Orderly Departure Program
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The Orderly Departure Program (ODP) was a program to permit immigration of Vietnamese refugees to the United States of America and to other countries, instituted in 1979 under the auspices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Later, following normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the United States enacted legislation and established direct communication with the government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to facilitate emigration from Vietnam under the program.
The Orderly Departure Program office was initially established in Bangkok, Thailand, in January 1980. Over the course of its work the ODP was able to assist nearly 500,000 Vietnamese refugees in resettling in the United States. On September 14, 1994, registration for the ODP was closed. In 1999 the ODP office in Bangkok was closed and the remaining open cases were transferred to the Refugee Resettlement Section at the U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
The United States and Vietnam signed an agreement on Tuesday Nov 15, 2005, which allows those Vietnamese to immigrate who were not able to do so before the humanitarian program ended in 1994.
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