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Police have manual for dealing with Vietnamese

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Vietnamese secondary school students do not have a chance to get a student visa in the Czech Republic. University students can get them only after being accepted by a university. These are the measures adopted by the Czech Republic against the Vietnamese. The former Interior Minister Ivan Langer said the reasons for these measures could be found in economic crisis and growing criminality among the Vietnamese.

“We saw tricks including sham marriages and adoptions,” said Langer during whose time as a minister the rules got stricter.

Despite him saying that stricter rules apply to all foreigners, Hospodářské noviny got hold of an instruction issued by the head of foreign police Vladislav Husák recommending how to deal with granting permission to stay to citizens of Vietnam. The document does not mention any other nationality.

Be strict with Vietnamese
The document appeared on the middle of January. Among other things, it states that the family ties of the Vietnamese asking for re-unification of family must be scrutinised and that student visa can be granted only to university students already accepted by a university.

The recommendation was valid for some month and a half when it was suspended until the end of May. The suspension, however, was only formal. The document was deemed redundant. “It unified procedures. Foreign police still follows it, whether or not the document exists,” said Kateřina Rendlová, foreign police spokeswoman.

Supporters of Vietnamese community strongly criticise the state’s approach. “It is a tragedy. These measures do not apply to any other group,” said Marcel Winter, head of the Czech-Vietnamese association.

Former Minister Langer distanced himself from targeting Vietnamese. “My opinion on all of the foreigners is the same. This is the police’s decision,” Langer said.

This was not the first document exclusively aimed at the Vietnamese. In a secret ruling in November, cabinet decided, that the Vietnamese will no longer get visa for travelling into the Czech Republic at the embassy in Hanoi. The restriction was valid until the end of the year. Ministers made the decision based on the analysis brought by the Interior Minister.

Go back home
Lawyers also complain about the tendency to deport the Vietnamese. According to a Brno-based law firm Marek Sedlák and partners, police sends away even those who filed a lawsuit against the deportation. According to the law, in such a case the deportation should be postponed. Police and cabinet, however, were more interested in the ministerial analysis, which claims that the criminality, such as growing marihuana and tax evasions, is on the increase among the Vietnamese.

Another reason is the financial crisis. The state fears that unemployed Vietnamese might become victims or participants of the organised crime.

Due to the financial crisis impact, work and business visa to Moldavia, Mongolia, Thailand, Ukraine and Vietnam were also suspended.

Ministry also sends foreigners home through the voluntary returns programme paying for the ticket and giving them a bonus of EUR 500.

Very few Vietnamese took advantage of the offer. “It makes sense. They pay some USD 15,000 to the mafia in Vietnam to get here, their families take loans. These people cannot go back without the money,” Marcel Winter said. Only 50 Vietnamese applied for the programme in the west of the Czech Republic where their community is the largest. There are some 40,000 Vietnamese living in the country altogether. Ivan Langer praises the programme, though. It will soon reach its 2,000 foreigners quota.

That is why he pushed through prolonging the programme in a restricted regime before leaving the ministry. Foreigners will only get EUR 400 and their children EUR 200. The money and the tickets will now also be available to foreigners living here illegally.

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