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Law on entry, exit and residence of foreigner in Vietnam 2015

Since 1 January 2015, the Law on entry, exit and residence of foreigner in Vietnam has come into effect with many changes including 20 different categories of visa have been classified; the purpose of visa won't be converted from one purpose to another; changes in visa waiver regulations and some new prohibited conditions for entry and exit are also assigned.

Pursuant to a new immigration Law No. 47/2014/QH13 passed by the National Assembly of Vietnam, the Vietnamese immigration system will undergo several changes effective January 1, 2015:

1. New and restructured visa classifications

There are 20 different categories of visas and new durations as listed in the table below:

Visa categories Description/ Applicant
entitled to
Duration of visa Duration of Temporary Resident Card
NG1 - NG4
Diplomatic Up to 12 months Up to 5 years
LV1 - LV2
Working with Vietnam authorities or parties Up to 12 months Up to 5 years
Investors/ foreign lawyers Up to 5 years Up to 5 years
Working with Vietnamese enterprises Up to 12 months NA
NN1 - NN2
Chief Representative Office in Vietnam,
Head of Project Office of foreign NGO
Up to 12 months Up to 3 years
Staffs of NGO, Rep office in Vietnam Up to 12 months NA
Student/ interns Up to 12 months Up to 5 years
Attending meeting Up to 3 months NA
Journalists with
permanent residence in Vietnam
Up to 12 months Up to 2 years
Journalists with short term
residence in Vietnam
Up to 12 months NA
Foreign workers Up to 2 years Up to 2 years
Tourists Up to 3 months NA
Dependents of LV1, LV2, ĐT,
NN1, NN2, DH, PV1, LĐ
Up to 12 months Up to 3 years
Visiting relatives, other purposes Up to 6 months NA
Related to MOF, Consulate with the purpose
of market research, visiting relatives, tourist,
medical treatment
Up to 30 days NA

2. Change of visa purpose no longer permitted

According to Article 7 of the Law No. 47/2014/QH13, visa category is no longer converted from one purpose to another within the country. For instance, someone entering Vietnam with a tourist visa (DL) may not be able to convert it to a work visa in country (LĐ). Visa holders wishing to change their visa category will have to leave the country and apply for the new one from abroad.

3. New prohibited conditions for entry and exit

The new immigration law No. 47/2014/QH13 has also expanded conditions that will preclude individuals from entering and exiting Vietnam:

Prohibited conditions for entrance:

» Any person that was deported from Vietnam within the last 03 years;
» Any person that was compelled to leave Vietnam within the last 06 months;
» Any person presenting forging paper or providing false information to obtain entry, exit or residence permit;
» A child under 14 years of age traveling without an accompanying parent or custodian etc...;

Prohibited conditions for exit:

A foreigner’s exit will be suspended (up to three years) in the following cases:

» His or her tax obligations have yet been fulfilled;
» He or she is obliged to comply with an administrative sanction;
» He or she has been criminally charged or must serve a criminal sentence;
» He or she is a defendant or a person with related rights and obligations in a civil, economic, labor, administrative or marriage litigation case;

4. Thirty (30) days interrupted between 2 entries for visa waiver

According to the Article 20 of the Law No. 47/2014/QH13 any foreigners who enter Vietnam and are unilaterally granted visa free entry must have a passport valid for at least 6 months, and the entry date must be at least 30 days from the previous exit.  Visa waiver citizens wishing to re-enter Vietnam within 30 days from the previous exit must apply for Vietnam visa for their return.

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