Some changes in Vietnamese Immigration Law in 2015

The National Assembly of Vietnam approved the new immigration law in June 14, 2014. The new law will take effect on January 1, 2015. Here are some key changes in the new law:

  1. New categories of Vietnam visa

Instead of four groups of immigration categories as before, the new immigration law classifies visa structure into 20 different types. Each visa classification will have its own maximum duration period ranging from 30 days to five years. Accordingly, the new 20 categories are based on foreigners’ occupations and travel purposes.


Categories of Visa Description / category of applicant entitled to Duration of Visa Duration of Temporary Resident Card
1 NG1-NG4 Diplomatic Up to 12 months Up to 5 years
2 LV1-LV2 Working with Vietnamese authorities/parties Up to 12 months Up to 5 years
3 ĐT Investors/foreign lawyers Up to 5 years Up to 5 years
4 DN Working with Vietnamese enterprises Up to 12 months NA
5 NN1-NN2 Chief Representative Office, Head of Project Office of foreign NGO), Chief rep of rep offices in VN. Up to 12 months Up to 3 years
6 NN3 Staffs of NGO, Rep office in VN Up to 12 months NA
7 DH Students/ interns Up to 12 months Up to 5 years
8 HN Attending meeting Up to 3 months NA
9 PV1 Journalists with permanent residence in VN Up to 12 months Up to 2 years
10 PV2 Journalists with short term residence in VN Up to 12 months NA
11 Foreign workers Up to 2 years Up to 2 years
12 DL Tourists Up to 3 months NA
13 TT Dependents of 2,3,5,7,9,11 Up to 12 months Up to 3 years
14 VR Visiting relatives, other purpose Up to 6 months NA
15 SQ Related to MOF, Consulate with the purpose of market research, visiting relatives, tourist, medical treatment Up to 30 days NA


  1. Purpose of visa cannot be converted from one purpose to another

According to Articles 7, Point 1 of the new law, you cannot convert your Vietnam visa from this purpose to another. For example, if you enter Vietnam with tourist visa (DL), you cannot convert it into working visa when you are still in the country (LĐ).

  1. New Entry and Exit Restriction

Prohibited conditions for entrance:

– Any person that was deported from Vietnam within the last 03 years;

– Any person that was compelled to leave Vietnam within the last 06 months;

– Any person presenting forging paper or providing false information to obtain entry/exit/residence permit.

– A child under 14 years of age traveling without an accompanying parent or custodianetc

Prohibited conditions for exit: A foreigner’s exit will be suspended (up to three years) in the following cases:

– His or her tax obligations have yet been fulfilled;

– He/she is obliged to comply with an administrative sanction;

– He/she has been criminally charged or must serve a criminal sentence;

– He/she is a defendant or a person with related rights and obligations in a civil, economic, labor, administrative or marriage litigation case.

  1. Visa exemption

For foreign nationals coming from visa exemption countries, the next entry has to be at least 30 days after the previous entry. For instance, a Korean citizen enters Vietnam on January 1st 2015 with visa exemption for 15 days and he/she leaves Vietnam on January 10th 2015. After coming back Korea, if he/she wants to enter Vietnam again with visa exemption for 15 days, he/she has to wait for 30 days (February 10th 2015) to re-enter Vietnam.

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