issued the new passport version without the place of birth to facilitate citizens’ entry, he said.

Regarding some European countries’ refusal to grant visas for the new passports, Vietnamese authorities have worked with those countries and found that this is only a technical issue.

Since a passport without information on the place of birth may cause difficulties for management in some countries, to help Vietnamese citizens seeking visas to the 26 Schengen countries, the MPS and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have agreed to add the place of birth in the appendix of the new passport if its holders wish.

In the long term, the MPS will revise the passport design and add the “place of birth” on the page of personal details, it noted, adding that it is collecting opinions about this issue from the parliament’s committees for defence - security and legal affairs, the Government Office, the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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