Agreement with Vietnam in order to fight illegal migration

Date

2019 01 23

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Minister of the Interior Mr. Eimutis Misiūnas signed an Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on Readmission of Persons (hereinafter referred to as the Readmission Agreement) during his official visit to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

The Readmission Agreement is important to combat illegal migration more effectively. The activity of organized criminal groups involved in illegal migration has increased significantly. In 2018, 331 illegal migrant was identified in Lithuania, 149 (or 45%) of them were Vietnamese citizens. Like the vast majority of all the illegal migrants, Vietnamese citizens choose Lithuania as a transit country to their destination countries (e.g. Poland, Germany, etc.).

"The return procedure is a rather complicated process. Therefore, I am happy that after long negotiations, an agreement has been signed with Vietnam to help make the necessary procedures more efficient and expeditious in identifying individuals, issuing the necessary documents and performing other return procedures," said Minister of the Interior Mr. Eimutis Misiūnas.

Vietnamese citizens detained in Lithuania are accommodated at the Foreigners Registration Center. If individuals have their identity documents and there are no other obstacles to sending them to their country of origin, the return process takes an average of 1 to 2 months. However, currently a serious problem becomes obtaining identity and return documents of Vietnamese citizens who are illegally present and detained in Lithuania. And illegal migrants sometimes stay in Lithuania for a year and longer.

The Minister met with Vietnamese Ministers of Public Security, the Interior and Foreign Affairs. He also visited Vietnamese Immigration Department, who have direct contacts established with Lithuanian State Border Guard Service, as well as “hotline” was set up in 2017.

“We are one of the countries with the European Union's external border. Therefore, the protection and control of the borders, as well as ensuring the internal security is an important priority, which is closely linked to the regulated, legitimate and managed migration processes and hardly implemented without international cooperation,” said Minister of the Interior Mr. Misiūnas.

Established contacts are expected to ensure active cooperation between Lithuanian and Vietnamese authorities and will help to smoothen implementation of the Readmission Agreement.

Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on the Exemption of Visa Requirement for Holders of Diplomatic Passports was also signed during the visit. This agreement will facilitate travel for diplomats from both the countries.