Last Updated: Friday, 19 December 2014, 13:25 GMT

Law No. 07/1998/QH10 on Vietnamese Nationality of 20 May 1998

Publisher National Legislative Bodies / National Authorities
Author Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Publication Date 20 May 1998
Citation / Document Symbol Official Gazette No. 21 dated 31 July 1998
Reference No. 07/1998/QH10
Cite as Law No. 07/1998/QH10 on Vietnamese Nationality of 20 May 1998 [], Official Gazette No. 21 dated 31 July 1998, 20 May 1998, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b56010.html [accessed 20 December 2014]
Comments This is the official translation. Published in the Official Gazette No. 21 dated 31 July 1998. It repealed REF\LEG\1093. The Law came into effect on 1 January 1999. It was subsequently replaced by the Law on Vietnamese Nationality of 13 November 2008, No. 24/2008/QH12, effective from 1 July 2009.
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The Vietnamese nationality reflects the cohesive relationship between individuals and the State of Socialist Republic of Vietnam, giving rise to the rights and obligations of Vietnamese citizens toward the State and the rights and responsibilities of the State of Socialist Republic of Vietnam toward the Vietnamese citizens;

In order to uphold the honor and the sense of responsibility of the Vietnamese citizens in enjoying citizen rights and performing citizen obligations, to inherit and promote the tradition of solidarity and patriotism of the Vietnamese nation, to enhance the cohesion between the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and every Vietnamese, regardless of whether they reside in the country or abroad, for the cause of a prosperous people, a strong country and an equitable and civilize society;

Pursuant to the 1992 Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam;

This Law stipulates the Vietnamese nationality,

Chapter I
GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1.- The right to nationality

1.In the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, each individual is entitled to have a nationality. Not any Vietnamese citizen is deprived of his/her Vietnamese nationality, except for the cases prescribed in Article 25 of this Law.

2.The State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a unified State of all ethnic groups living on the Vietnamese territory; all members of all ethnic groups are equal in their right to have the Vietnamese nationality.

Article 2.- Interpretation of terms

In this Law, the following terms shall be construed as follows;

1."Foreign nationality" is the nationality of a country other than the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

2."Stateless persons" are those who have neither Vietnamese nationality nor foreign nationality.

3."Vietnamese living abroad" are Vietnamese citizens and people of Vietnamese origin who permanently or temporarily reside in foreign countries.

4."Vietnamese residing abroad" are Vietnamese citizens and people of Vietnamese origin, who permanently reside and earn their living in foreign countries.

5."Foreigners residing in Vietnam" are foreign nationals and stateless persons who permanently or temporarily reside in Vietnam.

6."Foreigners permanently residing in Vietnam" are foreign nationals and stateless persons who permanently reside and earn their living in Vietnam.

7."Extradition" is the hand-over by one country to another country of a person committing a criminal act or convicted of criminal offense for which the sentence has already taken legal effect, who is present on the former's territory, so that the latter shall examine such individual for penal liability or impose penalty against him/her.

8."Deprivation of nationality" is a citizen's loss of nationality under a coercive decision by the competent State agency.

Article 3.- The principle of single nationality

The State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam recognizes that the Vietnamese citizens have only one nationality; the Vietnamese nationality.

Article 4.- The relationship between the State and its citizens

1.Persons who hold Vietnamese nationality are citizens of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (hereafter referred to as Vietnamese citizens).

2.Vietnamese citizens shall have their citizen rights guaranteed by the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and shall have to fulfill their citizen obligations toward the State and society as provided for by law.

The State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam shall not extradite Vietnamese citizens to other countries.

Article 5.- The protection of Vietnamese living abroad

The State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam shall protect the legitimate rights of Vietnamese living abroad.

The State agencies in the country, the diplomatic missions and consular offices of Vietnam in foreign countries shall have to take all necessary measures in accordance with the laws of such countries, the international law and practice to effect such protection.

Article 6.- The policies toward people of Vietnamese origin in foreign countries

1.The State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam shall adopt policies to encourage and create favorable conditions for people of Vietnamese origin in foreign countries to maintain close relation with their families and native land, and contribute to the building of their native land and the country.

2.The State shall adopt policies to create favorable to create favorable conditions for persons who have lost their Vietnamese nationality to have it restored.

Article 7.- The policies toward Vietnamese citizens living in foreign countries

The State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam shall adopt policies to enable Vietnamese citizens living in foreign countries to enjoy their citizen rights and perform their citizen obligations in a way suitable to their circumstance of living away from the homeland.

