Special Consular Services
- Assistance in Evacuation or Disaster
- Assistance in Obtaining Medical or Legal Assistance
- Visits in Jail
- Welfare and Whereabouts
- What the Consular Section cannot do
- Death of a U.S. Citizen
- Federal Benefits and Veterans' Services
- Marriage in Vietnam
- Local Civil Records Information
- Tax Information
- Criminal Background Check
If you are caught in a natural disaster or civil disturbance, you should inform your relatives as soon as possible that you are safe or contact a U.S. Consul who will pass that message to your family through the Department of State. U.S. officials will do everything they can to contact and advise you. However, they must give priority to U.S. citizens who have been hurt or are in immediate danger.
If you become sick or need legal advice, you can contact the U.S. Citizen Services unit for:
If you are arrested, you should ask the authorities to notify a U.S. Consul. Consuls cannot get you out of jail (when you are in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws). However, they can work to protect your legitimate interests and ensure that you are not discriminated against. They can provide you with a list of local attorneys, visit you, inform you generally about local laws, and contact your family and friends. Consular officers can transfer money, food, and clothing to the prison authorities from your family and friends. They can try to obtain relief if you are held under inhumane or unhealthy conditions.
Should one of your family members become missing, the U.S. Citizen Services unit can assist you in locating the person. Also, should you become concerned about the welfare of a family member, this office can assist you. Keep in mind that once an individual is located, you will be notified ONLY if he/she has signed an authorization or given verbal permission to waive the Privacy Act.
When contacting the U.S. Citizen Services unit in these cases, please have available the name of the person you are looking for, his/her U.S. passport number, date and place of birth, travel plans, and the date when he/she entered Vietnam.
The U.S. Citizen Services unit cannot act as your travel agent, bank, lawyer, investigator or law enforcement agent. Please do not expect the office to find you employment, get you residence or driving permits, act as interpreters, search for missing luggage or settle disputes with hotel managers. You may not stay at the U.S. Consulate General if you are stranded. However, the office can tell you how to obtain help on these and other matters.
Report of the Death of a U.S. Citizen
A document issued by a U.S. embassy or consulate reflecting the facts of a death abroad of a U.S. citizen. The document is based upon the local death certificate.
Disposition of Remains
Click here to find more information on how to repatriate the remains of a U.S. citizen who died in Vietnam.
The U.S. Citizen Services unit provides assistance with Social Security and Veterans' benefits.
Applying for a Social Security number: A first-time applicant must submit an original birth certificate and proof of U.S. citizenship. All first-time applicants age twelve (12) or older must appear in person at the Consulate General. A parent may apply for a child under age twelve (12); the parent must present a passport or Vietnamese Identity Card.
Changing your name on your Social Security Card: Applicants must submit an original marriage certificate and/or a change of name certificate.
Replacing a Social Security Card: Applicants for replacement Social Security Cards must present a valid U.S. identity document, preferably a U.S. passport.
For more detailed assistance, please contact the Social Security Administration directly using one of the methods listed below:
05-632-301-2000, select option 9, then option 2;
Monday through Friday 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Hanoi time (8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Manila Time)
Social Security Division
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office
1131 Roxas Boulevard
Ermita 0930 Manila
For description of benefits, and to find answers to many general questions, please visit the following websites: Social Security Administration, Department of Labor, Office of Personnel Management and Railroad Retirement Board.
The Vietnamese authorities are the proper point of contact for information about the requirements to register a marriage in Vietnam. More information about the procedures for a marriage in Vietnam and bringing a Vietnamese spouse or fiancé(e) to the U.S. is available on the Immigrant Visa unit's web page.
Copies of Vietnamese Birth Certificates
According to Vietnamese law, one can obtain copies of Birth Certificate by filing an application with the provincial Justice Department, providing all information related to the birth (date of birth, place of birth, parents’ names…). If the child’s parents registered the birth with local authorities, the Justice Department staff will check their birth registration book and issue copies of the birth certificate.
If the parents did not register the birth with local authorities, the parents can ask for a late registration of birth or re-registration of birth. The procedure for this process differs depending upon the province. Applicants should check with the Justice Department of the birth province for specific information. For example, in Hanoi, applicants must submit a confirmation from the local (ward) People’s Committee stating that they have never been issued a Birth Certificate and provide all available forms of identification to prove their date of birth. In some provinces, applicants may be asked to submit statements from two witnesses in the same village who knew about the birth.
If the applicant is not in Vietnam, he/she may ask relatives or friends in Vietnam to submit application on his/her behalf. Each provincial Justice Department has its own requirements. Some provinces ask for a notarized Power of Attorney from an applicant to assign a person in Vietnam to obtain the Birth Certificate. Again, check with the provincial Justice Department for specific information.
The IRS has created a new comprehensive tax page on its website which is directed to U.S. citizens and Resident Aliens abroad. This page contains basic tax information and also includes links to more detailed topics such as the foreign earned income exclusion, foreign tax credit, reporting foreign bank accounts, Fulbright grants, state taxes, and a myriad of others.
The Form 8938 (Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets) should be filed by taxpayers with specific types and amounts of foreign financial assets or foreign accounts. It is important for taxpayers to determine whether they are subject to this new requirement because the law imposes significant penalties for failing to comply.
Find here the Form 8938 instructions, regulations implementing this new foreign asset report, and other information to help taxpayers determine if they are required to file Form 8938.
U.S. citizens may be asked to present a “certificate of good conduct” or “lack of a criminal record” for a variety of reasons for use abroad including adoption, school attendance, employment, etc.
U.S. citizens can request a criminal background check in the U.S. or in Vietnam.
To obtain a criminal background check in Vietnam:
- Persons who have been living in Vietnam for 6 months or more can request this document from their local provincial justice office.
- If you no longer live in Vietnam, but need a criminal background check for the period of time you stayed in Vietnam, you can request it from:
The National Center for Criminal Checks
58-60 Tran Phu Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
Note: Foreigners who cannot appear in person when requesting a criminal background check may provide a Power of Attorney authorizing another person along with photocopies of the requestor’s current passport and the requestor’s passport previously used in Vietnam (if different from current passport) to obtain the criminal background check. The Power of Attorney and copy of the U.S. passport must be authenticated by a Vietnamese Embassy overseas or by the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affair’s Consular Department. The Power of Attorney must be translated into Vietnamese by a Vietnamese notary public.
Getting your fingerprints taken:
A U.S. citizen can have his/her fingerprints taken at the Consular Section, U.S. Embassy, 170 Ngoc Khanh Street, Hanoi, every Thursday afternoon (except Vietnamese and U.S. holidays) between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Please make an appointment for this service. Select "Notarial services and other services".
You do not have to pay for this service but you are responsible for sending the cards to your local police department or FBI.
Emergency Contact Information
If you are a citizen of the United States with an after-hours emergency, please call our hotline at: (04) 3850-5000/3850-5105 within Vietnam, or +84-4-3850-5000 internationally.
For non-emergency issues contact us here.
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