Hanoi immigration stops passport issuance, renewal for 'non-urgent' purposes

By Pham Du   June 4, 2022 | 09:00 pm PT
Hanoi immigration stops passport issuance, renewal for 'non-urgent' purposes
A man performs procedures to renew his passport at the Immigration Department in Hanoi, June 3, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Du
Hanoi immigration offices will stop issuing and renewing passports, except for urgent purposes as they wait for a new passport form issued by the public security department.

Starting June 1, the headquarters of the Immigration Department on Tran Phu Street and two facilities of the Immigration Office announced they would only "issue old passport forms for urgent cases", including those with flight tickets and papers to prove they need to travel for medical purposes, work-related reasons or school admissions.

Others who want new passports or to renew their old ones will need to wait until July 1 to apply with a new form issued by the Department of Public Security.

Earlier this month, Tung traveled 60 km to get to the Immigration Office in Hanoi and collect his passport. He'd had to delay his visit to Malaysia to be reunited with his family because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

But when he got to the office, officers said his travel need was not urgent and that he would have to wait until July 1 to apply for one.

"I read that those who've already purchased flight tickets could get their passports. But the officers here said I must have flight tickets bought before June 31. The procedures are way too complicated, so I've had to abandon my plan to celebrate my son's birthday early next month," he said. Tung has not bought his flight tickets yet.

Hang went to the Immigration Department on Tran Phu Street Friday to renew her passport since the old had one expired almost a year ago. She wanted to take her niece to Singapore for a regular medical check-up. To ensure that nothing goes wrong, so she decided to renew her passport before buying plane tickets.

But the immigration officer said she couldn't renew her passport without plane tickets purchased, or papers showing the need for a medical check-up.

"I think it's too harsh. We travel for a health check-up on our own will, how can we get a paper to prove that? No hospital or other medical facility will issue such a paper," Hang said, adding that the trip might have to be delayed.

The public security department said the new passport form would have different paper quality and design that includes new security features to prevent forgery.

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