New law aims to curb influx of rural Vietnamese to capital city

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Rural people working as street vendors in Hanoi

The Capital Law set to take effect July 1, 2013 will stop the flow of some one million rural people to Hanoi within the next four to five years, a local official said on Wednesday.

Pham Quang Nghi, Secretary of Hanoi's Party Unit, was speaking to the press on the sidelines of that day's sitting of the National Assembly, after the controversial bill, which has drawn a great deal of public scrutiny since being introduced in 2010, was passed.

He said the number was quite considerable, as it was a giant undertaking to provide schooling, transport, healthcare, and security among other services to one million people.

Under the new law, rural residents will be eligible to register for permanent residence only after they have lived in the city under temporary residence status for at least three years.

To apply for the permanent Hanoi residence, they will also be required to own a house or rent a house from registered housing agencies, which have per capita areas that comply with standards set by the Hanoi People's Committee.

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The regulations, however, do not target people who are recruited to work at state-owned agencies; those who have signed indefinite contracts with employers; who come to Hanoi to live with their relatives; or previously held permanent residency status in the capital city.

Those exemptions will instead fall under the jurisdiction of Vietnam's current Residence Law which requires applicants for permanent residence at central cities, namely Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Da Nang, Hai Phong, and Can Tho, to live in a legal temporary residence there at least one year.

Also on Wednesday, lawmakers voted to choose Khue Van Cac pavilion at Van Mieu (Temple of Literature), which was built in 1805, as the official architectural icon of Hanoi.

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