Criminal Record (also known as Criminal Check, Police Checks, or Police Clearances) are often required by foreign individuals in Vietnam, including for Work Permit applications. This article looks at process and requirements in detail to help those needing this document in Vietnam.
1. What is a Criminal Record?
A Criminal Record is a certificate issued by an authority to manage the judicial record database and valid to prove whether an individual has a previous criminal conviction, or is banned from holding certain posts, establishing or managing enterprises or cooperatives where enterprises or cooperatives have been declared bankrupt by a court.
Foreign individual residing in Vietnam, no matter how long they actual reside in Vietnam, have the right to request the Department of Justice where they register for stay to issue a Criminal Record.
2. Types of Criminal Record in Vietnam
In accordance with Article 41, Law on Criminal Records, there are 2 (two) types of Criminal Records in Vietnam, called Criminal Record Form No. 1 and Criminal Record Form No. 2.
The difference between these 2 (two) types is that Form No.1 only records sentences which have not been removed or expunged yet. In case of expungement, it will state that “The status of Criminal Record: None conviction over the period residing in Vietnam” while the Form No. 2 will record all previous convictions regardless of whether they were removed or not.
Depending on the purpose of use, case by case, either Form No. 1 or Form No. 2 would be required. For the issuance of Work Permits, most of foreign employees are required to obtain Form No. 1.
3. How to obtain a Criminal Record
Department of Justice (“DOJ”) of the Province or City where the foreigner is residing. For the foreign individuals living in Ho Chi Minh City, Danang and Hanoi, please refer:
- DOJ in Ho Chi Minh City: 141-143 Pasteur St., Ward 6, District 3, Ho Chi Minh City
- DOJ Danang: 16 Bach Dang St., Thach Thang Ward, Hai Chau District, Danang
- DOJ Hanoi: 221 Tran Phu St., Van Quan Ward, Ha Dong District, Hanoi
|Submission||Bring all required documents to the DOJ.|
Note: From our experiences, the lodgement should be undertaken in the morning. Due to over workload, the offices often refuse the applications in the afternoon.
|After inserting all required information on the website, the applicant will deliver the original of required documents by post from the registered address.|
Note: Record the application code displayed on screen before clicking the “FINISH” button.
|Timeline||15 working days from the date that the authority receives the application files. The online submission can be prolonged because of delivery time.|
|Statutory fees||VND200,000 per Criminal Record, excluding any courier fees for online submissions.|
|Collection||Applicants can choose to receive directly the result or by post.|
4. Guidance on document preparation
a. Application form
If directly submitting the application to the Department of Justice, the form is required to be completed in Vietnamese. Acclime Vietnam are happy to assist our clients with completing the application form with an English translation.
For the online application form, it is presented in both on English and Vietnamese on the website. Note: In the “residence process” section, the current temporary residence shall be in Vietnam per the authority’s requirements.
b. Temporary residence confirmation
The temporary registration confirmation which is issued by the Ward Police. Please note that the landlord’s record or “house book” may not be acceptable.
c. Notarised documents
Originals and the photocopies of the documents can be notarised by People’s Committee of District-level or Notary Public in Vietnam.
5. Expiry of Criminal Record
The prevailing Vietnamese Law on Criminal Records does not have any regulations on the use duration of the Criminal Record. However, depending on specific authority and purpose of use, the expiry date of the Criminal Record will differ.
For Work Permits, pursuant to Article 9.3 of Decree 152/2020/ND-CP, the labour authority requires the Criminal Record to be issued within 6 months before the date of submission of the application.
In some certain circumstances, such as ceasing or renewing Vietnamese nationality, the Criminal Record is required to be issued within 90 days pursuant to Articles 20, 24 and 28 of Law on Nationality 2008, amended and supplemented in 2014.