“The most troublesome problem is the proper implementation of the Nationality Law. If granting citizenship to overseas Vietnamese is dealt with well, all obstacles will be removed from house ownership, accommodation and travel”, said Luong Bach Van Chairwoman of the HCM City Overseas Vietnamese Liaison Association.

HCM City has nearly 2 million overseas Vietnamese, the highest number compared to other localities throughout the country. Over the past few years, the Ho Chi Minh City Overseas Vietnamese Liaison Association has worked with the relevant agencies to help Vietnamese nationals abroad deal with citizenship procedures and consulting on policies for business, the Land Law and inheritance.

In a recent interview granted to VOVNews, Mrs Luong Bach Van said there are still overlaps in the issuance of policies and law enforcement which have caused many difficulties for overseas Vietnamese, particularly regarding the Nationality Law.

Reporter: You are very interested in overseas Vietnamese affairs. What is your biggest concern in this matter?

Mrs Van: I praise the Political Bureau’s Resolution 36 on Overseas Vietnamese which has provided favourable conditions and met the needs of most Vietnamese nationals living abroad. They are also happy with the Nationality Law because maintaining citizenship in their current country of residence is a necessity for most overseas Vietnamese intellectuals. The majority of overseas Vietnamese have long anticipated the Nationality Law therefore, as soon as, it came into force in July 2009, many submitted their files to register for Vietnamese citizenship.

However, there is still much to be done. Some Vietnamese residents living in Australia, the US and Canada told the association that they have failed to receive nationality files. I think that the slow pace of implementing specific regulations in the law have made them frustrated.

As a bridge for overseas Vietnamese hoping to return to their homeland, we always take full advantage of opportunity at meetings with the relevant agencies to reflect their aspirations, including nationality-related issues. If this issue is resolved properly, everything will proceed well.

Under the Enterprise Law in Resolution 36, overseas Vietnamese are allowed to register to do business the same as Vietnamese living in the home country. But since the Nationality Law became effective in July 2009, there were changes made to the Enterprise Law.  This means that under the Nationality Law, overseas Vietnamese are not allowed to register as domestic businesses, they have to change registering as foreign businesses.

Reporter: HCM City has attracted a large number of overseas Vietnamese, including members of the second or third generations investing in various fields. Do you think this is a positive sign when, previously, people were concerned that only old generation identify themselves with the home country?

Mrs Van: Due to economic downturn, many overseas Vietnamese, especially the younger generation, returning to invest in Vietnam because they think that the Asian economy is growing. Many of the 2nd or 3rd generation overseas Vietnamese feel instead of investing in other Asian countries, they should invest in the homeland because they are Vietnamese.

In Ho Chi Minh City, there are about 100 overseas Vietnamese investing in the country. They grew up in foreign countries, are well trained and have experience in multinational companies, as a result, they are dynamic and adapt well to the new development. Their return to Vietnam not only contributes to the country’s socio-economic development but also is an important bridge between domestic people and overseas Vietnamese, especially for the young generation.   

They pay due attention to Nationality Law and have commented that the implementation of this law is still slow. We have proposed that the State resolve the issues related to the slowness of the implementation as soon as possible. In so doing, Vietnam will be able to attract more overseas Vietnamese, particularly the 2nd or 3rd generations. 

Reporter: To help overseas Vietnamese, including the 2nd or 3rd generations, benefit more from doing business in Vietnam, what assistance have been provided by the Association?

Mrs Van: Although recent policies have created more favourable conditions for overseas Vietnamese to do business in the homeland, there are some places where policies are not implemented well, which causes many difficulties. Also, many overseas Vietnamese want to come back to visit relatives and invest but they are not well-versed in the necessary procedures. Over the past few years, the Association has tried its best to be a bridge between local people and overseas Vietnamese.    

Ho Chi Minh City has the largest number of overseas Vietnamese in the country, nearly 2 million. To assist them, we’ve established a system of 264 ward level liaison boards.

The Association also founded a centre to help overseas Vietnamese connect with domestic agencies and organisations. The centre consults on policies and laws relating to land and inheritance and is also a place for the young generation to express their aspirations.

In addition, the Association has coordinated meetings with law agencies and organised conferences to provide guidance on procedures and clarify policies for investing in Vietnam.

We are still passive about contacting overseas Vietnamese. We are just waiting for them to come back to the country and solve the problems of every small group. We hope the State will support us to be proactive and go abroad to promote the country and call for talent to return to Vietnam and make greater contributions.

Reporter: Thank you very much.  

Source: VOV