Article 8.- Limiting the non-nationality status

The State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam creates conditions for all children born on the Vietnamese territory to have nationality and for stateless persons permanently residing in Vietnam to be granted the Vietnamese nationality under the provisions of this Law.

Article 9.- Retention of nationality in cases of marriage, divorce or annulment of unlawful marriage.

The marriage, divorce or annulment of unlawful marriage between a Vietnamese citizen and a foreigner shall not alter the Vietnamese nationality of the involved party as well as their minor children.

Article 10.- Retention of nationality in cases of change to the nationality of a husband or a wife.

That a husband or a wife is granted or loses his or her Vietnamese nationality shall not alter the nationality of his/her spouse.

Article 11.- Papers proving Vietnamese nationality

The following papers shall serve as grounds to prove one's Vietnamese nationality:

1.A certificate of Vietnamese nationality; a decision on naturalization in Vietnam, a decision on Vietnamese nationality restoration, a Vietnamese identity card or passport;

2.His/her birth certificate enclosed with papers proving the Vietnamese nationality of his/her parents, in case of the absence of the papers defined in Point 1 of this Article;

3.Other papers prescribed by the Government.

Article 12.- The State management over nationality

The contents of State management over Vietnamese nationality shall include:

1.Promulgating, guiding and organizing the implementation of legal documents on Vietnamese nationality; formulating policies on Vietnamese nationality;

2.Deciding the naturalization in Vietnam, restoration, relinquishment and deprivation of Vietnamese nationality;

3.Granting Vietnamese nationality certificates, and certificates of loss of Vietnamese nationality;

4.Making State statistics on Vietnamese nationality;

5.Supervising and inspecting the observance of the legislation on Vietnamese nationality;

6.Settling complaints and denunciations about Vietnamese nationality;

7.Establishing international cooperation in the field of nationality.

Article 13.- The application of international treaties

In cases where an international treaty which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has signed or acceded to contains provisions contrary to this Law, the provisions of such international treaty shall apply.

Chapter II
HOLDING OF VIETNAMESE NATIONALITY

Article 14.- Persons holding Vietnamese nationality

Vietnamese nationality holders include those who have been holding Vietnamese nationality up to the effective date of this Law and those who hold Vietnamese nationality under this Law.

Article 15.- The grounds for determining the Vietnamese nationality of a person

A person is determined to have Vietnamese nationality when there exists one of the following grounds:

1.By birth, as defined in Articles 16, 17 and 18 of this Law;

2.Being naturalized in Vietnam;

3.Having Vietnamese nationality restored;

4.Under the international treaties which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has signed or acceded to;

5.Other grounds defined in Articles 19, 28 and 30 of this Law.

Article 16.- The nationality of children born to parents who are Vietnamese citizens

A child born to parents, both of whom are Vietnamese citizens, shall hold Vietnamese nationality, regardless of whether the child was born inside or outside the Vietnamese territory.

Article 17.- The nationality of a child born to parents, one of whom is a Vietnamese citizen

1.A child born to parents, one of whom is a Vietnamese citizen and the other is a stateless person; or his/her mother is a Vietnamese citizen while his/her father is unknown, shall hold Vietnamese nationality, regardless of whether the child was born inside or outside the Vietnamese territory.

2.A child born to parents, one of whom is a Vietnamese citizen and the other is a foreign national, shall hold Vietnamese nationality, if so agreed in writing by his/her parents at the time of registration of their child's birth.

Article 18.- The nationality of a child born to parents who are both stateless persons

1.A child born on the Vietnamese territory and whose parents, at the time of his/her birth, are both stateless persons who have a permanent residence in Vietnam, shall hold Vietnamese nationality.

2.A child on the Vietnamese territory whose mother, at the time of his/her birth, is a stateless person having a permanent residence in Vietnam, and whose father is unknown, shall hold Vietnamese nationality.

Article 19.- The nationality of newborn who is abandoned or found on the Vietnamese territory

1.A newborn abandoned or found on the Vietnamese territory whose parents are unknown, shall hold Vietnamese nationality.

2.In cases where a person mentioned in Clause 1 of this Article who is under 15 years old has found his/her parents who both hold foreign nationality or one of whom holds foreign nationality, or his/her guardian holds foreign nationality, he/she shall no longer hold Vietnamese nationality; for a person who is full 15 years of age but under full eighteen years of age, his/her written consent is required.

