Visas for foreigners entering Vietnam via border-gate or coastal economic zones
What procedures will a foreigner entering Vietnam via a border-gate or coastal economic zone have to carry out if he wishes to travel to other localities in the country?
According to Government Decree 75/2020/ND-CP dated July 1, 2020, detailing the Law on Entry, Exit, Transit, and Residence of Foreigners in Vietnam, a foreigner who enjoys visa exemption for entering a Vietnamese border-gate or coastal economic zone must be invited or guaranteed by a Vietnamese organization or individual in applying for Vietnam visa at an immigration authority if wishing to travel to other localities in Vietnam. The immigration management agency will consider granting a Vietnam visa within five working days after receiving a valid application dossier.
Citizens of countries unilaterally exempted from Vietnam visa for entering Vietnamese border-gate or coastal economic zones and wishing to travel to other places in Vietnam must have their old temporary residence certificates invalidated by immigration control offices and be granted new ones with a validity duration of 15 days from the date of entry if they have stayed in the country for under 15 days. If they have stayed in the country for at least 15 days, they have to carry out procedures for applying for Vietnam visa in accordance with law.
Foreigners visit Hoi An ancient town
For foreigners exempted from Vietnam visa while entering Vietnamese border-gate or coastal economic zones under treaties to which Vietnam is a contracting party, if their temporary residence durations have expired and they wish to travel to other places in Vietnam, they may be granted Vietnam visas in accordance with such treaties.
It is also stipulated in the Decree that immigration control offices grant temporary residence certificates to foreigners on entry by appending their stamps on the latter’s passports or loose-leaf visas. Immigration control offices may not grant temporary residence certificates to foreigners entering Vietnam through automated control gates.
How do Vietnamese laws provide for foreigners’ entry and exit through automated control gates?
In Vietnam, public services have been provided online to grant, manage and control passports of Vietnamese citizens and control entry and exit through automated control gates. These services may be performed via public service portals of the Ministry of Public Security and Ministry of Foreign Affairs which are linked and integrated with the national public service portal.
These services allow receipt of information on passport application forms and making of appointments and facilitate provision of information guiding procedures for grant of passports. Passport applicants may also look up progress and results of processing of passport applications via the portals.
Foreigners holding permanent or temporary residence cards granted by Vietnamese competent authorities and wishing to leave or enter the country through automated control gates have to carry out procedures for direct registration at immigation paper-granting authorities or immigration control offices where automated control gates are located or via public service portals of the Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of National Defense and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Specifically, foreigners have to fill in the declaration form; produce their passports and immigration papers and present permanent residence or temporary residence cards; and provide their portrait photos and fingerprints as required by the Minister of Public Security.
The registration will be made only once. In case of a change in or addition of information in the passport, a document valid for entry or exit or visa or paper certifying or proving that the foreigner’s entry is permitted by the country of destination, an additional declaration will be required.
Foreigners who have completed all the aforesaid procedures may enter in or leave Vietnam via automated control gates.-