January 10, 2013

The Immigration Department has suddenly changed its policy by no longer issuing three-month, multi-entry Business Visas on Arrival (BVOA). For the foreseeable future, only three-month single-entry BVOA’s will be issued at designated Vietnamese ports of entry.

What is BVOA?

In lieu of submitting a traditional visa application at a Vietnamese consular post, BVOA is a privilege granted by the Vietnamese Immigration Department to certain nationalities to enter the country with a pre-authorized letter and apply for visas at designated ports of entry. In addition, this type of BVOA facilitates the entry of foreign nationals to initiate their work and residence permit application process.

What’s Changed?

On January 7, 2013, the Immigration Department issued a sudden policy change to no longer issue authorization letters for three-month, multi-entry BVOA’s and will require that this type of business visa be obtained at Vietnamese consular posts.

This unforeseen change also has consequences for foreign nationals entering to initiate their work and residence permit applications in Vietnam. Typically, having a long-duration, multi-entry visitor visa facilitated travel while awaiting issuance of a Temporary Residence Card.

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS

The Immigration Department’s lack of notice may be an indication that this change may be rescinded once the Vietnamese Government has opportunity to more closely study the impact of this change.

The lack of notice will also mean that for those employees wishing to enter Vietnam at a moment’s notice and having ability to apply for VOA will be issued only a three-month, single-entry visa.

For work/residence permit applicants, it is recommended that assignees and family members obtain three-month, multi-entry consular visas prior to entering Vietnam to initiate the application process.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader

This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification. This alert was prepared by Glenn Faulk, Senior Manager, Knowledge Management. Pro-Link GLOBAL worked with our PLG | KGNM Correspondent Office in Vietnam to provide you this update.