Article 20.- Granting of Vietnamese nationality

1.Foreign nationality and stateless persons who are residing in Vietnam and apply for the Vietnamese nationality, may be granted Vietnamese nationality if they fully meet the following conditions:

a/Having full capacity for civil acts as prescribed by Vietnamese laws;

b/Abiding by the Constitution and laws of Vietnam; respecting the traditions, customs and practices of the Vietnamese people;

c/Knowing the Vietnamese language sufficiently enough to integrate themselves into the social community of Vietnam;

d/Having resided in Vietnam for five years or more;

e/Being capable of ensuring their living in Vietnam.

2.Foreign nationals and stateless persons may be granted Vietnamese nationality without having to fully meet the conditions prescribed in Points c, d and e, Clause 1 of this Article, if they fall into one of the following cases;

a/Being spouses, offspring or parents of Vietnamese citizens;

b/Having made meritorious contributions to the cause of building and defending the Vietnamese fatherland;

c/Being helpful to the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

3.Foreign nationals naturalized in Vietnam shall not retain their foreign nationality, except for special cases which shall be decided by the State President.

4.Persons applying for Vietnamese nationality shall not be granted Vietnamese nationality, if such naturalizations is detrimental to Vietnam's national interests.

The Government shall stipulate the procedures and order for handling applications of Vietnamese nationality.

Article 21.- The restoration of Vietnamese nationality

1.A person who has lost his/her Vietnamese nationality under Article 23 of this Law and now applies for the restoration of Vietnamese nationality, may have his/her Vietnamese nationality restored, if he/she falls into one of the following cases;

a/Applying for repatriation to Vietnam;

b/His/her spouse, offspring(s), mother or father being Vietnamese citizen(s);

c/Having made meritorious contributions to the cause of building and defending the Vietnamese fatherland;

d/Being beneficial to the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

2.Persons applying for the restoration of Vietnamese nationality shall not have Vietnamese nationality restored, if such restoration is detrimental to Vietnam's nationality interests.

The Government shall stipulate the procedures and order for handling applications for restoration of Vietnamese nationality.

Article 22.- Certificates of Vietnamese nationality

1.Vietnamese citizens shall have the right to request the Vietnamese competent agency(ies) defined in Articles 35 and 36 of this Law to grant them certificates of Vietnamese nationality.

2.Certificates of Vietnamese nationality shall be granted to those who have filed applications therefor and can prove that they hold Vietnamese nationality.

The Government shall stipulates the procedures and order for granting certificates of Vietnamese nationality.

Chapter III
LOSS OF VIETNAMESE NATIONALITY

Article 23.- Loss of Vietnamese nationality

A Vietnamese citizen shall lose his/her Vietnamese nationality in the following cases:

1.Being permitted to relinquish his/her Vietnamese nationality;

2.Being deprived of his/her Vietnamese nationality.

3.Losing his/her Vietnamese nationality under international treaties which Vietnam has signed or acceded to;

4 Other cases defined in Clause 2 of Article 19, Article 26 and Article 28 of this Law.

Article 24.- Relinquishment of Vietnamese nationality

1.A Vietnamese citizen who files application for the relinquishment of Vietnamese nationality so as to be granted nationality of a foreign country may be permitted to relinquish his/her Vietnamese nationality.

2.A person applying for the relinquishment of Vietnamese nationality shall not be permitted to relinquish his/her Vietnamese nationality if he/she falls under one of the following cases;

a/He/she is owing tax debts to the State or a property obligation to a Vietnamese agency organization or citizen;

b/He/she is being examined for penal liability;

c/He/she has not yet completely served Vietnamese court's sentence(s)and/or decisions(s) against him/her.

3.Persons applying of the relinquishment of Vietnamese nationality shall not be permitted to relinquish their Vietnamese nationality if such relinquishment is detrimental to Vietnam's national interests.

4.State officials and employees and those who are serving in the people's armed forces shall not be permitted to relinquish their Vietnamese nationality.

The Government shall stipulate the procedures and order for handling applications for the relinquishment of Vietnamese nationality.

Article 25.- The deprivation of Vietnamese nationality

1.Vietnamese citizens residing abroad may be deprived of Vietnamese nationality if they take acts that cause serious harms to the national independence, the cause of building and defending the Vietnamese fatherland or to the prestige of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

2.Persons who have been granted with Vietnamese nationality in accordance with Article 20 of this Law, regardless of whether they reside inside or outside the Vietnamese territory, may be deprived of Vietnamese nationality if they commit acts prescribed in Clause 1 of this Article.

