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Consular Facilities
British Embassy Central Building
31 Hai Ba Trung
Tel: 84.4.9360500
Fax: 84.4.9360561; 9360562
British Consulate General 25 Le Duan St.
District 1
Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: 84.8.8298433; 8232862
Fax: 84.8.8221971; 8295257

Information for UK Citizens Planning to Travel to the United States

The United States Government has announced that, with effect from 1 October 2003, all citizens of countries eligible for the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP) wishing to enter the U.S. without a valid visa must present a machine readable passport. This includes British passport holders. Machine-readable passports have a strip of information on the bottom of the data-page. VWP nationals who do not have a machine-readable passport must obtain a US non-immigrant visa prior to arrival.

This policy change also means that children who are included in a parentís or siblingís passport (whether machine-readable or not) will need to have their own separate passport in order to be admitted to the US under the VWP.

Only Visa Waiver travel is affected. Passengers with non machine-readable passports will continue to be valid for US "Transit Without Visa" purposes.

Passports issued by the British Embassy in Hanoi do not have a machine readable strip and would not qualify the holder for a Visa Waiver under the revised procedures.

For further information about these new requirements and more general information on travel to the United States, please visit the Travel Safety Advice pages on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website at

Direct Airside Transit Regime

With effect from 24 June 2003, the United Kingdom has imposed a Direct Airside Transit Visa (DATV) regime on nationals of a number of countries, including Vietnam.

This means that all Vietnamese citizens wishing to transit through the UK to onward destinations must obtain a DAT Visa before they begin their journey. A DAT Visa will allow a passenger to remain airside only. If a passenger needs to change airports in order to continue their journey, they will need to obtain a visitor-in-transit visa.

In recognition of the fact that travellers who intend to travel imminently may already have purchased their tickets before the imposition of DATV, or for those who are travelling on the return leg of a journey which began before the imposition of the DATV, a grace period lasting until midnight on 28 June 2003 will be put into effect during which those affected may transit the UK without DATV. After that date, all transit passengers will require DAT Visas or visitor-in-transit visas.

If you have any queries please contact the Consular Section at the British Embassy, Hanoi, Tel: (04) 9360500

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued a global alert about cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in South East and East Asia, especially Hong Kong and China. SARS appears to be a new virus, similar to an acute common cold. WHO experts are urgently investigating the illness, but currently there is no vaccine or other prophylaxis available.

Vietnam is the first country to have controlled SARS effectively. No new cases have been reported since 12 April and no one is being treated for the disease in Vietnam. All SARS cases in Vietnam can be linked to one index case who was hospitalised in the French Hospital in Hanoi in late February. The French Hospital remains closed. Any suspected cases of SARS are being investigated by the Vietnamese Ministry of Health and local WHO representatives. There have been no reported cases of Britons contracting SARS in Vietnam.

People at most risk of contracting SARS appear to be close contacts of an affected person, such as close family members and health care workers caring for a case. Some have developed severe pneumonia and some have died.

Although the disease is controlled in Vietnam, all travellers should be aware of the symptoms and should seek urgent medical advice should they develop them. The symptoms of SARS are high fever (more than 38C) and one or more respiratory symptoms including cough, shortness of breath and/or difficulty in breathing. If any traveller experiences this combination of symptoms, they should seek medical attention and ensure that information about their recent travel is passed on to health care staff. Anyone who develops these symptoms should not undertake any kind of further travel until they have recovered. In line with advice from the UK Department of Health no restrictions on travel to Vietnam are currently being recommended. However, Britons should be aware that medical evacuation to a third country for SARS patients is unlikely to be possible and that as the French Hospital is closed, medical care in Hanoi is unlikely to meet western standards. The WHO and Department of Health are monitoring the SARS outbreak closely. You should check their advice regularly.

Further information can be found at website:

The latest UK Department of Health advice can be found at website:  

Registration of British Citizens in Vietnam

On arrival in Vietnam please ensure that the Consular Section know of your presence here. If you are visiting for less than three months, please note down your name, passport and contact details and email, fax or hand these to Consular Section for inclusion in our temporary records. If you are visiting for more than three months, please complete a registration card available from the Consular Sections of the British Embassy in Hanoi and the British Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City. Your details will be added to the British registration database enabling us to contact you with news of important developments which may affect you. Please keep your registration up-to-date, eg inform us of any change of address, and let us know when you are leaving the country permanently.

An on-line registration form is now available

Travel Advice

Please click for full travel advice on Vietnam

The Consular Section of the Embassy is open from 8.30 - 16.30 Monday to Friday except on Public Holidays but consular fees are only accepted between 8:30 and 11:30. The Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City is open from 8:30 - 12:00 and from 13:30 - 17:00 Monday to Friday. In an emergency the duty officer can be contacted in Hanoi on mobile number 0903404919, in HCMC on 0903834540.

Adoption from Vietnam 

On 2 January 2003, Vietnam introduced a new legislation requiring countries wishing to faciliate adoptions from Vietnam to have a bilateral adoption agreement with Vietnam. The UK Department of Health are considering the terms of such an agreement. In the absence of an agreement, adoptions lodged after 2 January 2003 cannot proceed. Those lodged and accepted before 2 January 2003 will proceed under previous arrangements.

