USCIS to close Vietnam office

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services recently announced that its office in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, will close permanently at the end of March.

The office will officially close its doors on March 31, 2011, but it will stop accepting petitions and applications on March 25, according to a release. After that date, such documents may be submitted to the US Department of State Consular Section at 4 Le Duan Street, District 1.

This office will then forward all applications and petitions to the USCIS Field Office in Bangkok, Thailand.

According to the American Immigration Law Foundation, immigration from Vietnam began to take off in earnest following the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. A number of these immigrants came to America as refugees. From 1981 to 2000, the US took in more than 531,310 refugees from Vietnam, according to the foundation.

The 2000 Census found that there were 1,223,736 Vietnamese Americans and some analyses estimated that by 2010, such people would be the second largest Asian group in the US behind the Chinese. Current figures have Vietnam as the fifth largest such population.