Vietnam Immigration News

Questions and Answers

Questions 1: We submitted the ABTC application to Vietnam Immigration Department a long time ago; however, after checking the ABTC Pre-clearance status on the Tracker system, it shows “Pending”. This means that Vietnam ABTC team hasn’t provided the pre-clearance yet. I am wondering if there are any new regulations for ABTC pre-clearance during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Answer: Currently, for Covid-19 prevention and control, the Government of Vietnam allows only foreigners who are investors, technical experts, high-skilled workers, business managers to enter Vietnam to work; and isolation plans are required. Foreigners belonging to the above-mentioned categories, who wish to enter Vietnam at this time, need to contact the agencies or organizations in Vietnam in which they are expected to work so that the agencies or organizations will carry out visa procedures for them in accordance with applicable laws.

Therefore, the ABTC application with the “pending” status shall be considered and processed after Covid-19 pandemic is over.

Vietnam’s ABTC Team hope that the member economies may share and cooperate with Vietnam in the prevention and control of Covid-19 pandemic.

Question 2: Could you please inform us if Vietnamese citizens on commercial flights can enter Vietnam at this time? Which categories of citizens are allowed to enter Vietnam?

Answer: According to Article 34 of the Law on exit and entry of Vietnamese citizens, Vietnamese citizens can enter Vietnam if they have intact and valid passports or passport substitutes.

Currently, due to the complicated situation of Covid-19 pandemic in the world, many countries have suspended commercial flights. Therefore, Vietnamese citizens who wish to return to Vietnam, need to contact Vietnamese diplomatic representative offices in foreign countries, Vietnam Consular Department – Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam – Ministry of Transport for instructions on procedures for registering for rescue flights.

Since the beginning of September, Vietnam has resumed commercial flights to/from six countries and territories (China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Cambodia, Laos). Therefore, in addition to Vietnamese passports, Vietnamese citizens who return to Vietnam on commercial flights from those six countries and territories, need to obtain certificates of negative RT-PCR test result which are issued by the competent health authority of the host country within 3 days prior to departure (except for some areas where the authority does not issue this type of paper).

Question 3: My relative with a tourist visa is stuck in Vietnam. Recently, his visa has been extended through the travel agency in accordance with Vietnam’s Immigration Law. My relative is currently living in Ho Chi Minh City, but the temporary residence certification was granted in Hanoi. Is that lawful? Or are there any problems when the border reopens?

Answer: The Law on foreigners’ entry into, exit from, transit through, and residence in Vietnam defines that “Foreigners who are temporarily residing in Vietnam and wish to extend their temporary residence duration must request inviting or sponsoring agencies, organizations, individuals to carry out the procedures at the immigration authority" (clause 1 of Article 35); at the same time, to be eligible for exit, foreigners must have “ passports or passport substitutes; valid temporary residence certification, valid temporary residence cards, valid permanent residence cards; and do not fall into the cases of exit suspension”. (Article 27)

Thus, your relative’s stay in Vietnam is lawful if he entered Vietnam on a tourist visa and his visa was extended through a travel agency and the temporary residence certification contains all the required information and signed by the authorized persons (from either the Immigration Department in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City or local Immigration Offices across the country). Therefore, he can stay legally in Vietnam and exit when the border reopens. (If there are no other violations)

Question 4: My passport is valid for less than 6 months. Can I apply for a new passport at present?  Can I keep my old passport if I apply for a new one?

Answer: According to the Law on exit and entry of Vietnamese citizens, Vietnamese citizens will be issued passports, if they do not fall into the cases specified in Article 21 of the Law on exit and entry of Vietnamese citizen.

If your passport is valid for less than 6 months and you wish to apply for a new passport, you must go in person to Vietnam Immigration Department, the Ministry of Public Security or local Immigration Offices in provinces or cities for your own convenience.

When you submit your application for a new passport, your old passport is recalled and cancelled, and will be returned to you together with a new passport.

Question 5: I am an overseas Vietnamese, currently residing in Vietnam with a 5-year visa exemption certificate. I entered Vietnam and was granted the temporary residence certification of 180 days but my temporary residence duration will expire soon. I extended my temporary residence duration once in March 2020. Can I extend my temporary residence duration for another 180 days? Which procedures should I complete?

Answer: Please prepare a dossier of temporary residence extension, including: 01 NA5 form (in accordance with Circular 04/2015/TT-BCA); passport or passport substitute; papers proving relationship with sponsors and submitting them to either Vietnam Immigration Department or local Immigration Offices in Vietnam. For further information, contact us on the phone number: 0243.938.7320.

 Manh Ha