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Vietnam Will Add Birthplace to New Passport Design After EU Visa Rejections

A temporary solution has been proposed for holders of Vietnam’s new passports, but it’s unclear at the moment when the state government will come up with a design update to include the missing “Place of Birth” field.

At a recent National Assembly session, Public Security Minister Tô Lâm answered a number of questions from delegates regarding the hiccup surrounding Vietnam’s new passport design, which has been rejected by some European nations for its lack of the “Place of Birth” information on the personal information page.

Lâm acknowledged that the ministry was at fault for the “technical” issue and announced that it would collaborate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to manually add the missing information to recently issued passports upon request. He added that the public security ministry will adjust the design to include place of birth, but did not provide more details on when this will take place.

According to Lâm, the new passport design does not include birthplaces because the detail is not required in both Vietnam’s Law on Entry and Exit of Vietnamese Citizens and regulations by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Starting from July 1 this year, the Vietnam Immigration Department under the Ministry of Public Security has been using an updated passport design for all new applicants. The new Vietnamese passport has 50 pages, illustrations of local landmarks and a change in color from green to navy blue. The new version also comes with various special printing techniques to better prevent counterfeiting.

Since the end of July, Germany, Spain and the Czech Republic have declared that they would suspend issuing visas for this new design as the page for personal particulars lacks the “Place of Birth” field. Germany said without this information, it won’t be able to effectively monitor entrants from Vietnam. The United Kingdom and France, however, have confirmed that they would still accept the new passport, while Spain has since reversed the ban, with the caveat that visa applicants will be required to provide valid personal ID cards.

As of the beginning of August, the public security ministry has issued around 272,000 passports with the new design.

[Photo via VTC]

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