The amended law on Vietnamese immigration in 2020

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The Vietnamese National Assembly has promulgated the amendments to the immigration law for foreigners in Vietnam which will put into effect on 01 July 2020. The important changes are highlighted below:

  1. In-country change of visa category

The current immigration regulations require foreign nationals to exit Vietnam and re-enter if they want to change their immigration purpose, which creates an administrative obstacle for foreigners, particularly for those who have come here for business purposes.  The amended immigration law allows four circumstances under which an existing visa holder can change his/her visa category:

  • Being an investor or representative of a foreign organization investing in Vietnam.
  • Being a parent, spouse or child of a guarantor
  • Working under the sponsorship of a company/organization and having a work permit or work permit exemption
  • Entering Vietnam under an electronic visa and being granted a work permit or work permit exemption
  1. Greater clarity on visa code
Purpose of travel to Vietnam Visa code Validity
Lawyers LS 5 years
Investors or representatives of a foreign organization that has a minimum investment of 100 billion dong in Vietnam DT1 5 years
Investors or representatives of a foreign organization whose investment in Vietnam is between 50 billion and under 100 billion dong. DT2 5 years
Investors or representatives of a foreign organization whose investment in Vietnam is from 3 billion to less than 50 billion dong. DT3 3 years
Investors or representatives of a foreign organization whose investment in Vietnam is under 3 billion dong. DT4 12 months
Foreigners coming to collaborate with enterprises and organizations having legal status DN1 12 months
Foreigners coming to Vietnam to offer services, establish a commercial presence or conduct other activities in accordance with the international treaties to which Vietnam is a member DN2 12 months
Foreigners working under work permit exemption LD1 2 years
Foreigners working under work permit certificate LD2 2 years
Spouse or child under 18-year-old of those holding visa LV1, LV2, LS, DT1, DT2, DT3, NN1, NN2, DH, PV1, LD1, LD2 or a parent, spouse, and child of Vietnamese citizens TT 12 months
Those carrying an electronic visa EV 30 days
Chief representative of a project of an international organization or INGO based in Vietnam NN1 12 months
Head of a representative/branch office in Vietnam NN2 12 months
Cooperate with an INGO or a representative/branch office in Vietnam NN3 12 months
Overseas students DH 12 months
Attendees of a conference HN 3 months
Long-term journalists PV1 12 months
Short-term journalists PV2 12 months
Tourists DL 3 months (permitted duration on each stay is 1 month. Tourists may apply to extend the stay after 1 month)
Diplomats and officials of consular offices, United Nations officials (and their accompanying spouse/children under 18 years old) traveling on duty or visitors traveling to Vietnam at the invitation of the Vietnamese government. It allows a temporary stay of foreign government officials to conduct official business on behalf of their government in Vietnam. NG1, NG2, NG3, NG4 12 months
This visa type is issued to Vietnam diplomatic missions abroad for individuals who have a working relationship with the competent authorities Vietnam visa abroad and spouses, children or who have written request of the competent authority in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the host country SQ 30 days
Those who work with authorities or governmental agencies. LV1, LV2 12    months
  1. Temporary resident card eligibility and validity

Who can apply for a temporary resident card?

  • Diplomats and officials of consular offices, United Nations officials, and their accompanied spouse/children under 18 years old, and their housemaid.
  • Visa holders of LV1, LV2, LS, DT1, DT2, DT3, NN1, NN2, DH, PV1, LD1, LD2, TT

Note: The passport must be valid for at least 30 days longer than the card.

How long is a temporary resident card valid?

  • DT1 temporary resident cards are valid for no longer than 10 years
  • NG3, LV1, LV2, LS, DT2, and DH temporary resident cards are valid for up to 5 years.
  • NN1, NN2, DT3, and TT temporary resident cards are valid for 3 years
  • LD1, LD2, and PV1 temporary resident cards are valid for 2 years
  • An expired temporary resident card can be renewed.

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