[Vietnam Immigration Law] Amended Law on Immigration and Residence of Foreigners in Vietnam

Vietnam’s National Assembly has recently revealed that they are amending the law on immigration and residency of foreigners in Vietnam. These amendments were revealed last November 2019 and will come into effect on July 2020. The changes will apply to the Laws of Immigration for all foreigners living in Vietnam.

Changing of Visa or Immigration Purpose

The first amendment has something to do with the changing of visa or immigration purpose. Under the existing immigration regulations, foreign visitors cannot change their visa while in the country. This rule creates an administrative hurdle for foreign residents, especially those who came to do business in Vietnam.


Thus, in order to provide a more efficient procedure for immigration, especially for foreign residents who are interested to invest, the Amended Immigration Law was created. The newly amended law will now allow foreigners to change their visa under the following four conditions:

  1. He or she is an investor of a company. The condition will also be applicable to those who are representative of a foreign organization that has investments in Vietnam.
  2. A spouse, parent, or child sponsors the foreign individual and needs to change an existing visa to a resident visa.
  3. The foreign individual was invited or sponsored for employment in Vietnam. He or she should be given a work permit or is eligible for a work permit exemption.
  4. Entered Vietnam using an e-visa or electronic visa and was eventually offered a job while in Vietnam. The person must be given a work permit or is eligible for a work permit exemption in order to change a visa.

The procedures involved in changing the visa or immigration purpose is still the same as the existing procedures. However, the foreign individual will no longer be required to leave Vietnam and re-enter again. This will save them time and money. Of course, it’s less hassle too because visa runs can be very exhausting.

More Control over the Residency of Foreign Tourists

According to Vietnam Laws, foreign individuals who entered Vietnam using a tourist visa or the DL visa are not permitted to conduct business or take up a job. But Vietnam authorities are fully aware that there are plenty of foreigners who are entering Vietnam using the DL visa and ended up working. This is a clear violation of the country’s labor and immigration laws.

In order to effectively manage foreign tourists who plan on working or doing business, the Amended Law has allowed a maximum residence period of 30 days for these foreign tourists regardless of the type of DL visa that they possess. However, they are given an option to extend the term of their residency if they need to.

The process involved in extending the foreign individual’s residency term will be the same with the usual procedure, which is in accordance with Vietnam’s Laws. However, the relevant immigration authorities must first re-assess your immigration purpose before granting the extension. So it will be up to them to approve or deny your request of extending your residency term.

Greater Clarity On Your Work Visa

The DN visa is the type of visa that will be given to foreigners who will work with a company. On the other hand, the LD visa is for those who will work for a company. This is what’s stated on the existing immigration rules of Vietnam. These rules are somewhat confusing to most foreigners. It can create misunderstandings during the application of a visa.

Thankfully, the amendments to the immigration laws aim to give clarity on these things. It defines the DN and LD visa based on the following:

  • A DN1 visa will be issued on foreigners who will enter Vietnam to work with companies or other organizations. Provided that these companies have legal status to do business in the country.
  • The DN2 visa will be given to foreign individuals who are going to work for companies by providing services. It also applies to those who will establish a commercial presence or perform other activities in the country. These activities must be based on the International Treaties that Vietnam is a part of.
  • As for the LD1 visa, this will be issued to those who enter Vietnam to work and under work permit exemption.
  • Meanwhile, LD2 visa will be given to foreigners who will work in the country and holds work permit certificates.

It should be noted that the duration of both the DN2 and DN1 visas is 12 months or one year. On the other hand, the LD1 and LD2 visas are 2 years.

Hopefully, these amendments on Vietnam’s Law on Immigration can help make it easier for foreign investors to come. These investors can contribute greatly to the economy of the country. Above all, they provide jobs for the locals and help improve the lives of many.

[New 2020] Vietnam Immigration Law’s Amendment (Vietnamese Version)

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