In 2022, Vietnam will ease tourist visas, with Covid travel/health insurance. All other visas and work permits will be scrutinized and difficult to get.
In this article, we summarize the Ministry of Interior security decisions about opening Vietnam post-Covid with strict enforcement of the rules for long-term visa and work permits. See also why working with a business visa is illegal. Since the March-2020 lockdown, the police uncovered many fakes and fraudulent uses of tourist visas.
Vietnam National security police uncover fake Visas
We all know about the chartered buses for visa runs packed with teachers and all other types of people with shady and sometimes criminal activities.
Here is a short list from the police congress on 31-march-2022:
- political unrest activists
- illegal sect formation and preaching
- illegal telecom system implementation
- drug farming and dealing
- unregistered and unlicensed activities: business, travel, medical practice, bars, restaurants
- Labor migration into and out of Vietnam
- Human trafficking
- shadow activities
- ponzi schemes
- e-Gambling, crypto trading
- forging visa, company stamps, property, real estate documents and degrees
All conducive to social unrest and Vietnam Authorities management.
How will Vietnam visa issuance policy and organization change?
Since the opening in late 1980s, till 2015, Vietnam immigration was 100% paper based with 3 forms, photos, stamps, signature centralized in Hanoi, loosely verified manually, relayed by a plethora of ‘helpers’ visa agents and intermediaries inside and outside of Vietnam to ‘help the embassies’ with the flooding from virtually zero in 1989 to almost 18Mio in 2019.
Post-Covid reopening – Vietnam tourist Visa: controlled & sustainable
With leadership role in Asean, China-USA & Covid crisis fallout Vietnam needs to open with smooth growth inclusive of: social & political stability, Covid & healthcare advances, business development, environment friendly for Vietnam people and tourist visitors… in that order.
Collaborative inter-ministry work on Visa issuance for foreigners
Usually the National security congress was fairly closed to outside ministries. This year was the concentrate of most Ministries to put in place a strategy of re-opening that has a chance to work and restart an almost 30-month hibernating country:
- Planning and Investment
- Foreign affairs
IT Immigration data centralized: Share, synchronize with Vietnam Visa blacklist
The visa issuance procedure was split and siloed by purpose and provinces, each having their request sent to Hanoi central imigration to process acceptance manually and paper-based.
The immigration IT system was computerized since 2015, but never really used to check what others were issuing, that would dry-up a big source of intermediaries income.
With Covid19 and the necessary on 1 person vaccination and test records, the PC-Covid application developed by Ministry Interior security together with Health dept, it was quite logical to manage the entry visa of the foreigners -Immigration & Foriegn Affairs- and their declared activities on Vietnam soil -Investment and Labor Ministries-.
Vietnam is getting ready for a controlled opening and management of Foreign residents. Elevating its image and reputation to world organizations Vietnam wants to join.
More district police stations to control Vietnam Visa use
The hi-tech is supported by the famously efficient and zealous local police to spot, report (or not) and definitely fine infractions. A much needed addition to the meager salary of state workers.
Vietnam new policy means 3 possibilities for your Visa application
As explained above, a selective immigration and the main criteria has always been ‘political stability and social growth’: centralizing 5 health Covid insurance cover
Covid revealed the authorities that over the past 30-years since opening ‘Đổi Mới’ policy, immigration has been increasing in numbers without any ‘structural’ control for 3 reasons:
Simplify and enforce: 3 Types of Visa + 1 Temporary Resident Card
For 30-years ONLY 3 TYPES OF VISAS (single or multi entry) + 1 RESIDENT PERMIT
Note that ‘ALL OTHER’ VISAS are ‘arrangements’ are anecdotal or illegal ‘coffee fee’, we will come to that later.
0- Visa exemption 15-day
2- Invitational business/tourist 90-day
3- Visa Exemption Viet Kieu & family reunification
4- The TRC Temporary Resident Card based on your company employment or Investment
Are you a ‘genuine’ Vietnam tourist with no history of Visa mis-use?
There is a Covid procedure and travel medical insurance requirement, that you can get update fro the embassy of Vietnam or the IATA airlines authorities country tracker
For the Vietnam Visa issuance
Case 1- Visa exemption, citizens of 13 countries Belarus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Come with your passport no question asked.
Case 2- Visa under 30-day (mostly tourist visitors): for 80 countries, there is a new procedure e-Visa to alleviate the Embassies work, delivered by email within 3-days. If you go through a travel agency, they will arrange to get your visa for individual or group.
NB. For Extensions, you may submit the NA5-form via in your country VN embassy (more or less easy), in Vietnam immigration office or via a visa agency.
If you are not citizen of the 80 countries the usual procedure via the Vietnam embassy, travel or visa agency
For mistakes on submission or specific cases not in the website: you can be rejected
REJECTED VISA: In case of mistakes or incomplete information you could be rejected then you may re-submit via embassy or agency to state your case.
For Extensions, you may submit via the embassy, in Vietnam immigration office or via a visa agency the NA5-form for extensions.
Working in Vietnam with a Business Visa is illegal
Are you applying for a specific purpose Vietnam Visa over 30-day?
Case 3- Invitational Visa 90-day: You have a specific purpose visa, you should have a sponsor: company, organization or person inviting you to come for x period of time. The application is via embassy or agency.
REJECTED VISA: usually due to lack of documents or the activity is not yet under the long visa agreement due to Covid reopening step-by-step. the agencies are good at getting the explanation
DENIED VISA: you or your organization do not qualify or have a past history of Visa mis-use. The agency can help, but you or your sponsor should know past visa/activities history. Ask for how long the ban?
Are you applying for long-term visa or Vietnam TRC residency permit?
Case 4- Over 90-day visa and TRC (Temporary Resident Card): Whether Working, on a business term-assignment or reuniting with family from abroad or inside Vietnam, you may be eligible. There are a bit more strict and some barriers to entry were raised: like your family’s closest ties with Vietnamese citizens, your company sponsor level of capital, the company’s actual sector of business and income taxes payment, your NGO entity number and reason for long-term invitation.
REFUSED visa is due to illegal activities in Vietnam that can include misuse of visa, illegal activities, political activism inside or outside Vietnam. Your name is probably on the blacklist. A good agent can get the reason, if you are ever interested.
If you are blacklisted by the Vietnam Immigration Department, you will probably be subject to:
- A big amount of fine;
- immediate deportation;
- a ban from entry into Vietnam for up to 5 years. Your name will be communicated to all foreign missions of Vietnam and Vietnam checkpoints, and you will get no visa or entry permit for Vietnam during the ban period.
This Vietnam Immigration notifications are subject to weekly changes, so please check the updates links provided in the post.
For the past 30-years we receive official information from the relevant Ministry for corporate and Non Government Organization professional consulting services. We are NOT TRAVEL or VISA AGENT, for specific cases and questions you may have, you can email us -in strict confidentiality- to answer with relevant government decree or point you to reliable agency.