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When will Viet Kieu enjoy visa exemption?

Overseas Vietnamese (Viet Kieu) look forward to the day when they don’t need a visa to return to Vietnam, as the Politburo and the central Government have issued documents on the issue.

More than 2.7 million people with Vietnamese roots are living in nearly 90 countries and territories around the world. Hundreds reportedly returned to visit relatives or do business each year.

However, Viet Kieu still anticipate visa exemptions, as the Vietnamese government has already granted them to tourists from Japan and Korea. Visa exemption for ASEAN member states, including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand will also be applicable by the end of this year, as reported by Vietnam News Agency recently.

According to experts, the Government can apply visa exemption for Viet Kieu on a trial basis first, for example, those from selected countries, before making it available to all.

Visa exemptions would make it easier for Viet Kieu to return, as they are expected to contribute much to the country’s development, said experts.

Resolution 36

This was declared in Resolution 36 issued by the Politburo in March 2004. The resolution about affairs towards overseas Vietnamese says: “To create favorable conditions for overseas Vietnamese to return to the homeland to visit relatives and worship ancestors. To issue specific regulations and improve prevailing regulations about exit/entry, residence and traveling of overseas Vietnamese towards the direction of openness, convenience and procedure simplification.”

The resolution also places emphasis on implementing procedures quickly to help overseas Vietnamese easily to return to live or do business in Vietnam.

In line with the Politburo resolution, the Prime Minister in June 2004 issued an action program which asks “the Ministry of Public Security to cooperate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and relevant agencies to review policies and regulations related to exit/entry, residence and repatriation of overseas Vietnamese in the fourth quarter of 2004.”

According to the action program, the ministries were told to propose changes and amendments to the current policies and regulations to create advantages for overseas Vietnamese.

Also, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was asked to collaborate with relevant agencies to make proposals about the standardization of passports and identity papers as well as the use or granting of papers to overseas Vietnamese when they return to Vietnam.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has then responded to the Politburo and Government decisions by formulating an action program.

The ministry asked the Consular Department and the Overseas Vietnamese Committee to cooperate with agencies to amend regulations of the Government’s Decree 05 issued in 2000 governing the simplification of procedures for granting ordinary passports and laissez-passers to overseas Vietnamese when the return to Vietnam.

Written by Tran Hung - Translated by T.H.


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