Procedures for marriages between Vietnamese citizens and foreigners as of May 15 will become simpler and faster than at present under a new governmental decree on marriage and family relations involving foreign elements.

The Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper has interviewed Nguyen Van Vu, head of the Civil Status and Nationality Division under the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Justice, about changes to the said procedures.

Under Decree 24/2013 that will take effect on May 15, the registration authority for such marriages remains unchanged, but the procedures will be simplified for the convenience of people involved, Vu said.

Under current regulations, both spouses are required to visit a concerned agency to which they submit their marriage registration file. In case one of the spouses is absent, he or she must authorize the other to represent him or her to submit the file through a certified letter of authorization, Vu said.

Meanwhile, under the new Decree, only one of the spouses can submit the marriage registration file, and both spouses are required to be present at the same time only when they enter the interview stage.

Currently, the registration of marriage between Vietnamese citizens and foreigners must be posted publicly at the office of the local Justice Department for seven days before the registration is certified to become valid. Now with the new regulation, this procedure is abolished.

This change will help cut down the duration for certification of marriage registration.

The time limit to settle the marriage registration of normal cases will also be cut from the current 30 days to 25 days from the date the municipal/provincial Justice Departments receive the complete and valid dossiers and fees.

In special cases, an additional period of no more than 10 days is required under the new decree, while under current regulations, it is 20 days, Vu said.

The new regulation also allows Vietnamese citizens to register their marriage with a competent agency in the foreign country where their spouse is residing. Previously, they would have to do so at their local Justice Department.

After obtaining a certificate of marriage registration from that agency, they are required to submit it to the local Justice Department in Vietnam for recording purposes.-VNA