FGI News and Publications

Upcoming New Labor Code And Amendments To Immigration Law

Amendments to the Law on Entry, Exit, Transit and Residence of

Foreigners will come into effect on July 1, 2020.

Furthermore, a new labor code will come into effect on January

1, 2021, replacing the labor code implemented in 2013.

Immigration Law Amendments

The new law allows in-country change of visa

category in certain circumstances.

There will be some changes to visa categories

as below:

  • The LS visa: Issued to foreigninvestors in Vietnam and foreign lawyers practicing in


  • The investor visa (DT) and TemporaryResidence Card (DT) will be divided into 4 categories depending on

    the investment amount of the company in Vietnam. The visa or

    temporary residence card duration will vary between 1 to 10 years

    depending on the investment amount. However, dependents of foreign

    investors will be granted a visa or temporary residence card with a

    maximum of 3 years duration, renewable.

  • The DN visa is to be divided into 2categories:
    • DN1: Issued to foreign nationalscoming to collaborate with enterprises and organizations with legal

      status regulated by Vietnamese law;

    • DN2: Issued to foreign nationalscoming to Vietnam to offer services, establish commercial presence

      or conduct other activities under international agreements to which

      Vietnam is a party.

  • The working visa (LD) be divided into2 categories, for work permit holders and for work permit exemption

    certificate holders.

Foreign nationals entering Vietnam under the visa

exemption scheme are only required to have a passport

which is still valid for at least 06 months. More significantly,

the 30 days cooling off period from the previous exit is no longer


The new Immigration law also provides a legal framework for the

e-visa regulation implemented in 2017.

New Labor Code

Work permit exempt foreign nationals will

include the following:

  • Owners or capital-contributingmembers of a limited liability company with capital contribution

    amounts that meet designated government requirements.

  • The Chairman of the Board ofDirectors or a member of the Board of Directors of a joint stock

    company with capital contribution amounts that meet designated

    government requirements.

  • Spouses of Vietnamese nationalsresident in Vietnam.

The new investment threshold required for

foreign investors to qualify as work permit exempt will be

determined in upcoming decrees and /or circulars.

The term of an employment contract for foreign

nationals working in Vietnam must not exceed the validity of the

work permit. The employer and its foreign employee may enter into

multiple definite-term employment contracts provided that a work

permit is granted. This differs from employment contract rules for

Vietnamese workers.

The term of a work permit may not exceed two

years and can only be extended once for a maximum period of two

more years. (It is not clear at this stage whether after four years

of work in Vietnam, a foreign employee will be able to apply for a

new work permit, the qualifying criteria for which may be different

than for their previous work permit.)

A new decree on the management of foreigners working in

Vietnam is expected during the course of 2020 (there is no

draft at this stage) which should clarify the new labor code before

it takes effect on January 1, 2021.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general

guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought

about your specific circumstances.

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