Revised Law on Foreigners’ Entry in, Exit from, Transit through and Residence in Vietnam
The Law Revising a Number of Articles of the Law on Foreigners’ Entry in, Exit from, Transit through and Residence in Vietnam (the revised Law) was passed on November 25 last year. It adds three new articles to and revises 17 articles of the 2014 version.
Effective on July 1, the revised Law aims to regulate newly arising issues and ensure the consistency with related legal documents and help create more favorable conditions for foreigners to enter and exit Vietnam, thus contributing to promoting national socio-economic development and ensuring national security.
Changes in regulations on visas
Under the revised Law, visas may be passport-attached, loose-leaf or electronic. So, e-visa is for the first time introduced in a law. The revised Law also adds provisions on procedures for grant of e-visas at the request of foreigners or agencies and organizations. Grant of e-visas will apply to citizens of countries that fully satisfy the conditions prescribed in Article 13.1 of the 2014 Law. The Government will decide on the list of countries whose citizens are eligible for grant of e-visas, and list of international border gates through which foreigners may enter or leave Vietnam with e-visas.
Every person may be granted a visa, except: (i) children aged under 14 years who share passports with their parents or guardians; and (ii) persons eligible for grant of visas according to lists of personnel approved by the immigration agencies, for foreigners visiting or traveling by sea or transiting by sea who wish to enter the inland for visiting or travelling on tours organized by international travel companies in Vietnam; and crewmembers on board foreign warships in voyages under official programs of visits outside provinces or centrally run cities where the ships are anchored. Visas may be valid for single entry or multiple entries. Particularly, e-visas and visas granted to the persons mentioned in case (ii) are single ones.
Visa status may not be changed, except in the following four cases: (i) visa holders have papers proving their status as investors or representatives of foreign organizations investing in Vietnam in accordance with Vietnam’s law; (ii) visa holders have papers proving they are parents, spouses or children of inviting or guaranteeing individuals; (iii) visa holders are invited or guaranteed for working by agencies or organizations and have work permits or certifications of exemption from work permit in accordance with the labor law; and (iv) visa holders enter the country with e-visas and have work permits or certifications of exemption from work permit in accordance with the labor law.
Conditions for entry and exit
The provisions on conditions for entry (Article 21 of the 2014 Law) and exit (Article 27 of the 2014 Law) have been revised.
Accordingly, a foreigner may enter Vietnam when he holds a passport or an international travel document and a visa, except those eligible for visa exemption and not falling into the cases of entry refusal specified in Article 21 of the 2014 Law. Particularly, a foreigner who is eligible for visa exemption upon entry under a unilateral visa exemption scheme must hold a passport that remains valid for at least six months.
Regarding exit, a foreigner may leave Vietnam if concurrently satisfying the following conditions: holding a passport or an international travel document; having a valid temporary residence certificate, temporary residence card or permanent residence card; and not falling into the cases of exit postponement specified in Article 28 of the 2014 Law.
Foreigners using e-visas for their entry or exit must fully satisfy the above-mentioned conditions and enter or leave Vietnam via international border gates decided by the Government.
The revised Law also amends and supplements provisions on symbols of visas and temporary residence cards of foreign workers, foreign lawyers and foreign investors.