Vietnam city ends migration ban on unemployed, non-homeowners

TN News

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Da Nang, the largest city in central Vietnam, has lifted a ban on allowing the unemployed, ex-cons and non-homeowners to migrate to and establish official residence in the centrally-administered city.

The ban was removed after many discussions between the city and the Ministry of Justice in September, the second time the ministry made the request.

Da Nang legislators passed a regulation in December last year that did not recognize the residency status of anyone without a house or job in the city, or anyone with prior convictions.

It was officially criticized by the Justice Ministry four months later for going against the Law on Residence that allows one's freedom of living anywhere.

But as of July, the regulation was still effective in two downtown districts: Thanh Khe and Hai Chau.

Nguyen Ba Son from the city Justice Department said at a conference on July 4 that the city was not discriminating against migrants. He said people need stability if they want to be residents in the city.

Da Nang's population stood at more than 942,000 by the end of 2010, according to local statistics.

While the city has agreed to loosen up, the Ministry of Public Security is seeking public opinions on amendments to the Law on Residence that would restrict migration to it and four others centrally-administered cities of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong, and Can Tho.

Proposals require applicants for permanent residence in the cities to have lived there for at least three years without interruption, as compared to one year as currently regulated.

For Hanoi, applicants must own a house, or be renting one under a "long-term" contract and must also have lived there continuously for at least two years.

The proposals also aim to prevent people from allowing others to register at their homes for profit, by requiring residences to provide at least 5 square meters of land area for each resident registered there.

The five cities are home to 18 million people, or more than 20 percent of the country's population.

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