What is a Judicial Record Certificate?
A judicial record certificate is a document issued by the agency in Vietnam that manages the criminal record database in Vietnam. The certificate will serve as valid proof of whether or not the person has a previous criminal conviction in Vietnam. It will also prove if the person is banned from taking up any post or from establishing or managing companies or enterprises in Vietnam.
Foreign individuals who are living in Vietnam or have lived in the country in the past are eligible to avail of the judicial record certificate. They have every right to request from Vietnam’s Department of Justice for a copy of their criminal record certificate.
Types of Judicial Record Certificates in Vietnam
According to Article 41 of Vietnam’s Law on Criminal Records, there are two types of Judicial Record Certificates – Judicial Record Form No. 1 And Judicial Record Form No.2.
The main difference between the two forms is that the Judicial Record Form No. 1 will only record those convictions that haven’t been removed in the criminal record database. If a case has already been deleted, it’s going to state in the form, “no criminal record”. On the other hand, the Judicial Record Form No. 2 will record all criminal convictions, including those that have already been removed in the database.
Depending on the purpose of use, the applicant can request for either the judicial record form no. 1 or the judicial record form no. 2. When applying for a work permit, it is the criminal record form no. 1 that will be required. This applies to everyone, including foreign individuals who are planning to work in Vietnam.
Expiry of the Criminal Record Certificate
One of the questions that foreign applicants have when obtaining a judicial record certificate is the document’s expiry date. Currently, Vietnam’s Law on Criminal Records did not provide any regulations for the use and duration of the Judicial Record Certificate. However, depending upon the purpose of use and the specific authority, the expiry date of the judicial record certificate will vary.
For work permit application purposes, in pursuant to Clause 3 of Article 10 of the 11/2016/ND-CP Decree, the government requires the judicial record certificate to be issued no more than six months from the date of applying for the work permit.
In some instances, such as during the renewal or ceasing of Vietnamese nationality, the judicial record certificate must be issued within 90 days, as stated on Articles 28, 24, and 20 of the 2008 Vietnam Nationality Act, which was supplemented and amended in 2014.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the application of judicial record certificate in Vietnam, it’s highly recommended that you get in touch with a local agency or a law firm that can further assist you.
Documents Needed for the Application of Judicial Record Certificate
Individuals who are requesting a judicial record certificate are required to provide the following documents during application. Your application of the judicial certificate will not be granted if you fail to comply with these requirements.
👉 For Vietnamese nationals:
- Written declaration requesting a judicial record certificate to be issued.
- A certified true copy of passport, identity card, family record book, temporary residence card, temporary residence book, and permanent resident card. The original copy must be presented for comparison.
- Confirmation of permanent residence while living in Vietnam. This applies to Vietnamese nationals who are already living outside the country.
👉 For foreigners:
- Written declaration requesting the criminal record to be issued.
- Copy of passport and Vietnam visa. Make sure both are still valid.
- Confirmation of being a temporary resident in Vietnam.
Guide to Preparing the Required Documents
To save time, it’s very important that you submit the correct documents. Although it will roughly take 3 – 7 business days for the judicial record certificate to be processed, it could take longer if you end up submitting the incorrect documents. So here’s a guide on how to prepare these documents.
👉 Application Form
If you’re going to apply in person, then you need to personally submit the application form to the provincial Department of Justice. The form must be accomplished in the Vietnamese language. So for foreigners who need assistance, there are local agencies that can assist you with this. They will translate the form so you will know the things you are writing there.
On the other hand, if you will choose to apply online, the online application form is available in English and Vietnamese. Take note that in the section for “Residence Process”, the current temporary residence of the applicant should be in Vietnam.
👉 Temporary Residence Confirmation
For the temporary residence confirmation form, your landlord should be able to assist you with this. If you can’t get a temporary residence confirmation from your landlord, you can instead get a signed letter from your local ward police to confirm your residence. This is also applicable to those whose landlords have registered them incorrectly or cannot provide them with the “house book” for some reason.
👉 Notarized Documents
For applications submitted through the post, applicants are required to send in a notarized copy of their passport along with a valid Vietnam visa. They must also submit a notarized temporary residence confirmation certificate. Both the original copies and photocopied documents must be submitted to the People’s Committee in the District where you reside in order for them to be notarized.
