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 VisaDescription / category of applicant entitled toDuration of VisaDuration of Temporary Resident Card
1NG1-NG4DiplomaticUp to 12 monthsUp to 5 years
2LV1-LV2Working with Vietnamese authorities/partiesUp to 12 monthsUp to 5 years
3ĐTInvestors/foreign lawyersUp to 5 yearsUp to 5 years
4DNWorking with Vietnamese enterprisesUp to 12 monthsNA
5NN1-NN2Chief Representative Office, Head of Project Office of foreign NGO), Chief rep of rep offices in VN.Up to 12 monthsUp to 3 years
6NN3Staffs of NGO, Rep office in VNUp to 12 monthsNA
7DHStudents/ internsUp to 12 monthsUp to 5 years
8HNAttending meetingUp to 3 monthsNA
9PV1Journalists with permanent residence in VNUp to 12 monthsUp to 2 years
10PV2Journalists with short term residence in VNUp to 12 monthsNA
11Foreign workersUp to 2 yearsUp to 2 years
12DLTouristsUp to 3 monthsNA
13TTDependents of 2,3,5,7,9,11Up to 12 monthsUp to 3 years
14VRVisiting relatives, other purposeUp to 6 monthsNA
15SQRelated to MOF, Consulate with the purpose of market research, visiting relatives, tourist, medical treatmentUp to 30 daysNA


  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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