Vietnam New Immigration Law

The National Assembly of Vietnam approved the new immigration law in June 14, 2014. The new law will take effect on January 1, 2015.  Following are the key changes in this new Immigration Law of Vietnam:

1/ A complete new structure of visa types with 20 different categories of visas and new durations:

Categories of Visa Description / category of applicant entitled to Duration of Visa Duration of Temporary Resident Card
1 NG1-NG4 Diplomatic Up to 12 months Up to 5 years
2 LV1-LV2 Working with Vietnamese authorities/parties Up to 12 months Up to 5 years
3 ĐT Investors/foreign lawyers Up to 5 years Up to 5 years
4 DN Working with Vietnamese enterprises Up to 12 months NA
5 NN1-NN2 Chief Representative Office, Head of Project Office of foreign NGO), Chief rep of rep offices in VN. Up to 12 months Up to 3 years
6 NN3 Staffs of NGO, Rep office in VN Up to 12 months NA
7 DH Students/ interns Up to 12 months Up to 5 years
8 HN Attending meeting Up to 3 months NA
9 PV1 Journalists with permanent residence in VN Up to 12 months Up to 2 years
10 PV2 Journalists with short term residence in VN Up to 12 months NA
11 Foreign workers Up to 2 years Up to 2 years
12 DL Tourists Up to 3 months NA
13 TT Dependents of 2,3,5,7,9,11 Up to 12 months Up to 3 years
14 VR Visiting relatives, other purpose Up to 6 months NA
15 SQ Related to MOF, Consulate with the purpose of market research, visiting relatives, tourist, medical treatment Up to 30 days NA

2/ According to article 7, point 1 of the new law, the purpose of Visa may not be converted from one purpose to another. Our interpretation is that, for instance, someone entering Vietnam with a tourist visa (DL) may not be able to convert it to a work visa in country (LD)

3/ New prohibited conditions for entry and exit:

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/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/she is obliged to comply with an administrative sanction;

–       He/she has been criminally charged or must serve a criminal sentence;

–       He/she is a defendant or a person with related rights and obligations in a civil, economic, labor, administrative or marriage litigation case