Is marriage a legal prerequisite to cohabitation?

Dear Marijn,

My name is Simon and until very recently I was enjoying Ho Chi Minh City life as a single foreign language teacher. Things have changed since I met this wonderful Vietnamese girl. I think she could be the love of my life! But now that I want her to come live with me in my apartment, the landlord is causing trouble. According to him, he cannot register us with the local police in Vietnam because we are not married. I am completely flabbergasted. Could this be true, and is it even compulsory for us to be registered?

First of all, congratulations on finding the love of your life! Let’s straighten this issue out immediately: the law does not prohibit an unmarried Vietnamese and foreigner couple from living together. The issue that you describe is not uncommon and you are not the only foreigner who has been faced with this situation.

The Vietnamese Law on Marriage and Family explicitly recognizes the principle of “co-habitation,” and no distinction is made between Vietnamese couples and “interracial” couples. Cultural sensitivity and tradition aside, it remains a common misunderstanding that it would be illegal for unmarried couples to live together in Vietnam – so don’t try to use this as an excuse not to ask for your girlfriend’s hand!

Having said that, the same Law on Marriage and Family does clearly – and obviously – prohibit one from living together with a person who is already married, as well as the cohabitation as husband and wife between people of the same direct blood line, between relatives within three generations, between adoptive parent and adoptive child, et cetera.

To answer your second question, as a foreigner who is permitted to stay in Vietnam for a limited period of time, Article 33 on the Law on Entry, Exit, Transit and Residence of Foreigners in Vietnam does indeed require you to register your residence. The same Article states that it is the responsibility of your landlord to fill out the relevant declaration form and to submit it to the local police authority in the ward where you live. That is why when you check into a hotel in Vietnam, the staff will always ask to see your passport for exactly the same reason.

Even though a different law applies to Vietnamese citizens, they too are required to register their permanent and/or temporary residence with the local police. Both Vietnamese citizens and foreigners must inform the authorities of any changes in their residence situation.

When moving into a new apartment, or when your girlfriend moves into yours, you are both required to register with the local police in your ward, however, your landlord must help you with the registration and, since no law in Vietnam prohibits the two of you from living together, there shouldn’t be a problem.

Applying Vietnamese law into actual practice is a different matter. Approach your landlord with what you have just learned and see whether he is now more willing to cooperate. If things go well, you may find that convincing the local police is not as difficult as you may think and your registration will become smoother.

In areas where many foreigners live, the police are supposedly more accustomed to situations like yours and is often more willing to help. So if you find yourself dealing with a stubborn officer, consider moving to a more foreigner-friendly area of town, steering away from situations that may nip your love in the bud…

Every month, Marijn Sprokkereef answers legal questions from Oi readers. If you have any legal question you want answered, send them to [email protected]

Share this story, choose your platform!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on tumblr
Share on google
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on vk
Share on email
About the author:

3 thoughts on “Is marriage a legal prerequisite to cohabitation?”

  1. Hi i just want to adk some legal matters. . A vietnamese woman with 2 children living in wiyh a married forieghner..is this against family law . Can the forieghner be deported

    Reply
  2. Hi my defacto partner has been sponsored as such by me 3 years ago after being in Australia 1 year so a total of 4 years in Australia we have been in a relationship since 2009. We have a 2yr daughter we recently have come to visit her family in Tan Chau An Giang VN
    Her mother went to the local police to register myself and our daughter both are foreigners. We’re staying at her house.
    She was so happy to see her daughter and granddaughter after many years
    The police told her it is illegal for me and her granddaughter to stay in the house as we do not have a marriage paper
    We are intending to Aquire one in the near future. Can you tell us what we can do
    As we have rented a room at the local hotel and need go there every night to sleep, but of course together in one room. This is current now, we are here until 25 June
    Please tell me what can I do with this madness. My partners parents are very upset as they want to spend as much time with their grandchild as they can

    Reply

Leave a Comment

THE BEFORE AND AFTER OF THE PARTNERSHIP WITH BITCOIN

Bitcoin gave way to a new way of looking at volatile cryptocurrency where its most significant ally is technology. When international transactions were impossible, where the transfer of money had to be done through banking institutions with high commission costs, are long gone. The birth of Blockchain technology could be considered a solution to many

Read More »

How Does Internet Marketing Differ From Traditional Marketing?

In this age of technology, all our daily tasks are shifting towards digitalization. Whether you are working, communicating with someone, or just entertaining yourself, you must be using the internet and digital gadgets. Besides, with the widespread availability of the internet owing to ISPs like Spectrum, AT&T, and Verizon, everyone can take advantage of the

Read More »

Benefits of Utilizing Essential Oil Distiller

Recently, we have been questioning about a lot of queries concerning the citrus essential oil. The most important question is why our citrus oils do not smell like other oils. The only answer is that the very citrus oils are all steam clean distilled rather than the generally acquirable cold-pressed citrus oil that everybody is

Read More »

How Casinos Will Change With Blockchain Technology

Thanks to technology, everything is moving forward towards complete digitalization. The not-so-new trend of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology has forced companies to dive deeper into muddy waters with still unexplored potential. However, when we talk about Blockchain and online casinos, it seems like it is a marriage made in heaven. With the new popular trend

Read More »

The Impact of Manufacturing Analytics on Shortening Production Lead Times

The manufacturing industry has been a cornerstone of the American economy for centuries. It is a vital sector that employs millions of people and drives innovation. The industry has always relied on analytics to make informed decisions and improve efficiency. Manufacturing analytics has the potential to revolutionize production lead times by reducing inefficiencies and waste.

Read More »

Why Bitcoin Has Great Potential: 5 Reasons Explained

In 2017, Bitcoin remained amongst the most largely discussed topics around the world. It is accurate that it is rising in popularity in the present year. Of course, it is the greatest thing that has ever occurred to many Site individuals, and it has piqued the interest of around 60 million individuals around the globe.

Read More »