Establishment of U.S. Orderly Departure Program
The Orderly Departure Program (ODP) was established in 1979 between the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees and the Vietnamese government to provide a safe and legal means for Vietnamese to leave their country. The U.S. accepts ODP applications from various categories of Vietnamese, including spouses, children and parents of U.S. Citizens or permanent residents, former U.S. government employees, political prisoners and other who have been imprisoned in re-education camps, and Amerasians and their relatives. The U.S. Orderly Departure Program is NOT the Immigration and Naturalization Service. It is part of the U.S. State Department. It is a joint voluntary agency where the ODP representatives will prepare the case for the INS (Now Known as Citizenship and Naturalization Services) officers to interview the applicants.
Humanitarian Resettlement (HR) Program
On November 15, 2005, the governments of the United States of America and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam jointly announced implementation of a Humanitarian Resettlement (HR) process in order to consider Vietnamese citizens who were former soldiers or officials of the former southern government before April 30, 1975 and were in re-education centers after April 30, 1975 (HO program), or who were former employees of the U.S. government (U-11) and private U.S. companies or organizations (V-11).
There will be a two-year application period from June 25, 2006 until June 25, 2008. This process is limited to those who were unable to apply or who were unable to complete the application process before the Orderly Departure Program (ODP) closed on September 30, 1994. Persons who previously applied for ODP (HO, U-11 and V-11 subprograms) and were denied are not eligible to re-apply for HR. Persons who were previously notified of their ineligibility for former ODP categories are ineligible to re-apply.
In order to qualify, the applicants must show on the following: (1) who spent three or more years in a re-education center as a result of their close association with U.S. agencies or organizations to implement USG programs and/or policies prior to April 30, 1975; OR (2) who spent at least one year in a re-education center as a result of their close association with the U.S. Government (USG) prior to April 30, 1975 and who were also trained for any length of time in the United States or its territories under the auspices of the USG prior to April 30, 1975; OR (3) who spent at least one year in a re-education center as a result of their close association with the USG prior to April 30, 1975 and who had been directly employed by the USG, a U.S. company or a U.S. organization for at least one year prior to April 30, 1975; OR (4) Widow/widower applicants: whose spouse was sent to a re-education center as a result of his/her close association with the USG prior to April 30, 1975 and who died while in a re-education center or died within one year after release.
U-11 category – Former U.S. Government Employee
Direct-hire employees of the USG in Vietnam, with a cumulative period of time totaling five or more years verified USG employment during the period from January 1, 1963 through April 30, 1975.
V-11 category – Former Employees of Private U.S. Companies or Organizations
Direct-hire employees of private U.S. companies and/or U.S. organizations, with a cumulative period of time totaling five or more years verified employment during the period from January 1, 1963 through April 30, 1975.
Eligible Immediate Family Members
An approved applicant’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 at the time of application may be included under HR.
The most recent version of the McCain Amendment, included in H.R. 2764, was extended on December 17, 2007. It will expire on September 30, 2009.
Applications received after close of business in the U.S. Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City on September 30, 2009, will not be eligible for consideration under this program.
The McCain Amendment provides that certain sons or daughters of former Vietnamese re-education center detainees are to be considered refugees of special humanitarian concern and may be eligible for resettlement in the U.S. if they meet the following criteria:
They are the adult (over 21 years of age) son or daughter of a national of Vietnam who:
Resettlement Opportunities for Vietnamese Returnees (ROVR) Program
The Resettlement Opportunities for Vietnamese Returnees (ROVR) program was introduced after the Vietnamese government was willing to cooperate with international agencies and other governments to resettle Vietnamese boat people who returned to Vietnam, but who are eligible to resettle in other countries. The qualifying applicants are those who had close association with the U.S. presence in South Vietnam prior to 1975; those who are members of certain ethics group; those who were detained for political or religious activities; and those who are determined to be of significant interest to the U.S. government. The applicants must have registered with the ODP representative while they were in a refugee camp and returned to Vietnam from October 1, 1995 through June 30, 1996, or who have volunteered by June 30, 1996 to repatriate but returned at a later date.