Visa exemption for overseas Vietnamese to go ahead

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on August 17 has signed Decision No 135/2007/QD-TTg to promulgate a new regulation that will grant visa exemptions to Overseas Vietnamese from September 1, 2007.

Ethnically Vietnamese people that hold foreign passports and foreign nationals who are their husbands, wives and children will benefit from the new policy.

A certificate must be obtained by the passport holders for the exemption to be utilised. The certificate will be valid for five years. Overseas Vietnamese will be granted a maximum of 90-day length of stay with extensions available inside the country.

In order to be granted visa exemption certificates at Vietnamese representative offices abroad, overseas Vietnamese need to submit one of three following documents: a document that proves they are ethnically Vietnamese; a guarantee by overseas Vietnamese associations based in the country where they are residents of or by a Vietnamese citizen; and a document by authorised foreign agencies certifying that they are ethnically Vietnamese.

Husbands, wives and children of Vietnamese people living abroad will also need to submit documents that prove their relationship to the Vietnamese member of their immediate family.

Expecting a rush on representative offices abroad, the Committee for Overseas Vietnamese has sent 200,000 visa exemption certificates to Vietnamese embassies overseas.

The move to exempt visas for overseas Vietnamese is part of the Government's efforts to speed up the implementation of the Politburo's Resolution No. 36 on tasks relating to overseas Vietnamese. The visas exemption policy was announced by President Nguyen Minh Triet during his visit to the US on June this year.

According to the Committee for Overseas Vietnamese, there are currently close to three million overseas Vietnamese who have mostly settled in the US, France, Australia and Canada. Around 500,000 overseas Vietnamese return to Vietnam each year.

(Source: VNA)

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