In 2009, Mua Thi Mua left her hometown in Laos to live with a Vietnamese man in Son La province in northern Vietnam.

They now have two children but Mua has not been granted Vietnamese citizenship and has not applied for marriage registration. Without Vietnamese citizenship, she cannot obtain medical insurance or other necessary papers.

Phieng Cai village in Long Sap commune shares a border with Laos’ Huaphan province. Among the 80 households in the village, there are 30 undocumented married couples.
After years of waiting, many Lao nationals, most of whom are women, have been granted Vietnamese citizenship.

The newly-recognised Vietnamese citizens will be guided to complete procedures for legal papers, including birth certificates, identity cards and marriage certificates.

The move comes thanks to an agreement on addressing undocumented migration and marriage in the shared border regions between the Vietnamese and Lao governments, signed in 2013.

In Son La province, out of 350 cases, 290 people have been granted Vietnamese citizenship.

Border districts in Son La province have been asked to continue reviewing cases of free migration and undocumented marriages to minimize the number of similar cases in the future./. VNA