A Parliamentarian says Vietnamese Immigrants in Cambodia Can Apply for Citizenship

Vietnamese officials asked the Cambodian government to consider the case of Vietnamese immigrants in Cambodia


PHNOM PENH--Vietnamese immigrants in Cambodia can apply for Cambodian nationality and will be considered if they meet all the requirements, a senior member of the National Assembly said Monday.  


Chheang Vun, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly, made these remarks to journalists at the Phnom Penh International Airport as he was returning from the seventh conference of the Committees for External Relations of the National Assemblies of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, which took place in Ha Long City in Vietnam last week. 


During the meeting, Vietnamese officials asked the Cambodian government to consider the case of Vietnamese immigrants who have not been granted Cambodian nationality even though they have been in the country for many years. 


Vun said he told them that Vietnamese people living in Cambodia should apply for citizenship according to Cambodian laws. 


“We responded clearly that Cambodia has laws, which include laws on nationality and immigration,” he said. “We can’t grant nationality automatically to all Vietnamese people who are living illegally in the Kingdom. But they can apply for Cambodian nationality. 


“It is required by our laws,” Vun added. 


According to the Ministry of Interior, more than 100,000 foreign nationals are living illegally in the country. 


More than 100,000 others have submitted their applications to become legal immigrants. They are from 11 nationalities with most of them Vietnamese. 


According to the 2018 law on nationality, requirements for citizenship include being a “good moral citizen” with no criminal record; speak, read and write Khmer, have a good knowledge of Cambodian history and be in good health. 


Foreigners with legal investments and permission from the relevant authorities as well as those who offer gifts in cash to the national budget for social developments or to humanitarian organizations in Cambodia can also apply for citizenship.


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