Article 26.- Annulment of decisions on granting Vietnamese nationality

1.In cases where a person who has been granted the Vietnamese nationality in accordance with Article 20 of this Law, regardless of whether he/she resides inside or outside the Vietnamese territory, intentionally made false declaration or falsified papers when applying for Vietnamese nationality, the decision on naturalization shall be annulled, provided that such decision has been issued for less than five years.

2.The annulment of the decision on naturalization of a husband or a wife shall not alter the nationality of his/her spouse.

Article 27.- The certificates of Vietnamese nationality loss

The certificates of Vietnamese nationality loss shall be granted to persons who file applications therefor and can prove that they once held Vietnamese nationality.

The Government shall stipulate the procedures and order for granting certificates of Vietnamese nationality loss.

Chapter IV
CHANGES TO NATIONALITY OF MINORS AND ADOPTED CHILDREN

Article 28.- Nationality of children who are minors in cases of their parents' naturalization, relinquishment or restoration of Vietnamese nationality

1.When there is a change to the nationality of his/her parents due to the granting, relinquishment or restoration of Vietnamese nationality, the nationality of the child who is a minor living with his/her parents shall be changed accordingly.

2.When there is a change to the nationality of his/her father or mother due to the granting, relinquishment or restoration of Vietnamese nationality, the nationality of the child who is a minor shall be decided according to the written consent from his/her parents.

3.Any change to the nationality of persons, who are from full 15 years to under 18 years of age as stipulated in Clauses 1 and 2 of this Article, must be agreed upon in writing by such persons.

Article 29.- Nationality of children who ate minors in cases where their parents are deprived of Vietnamese nationality or where decisions on granting Vietnamese nationality are annulled

When both his/her parents or either of them is deprived of Vietnamese nationality under Article 25 of this Law or the decision on granting the Vietnamese nationality is annulled under Article 26 of this Article 26 of this Law, the nationality of a child who is a minor shall not change.

Article 30.- Nationality of adopted children who are minors

1.A child who is a Vietnamese citizen and adopted by foreigner(s) shall retain his/her Vietnamese nationality.

2.A child who is a foreign national and adopted by Vietnamese citizen(s) shall hold Vietnamese nationality as from the date the Vietnamese competent agency recognizes the adoption.

3.A child who is a foreign national and adopted by parents one of whom is a Vietnamese citizen and the other is a foreign national shall be granted be Vietnamese nationality according to the application for the Vietnamese nationality filed by his/her adoptive parents and exempt from conditions prescribed in Clause 1, Article 20 of this Law.

Any change to the nationality of an adopted child, who is from full 15 years to under 18 years of age, must be agreed upon in writing by him/her.

Chapter V
THE POWERS AND PROCEDURES FOR HANDLING NATIONALITY-RELATED MATTERS

Article 31.- The powers of the National Assembly regarding nationality

The National Assembly has the following tasks and powers regarding the nationality:

1.To promulgate legal documents on Vietnamese nationality;

2.To exert the supreme supervision on the observance of the legislation on Vietnamese nationality;

3.To ratify or rescind international treaties on nationality which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has signed or acceded to at the proposal of the State President.

Article 32.- The powers of the State President over nationality

The State President has the following tasks and powers over nationality:

1.To permit the naturalization in Vietnam;

2.To permit the Vietnamese nationality restoration;

3.To permit the Vietnamese nationality relinquishment;

4.To decide the Vietnamese nationality deprivation;

5.To annul decisions on naturalization in Vietnam;

6.To conclude international treaties on behalf of the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, decide the ratification of or acceding to international treaties on nationality or concerning nationality, except for cases where such international treaties must be submitted to the National Assembly for decision.

Article 33.- The powers of the Government over nationality

The Government has the following tasks and powers over nationality:

1.To submit to the National Assembly and the National Assembly Standing Committee draft laws, ordinances and resolutions on Vietnamese nationality; to promulgate documents guiding the implementation of legislation on Vietnamese nationality;

2.To submit to the State President for decision the granting, restoration, relinquishment or deprivation of Vietnamese nationality and the annulment of decisions on naturalization in Vietnam;

3.To submit to the State President for decision the signing of international treaties on the State's behalf, the ratification of or acceding to international treaties on nationality or concerning nationality; to decide the signing of or acceding to international treaties on nationality or concerning nationality on the Government's behalf;

4.To direct and guide the granting of certificates of Vietnamese nationality and certificates of loss of Vietnamese nationality;

5.To organize and direct the dissemination and education of legislation on Vietnamese nationality;

6.To make State statistics on Vietnamese nationality;

7.To inspect and supervise, according to its competence, the observance of the legislation on Vietnamese nationality;

8.To establish international cooperation on nationality.

