Vietnam Immigration News

Some main contents of the Law on amendments to a number of articles of the Law on Foreigners’ Entry into, Exit from, Transit through, and Residence in Vietnam

         The Law on amendments to a number of articles of the Law on Foreigners’ Entry into, Exit from, Transit through, and Residence in Vietnam (Law No. 51) was passed on November 25, 2019, by the XIVth National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam at the 8th session.

          Law No. 51 (amending 17 articles, supplementing 03 articles) was issued in response to requirements of legislating on e-visa polices for foreigners entering Vietnam, solving problems and difficulties arising in reality. According to the new law, many regulations are soft and more flexible in order to facilitate foreigners’ entry into Vietnam.

          Some main contents of Law No. 51:

          1. Stipulating the issuance of e-visas and the application of electronic transaction in inviting, sponsoring foreigners to Vietnam; supplementing provisions on definition, symbols, validity and forms of visas, subjects eligible for e-visas; procedures for issuing e-visas; issuing visas via electronic transactions; conditions and authority to decide on the list of countries of which their citizens can apply for e-visas, border gates which foreigners using e-visas can enter and exit.

          2. Stipulating 30-day visa exemption for foreigners who enter coastal economic zones decided by the Government if the zones satisfy the following conditions: having international airports; having private space with defined geographical boundaries, separating from inland; in conformity with socio-economic development policies and not harming national defense and security and social order of Vietnam.

          3. Abolishing the regulation that “the interval between the entry date and the previous exit date must be at least 30 days" to facilitate foreigners entering Vietnam on unilateral visa exemption, then going to a third country and returning to Vietnam to continue their travel.

          4. Stipulating visa issuance by virtue of preclearance lists from immigration management agencies for foreigners visiting and traveling by sea or transiting by sea who wish to enter inland for visiting and traveling according to programs organized by international travel agents in Vietnam; members of foreign military ships traveling under official programs outside provinces and centrally-run cities which their ship is anchored in.

          5. Stipulating cases in which foreigners’ visas can be repurposed, specifically:

  • Having papers proving that they are investors or representatives of foreign organizations investing in Vietnam in accordance with applicable laws.
  • Have papers proving their relationship with inviting or sponsoring individuals as parents, spouses, and children.
  • Being invited or sponsored by agencies and organizations, having work permits or letters of confirmation that they are not required to obtain work permit according to labor laws.
  • Entering Vietnam on e-visas and having work permits or letters of confirmation that they are not required obtaining work permits according to labor laws.

          6. Amending and supplementing regulations on subjects and symbols of visas, temporary residence cards issued to foreign workers to distinguish foreigners who are granted work permits from foreigners who are not required to obtain work permits; symbols of visas, temporary residence cards issued to foreign lawyers to distinguish foreign investors from foreign lawyers practicing in Vietnam.

          7. Amending regulations on symbols and validity of visas, temporary residence cards issued to foreign investors (Law No. 47 only stipulates one type of visa, temporary residence card with ĐT symbol and validity of 5 years) as follows: based on the amount of investment capital, or priority sectors, geographical areas, and investment stimulus policies to issue visas, temporary residence cards with appropriate symbols. Accordingly, investors with contributed capital of less than 3 billion VND are only granted visas valid for less than 1 year, investors with contributed capital of from 100 billion VND or more are granted temporary residence cards valid for up to 10 years.

          8. Stipulating that the duration of temporary residence certification issued at border gates equals to the validity duration of visas (Law No. 47 stipulates that if a visa is valid for more than 12 months, a temporary residence certification must not exceed 12 months). However, a 30-day temporary residence certification will be issued in case of a tourist visa, which is valid for more than 30 days.