Each person’s nationality is associated with them from birth to death. It serves as the foundation for them to enjoy civil rights and fulfill their civic obligations to the state in which they bear their nationality. Because Vietnam is currently opening its market to collaborate with many countries, an increasing number of foreigners want to come to Vietnam to live and work for an extended period and require naturalization in Vietnam. So, what are the conditions for naturalizing the Vietnamese nationality of a foreign nationality person or a stateless person?
Through this article, BLawyers Vietnam would like to present the conditions for foreigners to naturalize in Vietnam.
1. Conditions for a foreign nationality person and stateless person to naturalize Vietnamese nationality
Foreign nationality person permanently residing in Vietnam who files applications for Vietnamese nationality may be permitted for naturalization in Vietnam if they satisfy the following conditions:
- Having the full civil act capacity as prescribed by Vietnam laws: applicants for naturalization in Vietnam must have full capacity for civil acts, and establish and exercise civil rights and obligations on their own. This person does not have a mental illness or other illness that cannot perceive or control the behavior;
- Obeying the Constitution and laws of Vietnam; respecting the traditions, customs, and practices of the Vietnamese nation;
- Understanding Vietnamese sufficiently enough to integrate themselves into the Vietnamese community: for naturalization in Vietnam must be able to listen, speak, read and write in Vietnamese suitable for the living and working environment;
- Having resided in Vietnam for 5 years or more by the time of application for naturalization: the period of permanent residence in Vietnam of the applicant for naturalization is counted from the date this person is granted a Permanent Residence Card; and
- Being capable of making their livelihood in Vietnam: this is evidenced by their property, lawful income source, or the guarantee of organization or individual in Vietnam.
2. Several special cases
Foreign nationality persons who apply for Vietnamese nationality may be permitted for naturalization in Vietnam without having to fully meet the conditions prescribed in Section 1 (iii), (iv), and (v) if they fall into one of the following cases:
- Being spouses, natural parents, or natural offspring of Vietnamese citizens;
- Having made meritorious contributions to Vietnam’s national construction and defense: must be awarded the Medals, Decorations, or other noble titles of the State or it is certified by the Vietnamese competent authority for such special merit; or
- Being helpful to the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: must be a person with truly outstanding talents in the fields of science, economics, culture, society, arts, sports, health, education, won international awards, medals, decorations or it is certified by the agency or organization where the person is working and the ministerial-level state management agency and has a basis to show that the naturalization of a Vietnamese citizen will make a positive and long-term contribution to the development of the aforementioned field of Vietnam after being naturalized in Vietnam.
3. Renouncing the foreign nationality
One issue that a foreign national person should consider when wishing to become a Vietnamese citizen is that person naturalized in Vietnam shall renounce his foreign nationality, except for those mentioned in Section 2 in special cases so permitted by the State President if the following conditions are met:
- Be eligible for Vietnamese citizenship in accordance with the Law on Vietnamese Nationality.
- Having notable contributions to the cause of building and protecting the Fatherland of Vietnam and the naturalization and holding of foreign nationality is beneficial for the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
- The application for foreign nationality of the person upon the naturalization of Vietnam is in accordance with the laws of that foreign country.
- The suspension of foreign nationality leads to the rights of such persons abroad being affected.
- Do not use foreign nationality to harm the legitimate rights and interests of agencies, organizations, and individuals; infringe upon the security, national interests, social order, and safety of the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
To summarize, the foreign national person must meet the necessary conditions to naturalize Vietnamese nationality. Therefore, foreigners wishing to naturalize Vietnamese nationality should spend a significant amount of time in Vietnam to fully understand the culture, language, and people to make informed decisions for themselves.
Date: 29 August 2022
Writer: Linh Nguyen
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