Vietnam’s National Assembly (NA) approved amendments to the immigration law, that will, for the first time, allow visitors to the country to prolong their stays in the country and change their visa status without having to fly out of the country.
National Assembly members approved the amendment, for the Law on Entry, Exit, Transit and Residence of Foreigners by an overwhelming 83.6%. The law will come into effect on July 1, 2020 and will allow visitors to apply to change their visas under a number of circumstances.
Foreign visitors who can prove they are investors or representatives of foreign organizations that make legal investments in Vietnam will be allowed to have their purpose of visit switched during their stay in the country. Their family members will also enjoy the same advantage.
Foreign workers who receive job offers or who enter the country on e-visas will be able to change their visa status as long as they have confirmation that they are eligible for a work permit of who have am existing work permit.
For foreigners living and working in Vietnam, these amendments mark a huge change in policy, since foreign visitors currently have to fly out of the country if they want to renew their visas and change their visa status.
Võ Trọng Viet, Chairman of the Vietnamese National Assembly Committee on National Defense and Security, said the amendments would make it easier for foreigners to stay in Vietnam to conduct market research and analysis, look for investment opportunities or seek jobs, without wasting time and money on immigration procedures.
Viet said that, “The regulation is open but also strict about monitoring foreigners living in Vietnam. Not all tourists that visit Vietnam can apply for a change of purpose given the particular conditions (for a visa switch).”