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September 26, 2021, 5:05 pm

Millions of overseas Vietnamese risk loss of citizenship

(11:49:54 AM 07/04/2014)
(Tinmoitruong.vn) - On July 1, overseas Vietnamese who have not registered to hold their Vietnamese citizenship will lose it. At present, only about 6,000 out of 4.5 million overseas Vietnamese have registered. Mr. Nguyen Thanh Son, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Chairman of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese discussed the issue.

 Mr. Nguyen Thanh Son, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Chairman of the State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese.
 
- Before July 1, overseas Vietnamese are required to register to hold their Vietnamese citizenship. Why were these rules set?
 
- The Citizenship Act 2008 stipulates that, if overseas Vietnamese do not register for their Vietnamese citizenship by July 1, 2014, they will lose it. Thus they have had time to do this task since 2009, and the deadline is July 1.
 
For many years we have informed them about this provision. However, only about 6,000 out of a total of 4.5 million overseas Vietnamese have so far registered. This is a very small number. Many people have expressed their wish that the Party and the State make amend the deadline to protect their rights
 
We have reported the situation to the Government and proposed to extend the deadlines. In my opinion, this extension is the right thing to do, and has is important.
 
- Why has the registration rate been so low, after such a long time?
 
- We did not anticipate the difficulties relating to the fact that overseas Vietnamese are scattered across many countries and territories, and have different working conditions. Most of them do business and did not have much time to explore the information. Some did not care about nationality registration and they only knew about the regulations when we informed them about it.
 
They all believe that holding the Vietnamese citizenship is a sacred right of every person. The small number of people who re-registered for Vietnamese nationality reflects the reality that they want to have independence and sovereignty in this matter.
 
They do want to protect their nationality, but also value the freedom of not being forced to register or not register. No one wants to lose their nationality and yet they do not want to reapply for their nationality.
 
- How will the loss of Vietnamese nationality affect the lives and work of overseas Vietnamese?
 
- The first difficulty is that their investments in Vietnam will not be recognized as investments of Vietnamese, and they will not be allowed to enjoy certain investment incentives. Moreover, if they do hold Vietnamese citizenship, it is also more favorable for them to return to Vietnam to visit their families or to live here.
 
The Nationality Law currently does not allow that people have two nationalities. However, we apply a flexible mechanism. If overseas Vietnamese have the nationality of the countries they are living in and these countries do not require them to give up their Vietnamese citizenship, we accept that nationality. If overseas Vietnamese subscribe to the Vietnamese nationality, they are allowed to keep their other nationality.

- What is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs doing to deal with this problem?
 
- The actual implementation of the Nationality Law of 2008 has revealed shortcomings, which are offensive to the community of overseas Vietnamese. A number of proposals to revise the Nationality Law are supported by the Prime Minister. However, the amendments must be ratified by the National Assembly.
 
We can implement temporary measures such as the Ministries of Justice and of Foreign Affairs jointly asking the National Assembly Standing Committee to extend the deadlines for registration. Overall, the National Assembly and the Government support the extension.

The Ministry of Justice wants to keep the deadlines
 
Mr. Nguyen Cong Khanh, Head of the Residency, Nationality and Certification [Agency | Department | Office ] of the Ministry of Justice says that the number of 6,000 overseas people who have registered in the past five years to hold their Vietnamese citizenship is too small. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he said, should estimate the number [ of overseas Vietnamese wishing to retain their citizenship], after which the Ministry of Justice can make a plan to submit to the Government and the National Assembly.
 
The Ministry of Justice has asked for the Prime Minister’s opinion on the extension of registration deadlines. If the Prime Minister approves, the relevant agencies will have to justify the extension to the National Assembly. If the current deadline remains unchanged, millions of people will automatically lose their citizenship overnight. Solutions will have to be found to address the repercussions arising from this. Nevertheless, the Ministry of Justice wants to keep the current deadline.
 
Whether the Nationality Law will be revised or a new decree will be issued to extend the deadlines of nationality registration, it depends on the PM and the National Assembly.

 

Source: VNE
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