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Ministry of Public Security ‘takes responsibility’ for new-passport issue

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – After three EU countries refused to recognize Vietnam’s new blue-violet passport, Minister of Public Security To Lam said the ministry is responsible for the issue, so it has come up with solutions.

Speaking at a Q&A session held by the Standing Committee of the National Assembly today, August 10, Minister of Public Security To Lam answered Nguyen Huu Thong, member of the Binh Thuan Province Delegation of National Assembly Deputies, who questioned him about the three Schengen member states refusing to recognize Vietnamese passports that have been issued since early July.

Lam said the ministry took responsibility for the issue as it was in charge of issuing the new passports.

Lam noted that the issuance of new passports was in accordance with the Law on Exit and Entry of Vietnamese Citizens and other regulations and in line with international practices.

Many countries have been using the format of passport which does not contain the place of birth (POB) field, Lam said, citing South Korea as an example.

“Our passports are recognized by most countries,” said Lam, adding that Germany and the Czech Republic not recognizing the new passport was only a technical issue. According to him, these states seek to verify the identity of visa applicants within specific locales.

He suggested solutions to resolve the obstacle. Accordingly, the Ministry of Public Security would add the POB information on an Observations page for citizens if needed, he said.

“In the long term, the ministry will work closely with the relevant agencies and the National Assembly to amend the Law on on Exit and Entry of Vietnamese Citizens in order to add the birthplace field in the passport,” said Lam.

Spain earlier did not recognize the new Vietnamese passport but later reversed its decision.

The Spanish Embassy in Vietnam announced on August 8 that newly designed passports of Vietnam will be recognized in Spain but Vietnamese visa applicants holding the new passports must submit a valid ID or citizen identification card to verify their birthplace information.

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