Important changes in the new immigration law of Vietnam from 2015

Under the updated circular issued by The Diplomatic and Police Security Ministry taking effect from January, 1st, 2015, immigration policy for foreigners residing in Vietnam has been subjected to some significant changes. These changes may influence your plans to enter Vietnam; therefore, it is worth considering the innovated policy carefully to make good decision before travelling to the country. Six most important amendments are listed as follows:

Changes of Vietnam Immigration Law

1. Five year visas  and resident cards are applicable

In the past, a foreigner can enter Vietnam with a limit on the duration of his stay being up to the maximum of three years. However, this length now is extended to five years for foreign investors which means both their visas and resident cards at present are valid for five years.

2. Type of visa must remain after entry

When an applicant get a certain type of visa from Vietnam Immigration Department or Vietnam Embassy, that visa can not be changed after the applicant has entered Vietnam, whether they are changes in purpose of entry, allowed number of entries or validity date of visa. For example, a tourist visa can never be altered into a working visa or business visa, neither can a one - month visa being converted to three-month visa.

3. Symbols of types of visas are changed

Instead of 10 main types of visa denoted as A, B, C, D,... as before, Vietnam visa consists of 20 types with different symbols such as DH, DL, LD,.... The purpose of a visa, then is more clearly and concretely specified. For instance, DL superseding C1 is granted for tourism purpose while DN replacing B3 is granted for business purpose.

4. Extension of visa validity for overseas Vietnamese

In order to encourage overseas Vietnamese to come back Vietnam to visit their relatives, a three-month visa is extended to a maximum of six - month validity.

5. Nationals of Vietnam visa exemption list must obey the limited period from the previous exit to the next entry time

This means that the citizens from those countries on the Vietnam visa exemption list can only visit Vietnam without a  visa after their preceding visit at least 30 days. If they want to enter Vietnam sooner, they have to apply Vietnam visa.

6. Visa can be issued at the border gates by Vietnamese Immigration Officers

For all citizens of the countries that lack of Vietnam Consular presence can ask for a visa at the border gates of Vietnam such as Mong Cai, Lao Cai,...

With these helpful information about the update of Vietnam immigration law, hope you can take the best plan when travelling to beautiful Vietnam.

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