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Vietnam soft on Tourist Visa and strict on Business Visa and work permit

Ministry of Interior, foreign affairs, culture, tourism, planning & Investment. 31-march-2022

In 2022, Easy Vietnam tourist visas under 30-day. All other visas will be scrutinized and difficult to get.

In this article, we summarize the Ministry of Interior security decisions about opening Vietnam post-Covid as during the past 2-year lockdown, they uncovered many fakes and fraudulent uses of tourist visas.

In the past 2-years of Covid lockdown: Vietnam National security police uncovered fake and criminal activities by foreigners mis-using 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
  • scamming
  • 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 
  • etc…

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 Vietnam re-opening challenges: controlled and 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:

  • Health
  • Labor
  • Planning and Investment
  • Environment 
  • Tourism
  • Culture
  • Foreign affairs
  • Immigration

IT systems Data merging: by centralizing, sharing and Synchronizing

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 want to join.

More district and neighborhood police stations

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.

What does the new policy means for your Visa application: 3 situations

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:

For 30-years ONLY 4 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.

1- Visa exemption 15-day 

2- Tourist e-Visa 30-day 

3- Invitational business/tourist 90-day

4- Visa Exemption Viet Kieu & family reunification 

A- The TRC Temporary Resident Card based on your company employment or Investment

If you are a ‘real’ tourist with no history of abusive use of tourist visa

There is a Covid procedure and travel medical insurance requirement.

For the 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. 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 may via embassy or agency and submit the relevant extension forms.

If you are business or specific purpose Visa more than 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?

If you are Vietnamese overseas or family of Vietnamese citizen

4- Visa for Family for Viet kieu and Vietnamese spouse

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.

VIETNAM IMMIGRATION 2022, post-Covid should be easier and quicker within a framework

To be continued…

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