Global Alerts

VIETNAM – Complete Overhaul of Immigration Law

A new immigration law will be implemented in Vietnam on January 1st, 2015. The National Assembly approved the law on June 14th, 2014, which entails significant changes. One of the major changes is the complete new structuring of visa types with 20 different categories of visas. Some specific visa categories include the following: one for the heads of representative offices, one for investors and foreign attorneys, and one specifically for foreign nationals working with Vietnamese authorities. It should be noted that the new law prohibits foreign nationals from converting from one visa category to another while in Vietnam. Another major change is a redefining of the foreign worker visa, which includes having the foreign worker visa be valid for up to two years with the temporary resident card maintaining validity for the same period of time. Additionally, the new law explicitly states several reasons why a foreign national may be denied entry to or exit from Vietnam. Companies and assignees should prepare for delays at the beginning of 2015 as the law is initially implemented. It is suggested that wherever possible, applications for permits should be submitted as soon as possible under the existing law.

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