Vietnam Center & Archive News and Updates

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

FVPPA ODP Application Files Now Available to Researchers

The Families of Vietnamese Political Prisoners Association (FVPPA) collection, donated by the Vietnamese American Heritage Foundation, contains 117 linear feet of immigration applications of reeducation camp prisoners and their families in Vietnam. The FVPPA collection records the individual stories of 13,456 applicants for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) Orderly Departure Program (ODP) and 227 ODP correspondence files from individual sponsors. The FVPPA helped approximately 10,000 ODP applicants and their families immigrate to the U.S.

The Orderly Departure Application files contain documents proving eligibility for immigration to the U.S. through the ODP. These records include: ODP application forms, sponsor letters, prisoner release documents, personal letters, photos, copies of identification papers, birth, marriage, and death records, educational certificates, military records, exit visas, and other relevant documents.

Due to the personal nature of these documents and privacy concerns the Vietnam Archive did not make the ODP Application files available to the public on May 28, 2008 when the FVPPA collection was first made open to the public. While the Office Files were available to the public, the ODP Application files were restricted until December 1, 2008 so that individaul ODP applicants and their families could contact the Vietnam Archive and decide whether or not to restrict their ODP application file temporarily or permanently. Not a single ODP applicant who used the FVPPA to help them apply to the UNHCR’s ODP chose to restrict their file temporarily or permanently.

Of the FVPPA collection’s 166 boxes (165 and 1/2 linear feet), 163 are now open to the public and available for research. 3 boxes (2 and 1/2 linear feet) of medical records and social security numbers are permanently restricte due to privacy concerns.

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