He attributed the relatively small take-up rate to people not being accustomed to online registration as well as the quite detailed application forms.
Applicants often encountered problems declaring their origin, especially if they were born in localities which had since been split, Son said.
The State Committee for Overseas Vietnamese is collecting opinions from overseas Vietnamese to improve the visa exemption process and also planning the first international conference for overseas Vietnamese in late 2009.
Son said at least 500,000 overseas Vietnamese are expected to return to their homeland to visit their families for Tet, the lunar New Year celebration which starts on January 26 this year.
Meanwhile, work will continue this year on citizenship and home ownership laws for overseas Vietnamese.
Son said his committee was working with the Foreign Ministry on amendments to the Housing Law, to be submitted to the National Assembly for approval, which will expand the list of overseas Vietnamese eligible to own houses in Vietnam.
Under a draft law, submitted to the government for approval last September, there are three categories of overseas Vietnamese who will be allowed to buy houses in Vietnam.
Vietnamese citizens living abroad who retained their Vietnamese citizenship will be eligible to buy an unlimited number of houses in Vietnam.
Also eligible to buy unlimited houses in Vietnam are overseas Vietnamese who are married to a Vietnamese citizen who lives in Vietnam, overseas Vietnamese deemed to have made “significant contributions”
People of Vietnamese origin who have lived in Vietnam for at least six months or hold a visa-exemption certificate will be able to own a single residence in the country.
The committee is also working with the Ministry of Justice on documents to guide the implementation of some articles in the amended Nationality Law 2008, passed by the National Assembly last November.
Under the new law, which amends Vietnam’s long-standing single-nationality principle, some people will be able to hold dual citizenship.
More at: http://www.travelvietnam.org
Vietnam Visa Tips:
When you start planning your trip to Vietnam you must have a current passport that will not expire for 6 months when you enter Vietnam. You then need to apply to the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate in your country. VIETNAMESE EMBASSY in the UNITED STATES. Just search for "Vietnamese Embassy (Insert Your Country". Your visa application will require 2 passport size photos. You can also inquire about a "Visa On Arrival" at http://www.Vietnam-