The Spanish Embassy in Vietnam on August 1 announced that it cannot accept Schengen visa applications from Vietnamese citizens using new-style passports until further notice.
The notice posted on the Facebook page of the Embassy of Spain in Vietnam stated that new-style passports (dark blue cover) granted to Vietnamese citizens from July 1 does not show information about the place of birth of passport holders. This is important information for personal identification and is also required for processing Schengen visa applications.
Current regulations do not allow the issuance of a Schengen visa to Vietnamese nationals holding the new passports, it said.
Currently, the Spanish authorities, in collaboration with other Schengen member states, are conducting technical analysis, it added.
Schengen visa applications are still accepted and processed normally with Vietnam’s old passports (green cover) which show the place of birth and are still valid, the notice said.
Those who intend to enter the Schengen member countries are advised to contact the embassies of those countries in Vietnam to confirm the relevant information, in order to avoid difficulties in completing immigration procedures at the borders between the countries in the Schengen zone.
According to Tran Thi Huong, First Secretary of the Vietnamese Embassy in Spain, the agency has immediately coordinated with relevant agencies in Vietnam to address related issues.
Huong said the Vietnamese side needs to discuss in detail with the Spanish side to thoroughly understand the arising problem, for a solution that is acceptable to both sides.
For cases that have been issued with new passports, she advised them to stay calm, emphasising that the Vietnamese Embassy in Spain, as well as relevant agencies in Vietnam, will have notices and instructions after agreeing with the Spanish side.
Vietnam's new passports, which have been issued since July 1, have been also temporarily not recognised by Germany. Vietnamese and German authorities are actively working to tackle the problem.
The Embassy of Vietnam in Germany on July 29 announced that it is ready to issue a confirmation in German about the place of birth for Vietnamese citizens using new-style passports, in case they need it to present to German authorities.
Meanwhile, on July 28, the French Embassy in Vietnam said for the time being and until further notice, French authorities still recognize the new Vietnamese passports.
The Schengen Area signifies a zone where 26 European countries, abolished their internal borders, for the free and unrestricted movement of people, in harmony with common rules for controlling external borders and fighting criminality by strengthening the common judicial system and police cooperation.
The 26 Schengen countries are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.