Suspension of Consular Marriage Warrant

With immediate effect the British Embassy in Hanoi will suspend the use of their Consular Marriage warrant. On 2 January 2003 the Vietnamese Government introduced new legislation to facilitate the marriage between two foreign parties in Vietnam. The British Embassy was issued with a marriage warrant in November 2001 because previously marriage between two foreign nationals was not possible.

You are advised to contact the Justice Department at provincial level in your place of residence about the necessary procedures to be followed.

Please note that a Civil Vietnamese Marriage certificate will be recognised by the UK authorities for administrative purposes. You may wish to seek independent legal advice.

The British Embassy Hanoi cannot accept any legal responsibility for the advice below, which is intended as a guide.


The new law states that you will need to produce the following documents:

  • A completed application form for registering a marriage

  • Certificate of No Impediment or a letter from the Embassy concerned certifying that you are not married; if applicable a Divorce Decree Absolute or Death Certificate of your former spouse

  • A formal medical certificate not more than 6 months old stating that you are not mentally ill, if however you do have a mental illness you will be required to submit a medical certificate stating that you are fully aware of your actions.

  • A certified copy of your passport

  • Your Vietnamese Resident Permit

  • Your personal CV (standard format available locally)

The decision to suspend the marriage warrant will be kept under review, pending an assessment of how the new procedures are working. The British Embassy would be grateful to hear any feedback about the experiences of any British Citizens who have been married under the new Vietnamese procedures. <END>

List of Embassy Public Holidays in 2003

Wednesday 01 January: New Year's Day
Friday 31 January: Vietnamese Lunar New Year (Tet)
Monday 3 February: Tet
Tuesday 4 February: Tet
Wednesday 5 February: Tet
Friday 18 April: Good Friday
Monday 21 April: Easter Monday
Wednesday 30 April: Re-unification Holiday
Thursday 1 May: Labour Day
Monday 25 August: Summer Bank Holiday
Tuesday 02 September: Vietnamese National Day
Wednesday 24 December: Christmas Privilege Day
Thursday 25 December: Christmas Day
Friday 26 December: Boxing Day           

List of Lawyers

This list is provided by HM Consul General at Hanoi for the convenience of enquirers. Neither Her Majesty's Government nor any officials of the Consulate take any responsibility for the competence or probity of any firm, lawyer or advocate on the list or for the consequence of any legal action initiated or advice given.


17 Ngo Quyen Street
Tel: 824 7422 Fax: 826 8300
Managing Partner: Mr Tony Foster

Russin & Vecchi, LLP
25 Ly Thuong Kiet
Tel: 825 1699 Fax: 825 1742
Manager: Mr Harold Fiske

Vision & Associates
Unit 02, First Floor, International Centre
17 Ngo Quyen
Tel: 934 0629, 824 1623 Fax: 934 0631
Director: Mr Pham Nghiem Xuan Bac

Thang Long Legal Consultancy Centre (Vietnam Lawyer Association)
65 Trang Thi Street
Tel & Fax: 8256546
Director: Mr Le Sy

Hanoi City Lawyers' Group
19 Trang Thi Street
Tel: 8257527
Chairman: Mr Le Kim Que, Vice-Chairman: Mr Vu Thien Kim


>Danang City Lawyers' Group
15 Yen Bai Street, Danang City
Tel: (0511) 891003 or (0511)828330 (Mr Nhut)
Chairman: Mr Le Cong Ban
Vice-Chairman: Mr Tran Canh Nhut


Haiphong City Lawyers' Group
48 Tran Phu Street
Tel: (031) 859410
Chairman: Mr Tran Thanh
Vice-Chairman: Mr Vu Hai

Haiphong City Lawyers' Association
58 Dien Bien Phu Street
Tel: (031) 823272
Chairman: Mr Le Van Thu


Vietnam Lawyers Association
104 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, District 1
Tel: 8295308; 8222113

Lucy Wayne & Associates
17 Le Duan, District 1
Tel: 8244395/8903001 Fax: 8244396/8228588
Manager: Lucy Wayne

Lovell White Durant
65 Le Loi, District 1
Tel: 8295100 Fax: 8295101
Manager: Jason Donovan

11th Floor, Room 7, Saigon Tower
29 Le Duan, District 1
Tel: 8226680 Fax: 8226690
Senior Lawyer: Milton Lawson

Deacons Graham & James
8th Floor, Saigon Centre
65 Le Loi Boulevard, District 1
Tel: 8294882/8294883 Fax: 8294880
Manager: Victoria Grimes

Contact Details

British Embassy, Central Building, 31 Hai Ba Trung, Hanoi, (tel:+84 4 9360500, fax :+84 4  9360561, 9360562) e-mail: ; website

Office hours (GMT): Mon - Fri  0130 - 0930

British Consulate General, 25 Le Duan, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, (tel:+84 8 8232862; fax: +84 8 8295257, 8221971) e-mail:

Office hours (GMT): Mon - Fri  0130 - 0500, 0630- 1000

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has prepared a Note for Backpackers and Independent Travellers and a Checklist for Travellers. Click to view and print for your own use.