Judicial Record Certificate for Foreigners Outside Of Vietnam
If the foreign individual has already left Vietnam and they are currently based abroad, yet they wanted a judicial record certificate, their best bet is to authorize another person to process and claim the certificate on their behalf. Here are the requirements that they need to submit:
Written declaration request for the granting of the judicial record certificate according to form.
Foreign applicant’s passport and visa copy.
Original copy of the authorization letter that authorizes another person to process the judicial record certificate. The letter must also accompany some documents proving the applicant’s relationship to the authorized representative, such as the marriage certificate and birth certificate. It must also be accompanied with Identification Cards of both the applicant and the representative.
Sure you can to the embassy or consulate of Vietnam to ask for a judicial record certificate. See List of Embassy & Consulate Office of Vietnam in the World (Including Address, Phone, Email, Website & Map).
Judicial Record Certificate for Foreigners Residing in Vietnam
If a foreign individual would need to apply for a judicial record certificate, they are required to submit the following documents:
- Written declaration request for the judicial record certificate to be granted according to form.
- Passport and Visa copy.
- Proof of residence, such as the temporary residence card, permanent residence card, temporary residence book, or the temporary residence certificate of the commune.
All these must be submitted to the provincial Justice Department where the foreign individual resides.
Circumstances in Which Foreigners Will Need a Judicial Record Certificate
There are many reasons why a foreigner in Vietnam will need a copy of their judicial record certificate. However, the most common reason is when they need to apply for a work permit.
Foreigners who are applying for a judicial record certificate to be used for a work permit application are divided into two cases. In the first case, this applies to foreigners who are living in a foreign country or have lived in the country for less than 6 months. The judicial record certificate may also be submitted to other countries for certain purposes. However, it’s important to note that countries have different regulations on criminal records so the process of applying might also be different.
If the applicant will use a judicial record certificate that was issued by another country for their work permit application, it’s important that the certificate is translated to the local Vietnamese language. It must also be notarized and legalized according to the law of Vietnam.
The second case applies to a foreigner that continuous to reside in Vietnam temporarily for at least six months. They are qualified to apply for a judicial record certificate for the purpose of applying for a work permit or for other reasons. The judicial record certificate will be issued by an authorized agency in Vietnam that grants criminal records. It can also be obtained from the Department of Justice of the province where the foreigner resides.
How to Apply for the Judicial Record Certificate?
There are two ways to apply for the judicial record certificate, in-person application, and online application. For applicants who are in Vietnam, they can opt for the in-person application. Here are the steps on how to apply for the judicial record certificate in person:
Bring the required documents to the Department of Justice of the Province of your residence. Make sure to go there in the morning since they are closed in the afternoon.
After submitting all the documents, the applicant will be asked to make a payment for the processing fee. The cost is VND 200, 000 per criminal record. If you will choose to have it sent to you through courier, you will also have to pay for the courier fees. But if you will claim the document in person, there’s no longer a need to pay for the courier fees.
It will roughly take 15 working days for the judicial record certificate to be processed. For those who have chosen to have the document sent through courier, it will take even longer for them to receive the judicial record certificate.
👉 Apply online
For foreigners who are outside Vietnam and cannot apply for the judicial certificate in person, their best option is to apply online. Once the certificate is available, they can have it sent to them through courier post. Here’s how:
First, go to the official website for the online application of the judicial record certificate in Vietnam.
Next, fill out the form with your name and other required information. Make sure you provide the complete address where you want the courier to collect the original documents.
Submit your application and take note of the application code displayed on the screen before you click the “FINISH” button.
Just like with applying in person, it will take around 15 days for your judicial record certificate to be processed. The time it will take for the courier to send you back the judicial record certificate will depend upon the courier you have chosen and the country where you currently reside.
How Much Does It Cost For A Judicial Record Certificate in Vietnam?
There are 3 levels of the fee for getting a judicial record certificate in Vietnam, they are :
👉 It costs VND 200 000 (around US$10) for Vietnamese people, foreigners living in Vietnam or abroad.
👉 👉 It cost VND 100 000 (around US$5) for Vietnamese pupils, students, people contributing to the Revolution, relatives of martyrs.
👉 👉 👉 It’s free for Vietnamese poor families, families in difficult circumstances stated in laws.
Official link to apply : https://lltptructuyen.moj.gov.vn (If you apply through private agent, it may cost you more than US $100).