The Government has issued Decree 97 to provide new instructions on the implementation of the Law on Vietnamese Nationality to facilitate the retention of Vietnamese nationality for ‘Viet Kieu’ – overseas Vietnamese.
Under the new decree, which will take effect on December 1, 2014, overseas Vietnamese who have not yet lost Vietnamese nationality as prescribed by Vietnamese law before July 1, 2009, but have no papers to prove their Vietnamese nationality can make registration with an overseas Vietnamese representative agency to be certified as having Vietnamese nationality, if they want to.
After the certification, these overseas Vietnamese will be granted Vietnamese passports in according with prevailing regulations.
Overseas Vietnamese representative agencies including diplomatic missions, consular offices or other competent agencies are tasked with carrying procedures to certify nationality and grant Vietnamese passports, the new decree said.
In case the applicants live in countries or territories where there are no Vietnamese representative agencies, they can make registration at another Vietnamese representative agency that are concurrently in charge of those countries or territories, or at any Vietnamese representative agency at their convenience.
The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice are required to post on their websites the list of overseas Vietnamese representative agencies.
Before this new decree was issued, millions of Viet Kieu faced the loss of their Vietnamese nationality because of a 5-year time limit for nationality application which ended on July 1, 2014.
After many concerned agencies proposed that this time limit be removed or delayed, the Government has issued the above new decree to facilitate Viet Kieu in retaining their Vietnamese nationality.