Vietnam’s new passports lack information regarding holders’ birthplaces, causing Germany and Spain to deny them visas, although embassies are working to find solutions to the problem.
Vietnam’s new passports, which came into effect on 1 July of this year, lack information on place of birth.
This makes them technically ineligible for entry into the 26 Schengen countries, which have done away with internal border controls, allowing free movement between member states. Schengen countries include all members of the European Union except Ireland and Cyprus, while Bulgaria, Romania, and Croatia are only partially covered by the Schengen agreement.
Germany was the first Schengen nation to deny entry to holders of the new, dark blue Vietnamese passports, followed by Spain a week later. Vietnam’s previous, green passports do include birthplace information, and thus can still be used to enter Germany and Spain until they expire.
The Vietnamese embassy in Germany announced that it will issue certificates indicating birthplace, free of cost, for holders of the new passport who have already been granted entry into the country. They will need to present their former passport or birth certificate to receive the certificate. Vietnam and Germany have also said that they are in discussions to find a resolution to the problem.
The Vietnamese passport was recently ranked the 92nd strongest in the world for its ability to grant holders entry into other nations. The Lao passport, which does include place of birth, is regarded as the 95th strongest.