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Changes to notarial and documentary services in Vietnam

We have made these changes to ensure that we comply fully with the requirements of the Vietnamese authorities.

Consular services

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is making changes to the notarial and documentary services offered at its Missions in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

What is changing?

From 13th November 2017, the British Embassy in Hanoi and Consulate-General in Ho Chi Minh City will no longer provide a legalisation service.

All documents originating from the UK requiring legalisation (such as educational certificates university degrees, teaching and EFL qualifications and other documents required by the Vietnamese authorities for work permits) must be legalised by the UK Legalisation Office and by the Vietnamese Embassy in London before they can be used in Vietnam.

Why are we making these changes?

The changes ensure we comply fully with Vietnamese law. Foreign authorities often ask that documents are legalised before they can be used for official purposes in their country. The UK Legalisation Office is the competent authority that can carry out this service for UK documents.

The changes we are making in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City bring our Consular services in to line with the services offered in UK Missions in other countries.

These changes are not about cost cutting. A key theme of the British Government’s consular strategy is to focus more consular resource on vulnerable British Nationals overseas. The changes will allow our staff to provide more support to our most vulnerable customers including, for example, minors, the elderly and victims of serious crime.

What Notarial and Documentary Services will you offer?

We will continue to provide other notarial and documentary services to British Nationals in Vietnam. A full list of these services can be found on our website.

What does the change mean in practice?

You will need to plan ahead. If you intend to come to Vietnam to work or to live, you should check with your future employer and the relevant Vietnamese Authorities as to what documents you need to submit. You will then need to get all the required UK documents legalised by the Legalisation Office and then by the Vietnamese Embassy in London before you bring them to Vietnam. Please note that some documents may need to be certified in the UK by a solicitor or ‘notary public’ before they can be legalised.

If you are in Vietnam and need your documents legalised, you will need to arrange for your documents to be sent to the UK, first to the Legalisation Office and then to the Vietnamese Embassy in London. Both these authorities accept applications by post and courier. Further information can be found on the UK Legalisation Office website and the Vietnamese Embassy website.

You can either get your documents legalised yourself or alternatively employ a commercial provider to do this on your behalf.

We are working closely with the Vietnamese authorities and the Vietnamese Embassy in London to ensure a smooth transition to the new procedures.

Published 16 October 2017