On 1 July, Vietnam started issuing new passports, called “the blue-cover Vietnamese passports” which have been troublesome with some EU countries. Several Members have suspended the recognition of the travel document, citing missing essential information.
Vietnam started issuing a new model of passport on 1 July. This version does not clearly state a person’s place of birth, which a requirement when applying for a travel visa. Instead, the new passports show a 12-digit number corresponding to the place of birth of the holder, however, this number has to be manually verified against a 7-page long list, which, authorities say, is not doable.
The first country to stop issuing visas for holders of the new passports was Germany. “From now on, the new blue Vietnamese passports cannot be visaed due to the lack of information on the place of birth. The matter is currently being examined by the responsible German authorities in cooperation with the other Schengen countries. However, until this has been clarified, the German diplomatic missions in Vietnam cannot accept the new blue passports for processing visa applications”, the German Embassy in Vietnam clarifies. Some people have already received a visa with their blue passports, but the Embassy advises them not to travel to Germany, as they might be refused entry at the border.
The new Vietnamese passport (also known as the blue passport) issued from 1July, 2022, lacks the place of birth, resulting in the border officers being unable to verify the identity of the passport holder.Embassy of the Czech Republic in Hanoi
“The Czech Republic agrees with other member states of the European Union (EU) and stops recognizing the new passport model. The decision is effective from this moment. The Embassy of the Czech Republic in Hanoi is unfortunately unable to accept the visa/stay permit application from the applicant presenting the blue passport. The Czech Republic is actively working with other EU member states and the Vietnamese side to resolve this issue”, the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Hanoi informed on 2 August.
Finland is the latest country to stop recognising the passports. ” Finland has decided to temporarily suspend recognition of Vietnam’s new passports. The new passport does not contain information of the place of birth of the passport holder, which is a requirement for personal identification and also for processing of Finnish visa/residence permit applications”, the notice from the Embassy of Finland in Hanoi reads.
Spain also refused to issue visas for holders of the new Vietnamese passports for a while, but has recently reversed the decision. Following consultations with Spanish authorities, the Embassy in Hanoi said those who want to apply for a visa and hold the new passport just need to bring another valid identity card clearly stating their place of birth.
The Ministry of Public Security of Vietnam said new passports will also include the holder’s place of birth, while the information can be manually added, upon request, to the already issued documents, VNExpress reports.