Documents issued by competent authority of foreign countries, in order to be recognized and used in Viet Nam, it is necessary to carry out procedures for authentication or consular legalization. So how are these procedures regulated by laws, please read with Nghiep Thanh Law through the following article:
1. What is consular legalization?
Consular legalization is the certification of seals and titles made by a competent Vietnamese authority on foreign papers and documents so that such papers and documents can be recognized and used in Viet Nam. That is, foreign papers and documents to be recognized and valid for use in Viet Nam need to be consular legalized.
The agency having authority to make consular legalization:
– Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
– Diplomatic missions, consular agencies or other agencies authorized to perform the consular function of Vietnam in a foreign country.
* Depending on different specific cases, the competent authorities have different responsibilities.
2. What is authentication?
Authentication is understood as the fact that a competent authority certifies the accuracy of certain documents and records, and considers the legitimacy of papers, documents, signatures of individuals, and personal information to protect the rights and interests of individuals and organizations involved in civil, economic, and administrative relations.
Competent authorities authenticate:
– Division of Justice of districts, towns, provincial cities.
– Diplomatic missions, consular missions and other agencies authorized to perform the consular function of Viet Nam in a foreign country.
* Depending on each specific case, the competent authorities have different responsibilities.
3. Cases where consular legalization is not required
– Papers and documents are exempt from consular legalization under international treaties to which Viet Nam and related foreign countries are contracting parties, or on the principle of reciprocity.
– Papers and documents are transferred directly or through diplomatic means between a competent Vietnamese agency and a foreign competent authority.
– Papers and documents exempt from consular legalization in accordance with Vietnamese law.
– Papers and documents that are not required by the receiving agency of Viet Nam or that of the foreign country to be consular legalized in accordance with relevant Vietnamese or foreign laws.
You can refer to List of countries and types of documents exempted from consular legalization and authentication in Viet Nam to serve as a basis for determining the case that consular legalization is not required.
In addition, the following documents do not need to be consular legalized when conducting authentication of copies from the original:
– Passport, identity card, permanent residence card, residence card;
– Driving licence, diploma, certificate, academic transcript.
It can be understood that even though they are issued by a competent authority in a foreign country, however, the above documents only need to be authenticated at the agencies mentioned in Section 2, and used in Vietnam without having to carry out more consular legalization procedures.
* Exceptions: Although there are documents issued by countries on the list of exemptions from consular legalization or lists of documents that do not need consular legalization, in some specialized legal documents, there are specific regulations requiring the dossier to have consular legalization. Specifically, the types of documents in the procedures, such as:
– Personal records of foreign workers when carrying out procedures for granting work permits;
– Completing procedures for importing goods from abroad into Viet Nam;
– Foreigners applying for adoption in Viet Nam;
– Foreigners registering civil status in Viet Nam; etc.
The content above is the advice on “When do documents issued by foreign countries need to be authenticated or consular legalized in Viet Nam?”
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Translator: Le Khanh Linh
Content writer: Bui Thi Nhu
Instructor: Nguyen Linh Chi
Admin: Lawyer Thuan
 Article 2.2 Decree 111/2011/ND-CP.
 Article 5 Decree 111/2011/ND-CP.
 Article 5 Decree 23/2015/ ND-CP.
 Article 9 Decree 111/2011/ND-CP.
 Article 6 Circular 01/2020/TT-BTP.