Question 35: As for divorce cases comprising a foreign element, are the divorce petition, and other relevant documents as prescribed by law, required to be translated into Vietnamese and consulated before being submitted to the Vietnamese Court?

Under the Civil Proceedings Code 2015, Vietnamese is the language for writing and speaking in the process of resolving civil dispute. Accordingly, divorce petition, documents, evidence, and other papers attached to such petition in foreign languages must be translated into Vietnamese, notarised and lawfully certified. In addition to the translation into Vietnamese, these documents and papers must also be consulated before they can be accepted by the Court[2]:

  • Documents and papers made in a foreign country by a spouse residing overseas; and
  • Documents and papers issued, granted, and verified by a competent foreign organisation or institute.

If documents and papers are exempt from consular legalisation under Vietnamese laws or international treaties to which Vietnam is a member, they may be accepted by the Court without consular legalisation. Yet it still depends on which country they are sourced from or the international treaty that Vietnam commits to know whether these documents and papers are required to be verified by a foreign consular organisation as being exempted from the legalisation procedure.

[2] Article 478 of the Civil Proceedings Code 2015.

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