Foreigner’s Vietnamese spouse can retain foreign surname after divorcement
12:22 | 08/05/2008
VNGOP - After divorcing without changing their surname, Vietnamese citizens who get married to Germans can retain their foreign surname.

Question (Seidel Ngọc Phương, Germany): Can a Vietnamese spouse of German woman, changing the surname into his wife's, continue to bear foreign surname after getting divorced?

Answer (Ministry of Justice and Germany's Embassy in Hà Nội): Generally, the registration of someone's name is regulated by the laws of the country that he is a citizen to. In case a Vietnamese citizen gets married to a German citizen permanently residing in Germany at the moment of the marriage, the couple can choose the German laws as the foundation for their name registration. Once they get divorced, he or she still continues to retain the registered surname if they do not change their surname at Germany's local Civil Registration Office.

Accordingly, the Vietnamese spouse of a German citizen, bearing the German surname, can retain the foreign surname if he/she gets divorced with the German citizen and not claims for the change of surname at a local Civil Registration Office. So, Mr. Phương still has the right to bear his German surname Siedel.

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