Last year, a slew of policies that affect foreigners in Vietnam went into effect.
The foreign-related policies include those on foreign worker management, immigration, transit, and residence fees and charges, permanent residence registration, assessment of Vietnamese language proficiency for foreigners, and procedures for entry into Vietnam applicable to foreigners, overseas Vietnamese, and their relatives.
Decree 152/2020/ND-CP, dated December 30, 2020, on foreign employees in Vietnam, as well as the recruitment and administration of Vietnamese workers working for international businesses and people in Vietnam, took effect on February 15, 2021.
Work permit for foreigners in Vietnam
A foreign employee who is the owner or capital contributor of a limited liability company with a capital contribution value of VND3 billion or more, as well as a foreigner who enters Vietnam to work as a specialist, manager, executive, or technical employee for less than 30 days per entry and no more than three times per year, are exempt from the work permit requirement.
Volunteers, families of members of foreign representative missions in Vietnam, and foreign employees entering Vietnam who are certified by the Ministry of Education and Training to teach and research are excluded from requiring a work permit.
The validity duration of an issued work visa cannot be more than two years. The validity duration of a re-granted work permit shall match the validity period of the granted work permit minus the foreign employee’s working period as of the time of the request for re-grant of the work permit. The permission can be renewed once for a maximum of two years.
Foreigners in Vietnam with temporary residence cards
Foreigners in Vietnam who are awarded with Vietnamese citizenship must have a decision granting Vietnamese citizenship from the President of Vietnam when applying for permanent residence registration for the first time, according to Circular 55/2021/TT-BCA, which went into effect on July 1, 2021.
Foreigners in Vietnam with temporary residence cards are allowed to purchase apartments. They can remain in Vietnam for as long as their temporary residency card is valid without having to leave the country. Foreigners in Vietnam normally save money by not having to seek visa extensions as frequently and by avoiding travel expenses. They may also do business and get married in a very comfortable manner.
Debt rescheduling for foreigners in Vietnam affected by COVID-19
Circular No. 14/2021/TT-NHNN of the State Bank of Vietnam, dated September 7, 2021, amending and supplementing a number of articles of the State Bank Governor’s Circular No. 01/2020/TT-NHNN of March 13, 2020, on credit institutions and foreign bank branches carrying out debt rescheduling, exempting or reducing loan interests and charges, and maintaining classified loan groups in order to assist their clients affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result, credit institutions and foreign bank branches reschedule the debit of the debt’s balance of loan principal and/or interest that fully meets the following conditions: arising before August 1, 2021, from lending and financial leasing activities; and giving rise to obligations to repay loan principals and/or interests from January 23, 2020 to June 30, 2022.
This Circular took effect on September 07, 2021.
Fees and charges in immigration transit and residence for foreigners in Vietnam
The Ministry of Finance issued Circular No. 25/2021/TT-BTC on April 7, 2021, prescribing the rates of charges and fees for exiting, entering, transiting through, and residing in Vietnam, which went into effect on May 22, 2021.
Circular 25 specifies a number of subjects who are exempt from charges and fees, including: guests of the Party, State, and Government; officers and staff members of foreign diplomatic missions and consulates, as well as Vietnam-based representative offices of international organizations, and their family members; and foreigners who enter Vietnam to provide relief or humanitarian aid.
The fee for issuing passports (including chip-based e-passports and non-chip passports) is VND200,000/time for the first time, VND400,000/time for re-issuing damaged or missing passports, and VND 100,000/time for issuing written certificates of personnel data. The fee for granting exit permits is VND200,000 per time; the fee for issuing diplomatic notes on visa applications is VND10,000 per time; the fee for the first grant of APEC Business Travel Cards (ABTC) is VND1.2 million per time; the fee for re-grant is VND1 million per time; and the fee for granting AB stamps is VND50,000 per time.
Vietnamese language proficiency for foreigners in Vietnam
The Ministry of Education and Training‘s Circular 27/2021/TT-BGDT on the organization of Vietnamese language competency examinations for foreigners went into force on November 22, 2021.
Foreigners who pass a test under the six-level Vietnamese language competence framework are issued Vietnamese language proficiency certificates under the Circular.
The Ministry of Education and Training provides the certificate form.
End of automatic visa extension for stranded foreigners in Vietnam
The automatic renewal of visas for foreigners in Vietnam who are trapped as a result of Covid-19 expired on January 15, 2022, when Vietnam resumed normal commercial flights.
Since March 1, 2020, foreigners in Vietnam who arrived with a visa exemption certificate, e-visa, or tourist visa have had their stay automatically extended since they were unable to depart once the government closed its borders.
Foreign embassies in Vietnam have recently urged its people to examine their visa status and, if required, depart the country to prevent overstaying.
New regulations to make it easier for foreigners, overseas Vietnamese, and their family members to enter the country
The Immigration Department issued new regulations to facilitate admission processes for foreigners, abroad Vietnamese, and their family members in accordance with orders given by Permanent Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh in the Government Office’s Document no. 450/VPCP-QHQT dated January 18, 2022:
– Foreigners and overseas Vietnamese with valid permanent or temporary residence cards, visas, or visa exemption certificates can enter Vietnam in accordance with the Law on foreigners’ entry into, exit from, transit through, and residence in Vietnam without obtaining prior approval from relevant Ministries, sectors, or local authorities or undergoing pre-clearance procedures at the Immigration Department.
– Foreigners who wish to enter Vietnam for market research, business, investment, work, conferences, study, or family visits but do not have one of the above-mentioned documents must obtain approval from the provincial People’s Committees or Ministries, sectors, and central authorities before undergoing visa sponsoring and inviting procedures at the Immigration Department.
– All entrants must follow the Ministry of Health’s Covid-19 prevention requirements.
– Those interested in visiting Vietnam for tourism can do so by joining tour groups organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism’s experimental inbound tourism program.