Vietnam has recently amended the Law on Foreigner’s entry and exit into and from the country (Vietnam Immigration Law Update 2020). The law also covers those transiting and residing in Vietnam. This decree details the procedures applicable to all foreign visitors in Vietnam. It also includes those foreigners who were invited by individuals, organizations, and agencies. The exit and entry conditions are very important regulations that every foreigner in Vietnam should be aware of. Here are the highlights of the new conditions as a result of the amendments.
Conditions To Entry into Vietnam
In accordance with Clause 11 of Article 1 on the Law on Foreigner’s Entry and Exit, foreign visitors should be able to meet the following conditions:
- All foreigners entering Vietnam must hold a passport or any passport-related travel document. They must also have the appropriate visa before they can be granted entry, except in cases of visa exemptions.
- Those who are eligible for visa-free entry to Vietnam should possess a passport that will remain valid for at least six months from the date of entry into the country.
If these conditions are met, the foreigner will not be suspended from entering the country. Unlike the previous regulations, this new law has annulled the regulations that will prevent foreigners from re-entering if their last exit date is less than 30 days. Before, the law states that foreigners will only be allowed to reenter Vietnam if their last exit date is at least 30 days.
Furthermore, foreigners who are using the e-visa must satisfy the above conditions before they can be allowed to enter the country. This rule applies to all the international border gates that the Vietnam government has appointed. The e-visa, also known as the electronic visa is acceptable at the various points of entries in Vietnam. Aside from the airports, it can also be used to enter the seaports and land border entry points.
Conditions for Exit From Vietnam
The conditions that govern the foreigner’s exit from Vietnam still remains the same. No amendment was made on the 2014 regulations. Thus, all foreigners who are exiting Vietnam are required to meet the following conditions:
- He or she must possess a valid passport or any travel document that is similar to a passport.
- The foreigner should be holding a temporary residence permit that has not yet expired. If he or she is holding a permanent residence or temporary residence card, it should not be expired yet.
- He or she must not be involved in some illegal activities or other conditions that make him or her not eligible to exit the country.
The new amendments on the law on foreigner’s entry and exit in Vietnam will take effect starting July 1st of 2020.
New Labor Code
Aside from the amendments on the Law of Foreigner’s Entry and Exit, there was also an amendment made on the New Labor Code of Vietnam. On this new law, foreigners who will be exempted from getting a work permit shall include the following:
- Company owners or any capital-contributing member. This applies to owners and members of LLC or Limited Liability Company. Furthermore, the amount of capital contribution should meet the government’s designated requirements.
- Chairman of the Board or any member of the Board of Directors in a joint-stock company. The member’s capital contribution should meet the requirements designated by the Vietnam government.
- Spouses of a Vietnam national who is residing in Vietnam.
- The investment threshold on the capital contribution of the foreign investors will be revealed in the coming days.
It’s important to ensure that the term of the employment contract should never exceed their work permit’s validity. This applies to all foreign nationals who are working in Vietnam. Furthermore, the foreign employee’s employer should not enter into several definite term employment contracts, unless a work permit is issued. But the rule will be different if the employee involved is a Vietnamese national.
In addition, the term of the work permit should not go for more than two years. Plus, it can only be extended at once and up to a maximum of two more years. It’s not yet clear as of now if after four years of working in Vietnam, the foreign employee will be allowed to apply for a new work permit. The criteria for which could be different from that of their previous work permit.
A new decree regarding the management of foreign workers in Vietnam could be released in 2020. However, there has been no draft that was revealed as of now. Nevertheless, the Vietnam government should put clarity on this new labor code before it will take effect on January 1st, 2020. In the meantime, employers are advised to get in touch with a local immigration specialist for further advice.