Pursuant  to  a  new  immigration  law  passed  by  the  National  Assembly  of  Vietnam,  the Vietnamese immigration system will undergo several changes effective January 1, 2015.

New and Restructured Visa Classifications

The new immigration law will result in a restructuring of the Vietnamese visa classifications, of which there will be 20 distinct categories. The new categories include:

  1. The LD Visa – Work Visa valid for up to two years;
  2. The HN Visa – Business Visa valid for travel up to three months; and
  3. The TT Visa – Dependent Visa valid for up to one year.

In‐country Change of Status No Longer Permitted

The new immigration procedures will prohibit visa holders in Vietnam from changing their visa category from within the country. Visa holders wishing to change their status will have to leave the country and apply for the new visa category from a Vietnamese consulate abroad.

New Prohibited Conditions for Entry and Departure

The new immigration law has also expanded conditions that will preclude individuals from entering and exiting Vietnam. Travelers will be prohibited from entering Vietnam when they have been deported from Vietnam within the past 10 years, have presented false information or forged documents in connection with obtaining Vietnamese immigration status, or are children under the age of 14 who are traveling without an accompanying parent or guardian.

Foreign nationals residing in Vietnam will also be prohibited from departing the country if they have not fulfilled their required tax obligations in Vietnam, are facing an administrative sanction, are charged with a crime or are a party to judicial proceedings.

As the new immigration law goes into effect, there is the potential for delays in processing times. Considering these upcoming changes, employers planning to transfer employees to Vietnam are encouraged to plan ahead.