Article 34.- The powers of the ministries, the ministerial-level agencies and the agencies attached to the Government regarding nationality

1.The Ministry of Justice shall assist the Government in performing the tasks and exercising the powers defined in Article 33 of this Law.

2.The ministries, the ministerial-level agencies and the agencies attached to the Government shall, within their respective tasks and powers, have to coordinate with the Ministry of Justice in performing the tasks an exercising the powers regarding nationality as prescribed by the Government.

Article 35.- The powers of the People's Committees of the provinces and cities directly under the Central Government

The People's Committees of the provinces and cities directly under the Central Government have the following tasks and powers regarding the nationality:

1.To receive examine dossiers of application for the granting, restoration or relinquishment of Vietnamese nationality; to request the handling of such dossiers;

2.To propose the deprivation of Vietnamese nationality or the annulment of decisions on naturalization in Vietnam;

3.To consider and grant certificates of Vietnamese nationality and certificates of loss of Vietnamese nationality.

Article 36.- The powers of the Vietnamese diplomatic missions and consular offices overseas regarding nationality

The Vietnamese diplomatic missions and consular offices overseas have the following tasks and powers regarding nationality:

1.To receive and examine dossiers of application for the restoration or relinquishment of Vietnamese nationality; to receive dossiers of application for Vietnamese nationality in some exceptional cases; to request the handling of such dossiers;

2.To propose the deprivation of Vietnamese nationality and the annulment of decisions on naturalization in Vietnam;

3.To consider and grant certificates of Vietnamese nationality and certificates of loss of Vietnamese nationality.

Article 37.- Filing applications for settlement of nationality matters

Persons applying for the granting, restoration or relinquishment of Vietnamese nationality, or for certificates of Vietnamese nationality or certificates of loss of Vietnamese nationality shall send their applications to the People's Committees of the provinces and cities directly under the Central Government where they reside, if they live in Vietnam; or to the Vietnamese diplomatic missions or consular offices overseas if they reside abroad.

Article 38.- The time limit for handling nationality-related applications

1.The time limit for settling an application for naturalization in Vietnam shall not exceed 12 months, and an application for Vietnamese nationality relinquishment or restoration shall not exceed 6 months, from the date the People's Committee of the province or city directly under the Central Government or the Vietnamese diplomatic mission or consular office overseas receives complete and valid dossiers.

2.The time limit for settling an application for a certificate for Vietnamese nationality or a certificate of loss of Vietnamese nationality shall not exceed 90 days from the date the People's Committee of the province or city directly under the Central Government or the Vietnamese diplomatic mission or consular office overseas receives complete and valid dossiers.

Article 39.- Publishing on the Official Gazette decisions on granting, restoration, relinquishment or deprivation of Vietnamese nationality and the annulment of decisions on naturalization in Vietnam

The decisions on granting restoration, relinquishment or deprivation of Vietnamese nationality and the annulment of decisions on naturalization in Vietnam shall be published on the Official Gazette of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Article 40.- The settlement of complaints, denunciations and disputes about Vietnamese nationality

1.Complaints about the administrative decisions or administrative acts of State agencies defined in Articles 34, 35 and 36 of this Saw and denunciations against law-breaking acts in the handling of Vietnamese nationality-related matters shall be made in accordance with the provisions of the legislation on complaints and denunciations.

2.Disputes among individuals on Vietnamese nationality shall be settled by courts according to the procedures for settling civil cases.

Chapter VI
IMPLEMENTATION PROVISIONS

Article 41.- The international cooperation to limit the dual - or multi-nationality status and handle problems arising from dual - or multi-nationality status

Basing themselves on the principles prescribed in this Law, the competent State agencies shall undertake the signing of international treaties with foreign countries to limit the dual - or multi-nationality status and handle problems arising therefrom.

Article 42.- Enforcement effect

This Law takes effect from January 1st, 1999 and replaces the Law on Vietnamese Nationality of June 28, 1988.

The Government shall stipulate in details and guide the implementation of this Law.

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