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VIETNAM – New Immigration Law Will Take Effect 1 January 2015

The National Assembly of Vietnam approved a new immigration law on 14 June 2014. The new law is expected to come into effect on 1 January 2015. Key changes include :

  • A complete new structure of visa types;
  • New duration for visas and temporary residence cards;
  • Visas may not be converted from one type to another in-country;
  • The introduction of new prohibited conditions for entry and exit.

New Visa Types and Durations

A complete new structure of visa types has been approved, with 20 different categories including a work visa (LĐ), a business visa (specifically defined as for attending meetings (HN)), and a dependent visa (TT).

No In-country Change of Status

According to article 7, point 1 of the new law, a visa may not be converted from one purpose to another. For instance, someone entering Vietnam with a tourist visa (DL) may not be able to convert it to a work visa in country (LĐ).

New Prohibited Conditions for Entry and Exit

Prohibited conditions for entry

  • Any person that was deported from Vietnam within the last three years;
  • Any person that was compelled to leave Vietnam within the last six months;
  • Any person Presenting forging paper or providing false information to obtain entry/exit/residence permit;
  • A child under 14 years of age traveling without an accompanying parent or custodian.

Prohibited conditions for exit

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

  • Their tax obligations have not yet been fulfilled;
  • They are obliged to comply with an administrative sanction;
  • They have been criminally charged or must serve a criminal sentence;
  • They are a defendant or a person with related rights and obligations in a civil, economic, labor, administrative or marriage litigation case.

Action Items

  • Note that the visa application process will change in January 2015.
  • Note that, after the changes come into effect, an applicant will need to obtain the correct visa at a Vietnamese consulate before travelling, as they will not be able to change status in country.

This alert was prepared using information provided by Resident Vietnam

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.