Marriage interview no longer needed for Vietnamese-foreigner couples: justice ministry

Thanh Nien News

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The Ministry of Justice is seeking a new rule to scrap compulsory marriage interviews, making it easier and less stressful for local residents to marry foreigners in Vietnam. 
The ministry says these interviews have yet to prove effective in preventing marriage frauds. The process also creates an environment for corruption and bribery to thrive. 
The proposed amendment is part of the ministry's draft guidelines for the Law on Civil Registration, slated to take effect on January 1 next year.
Under current laws, when applying for a marriage certificate, Vietnamese citizens are subject to being questioned by officials about their knowledge regarding their foreign partner's background, including family and home culture and laws.
In case they fail to answer the questions, their partners have to go through a similar interview which, if necessary, can be conducted through an interpreter appointed by Vietnamese authorities.
In its proposal to the government, the ministry cited feedbacks from many local governments as saying that, due to the incompetence of involved officials, there have been misconducts in the interview process.
Meanwhile, in some countries, where many of their citizens marry Vietnamese, strong measures have already been applied to prevent sham marriages.
It is, therefore, necessary to eliminate the interviews, according to the ministry, adding that the change will help save involved parties from unnecessary trouble, and help them save time and money.
While some local government praised the ministry's proposal as "a strong reform" at a meeting in Hanoi on Friday, others disagreed.
A representative from the southern province of Long An, for instance, insisted interviews are "very important," citing that the province's authorities rejected 23 out of 196 applicants for marrying foreigners over the first six months, after they failed interviews, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.

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