E-visa guidelines released

17 Apr 17



What is the change? Vietnam has released guidelines on the terms of the electronic visa program for nationals of 40 countries that took effect Feb. 1. The e-visa is valid for a single entry and a stay of 30 days.

What does the change mean? The guidance provides additional details on e-visa eligibility, application and renewal procedures, and processing times.

  • Implementation time frame: The e-visa was implemented Feb. 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: E-visas.
  • Who is affected: Nationals of 40 designated countries.
  • Impact on processing times: Three business days.
  • Business impact: The e-visa will ease business travel for those conducting short-term business activities, but may not be appropriate for those who will need to switch to another visa category in-country.

Background: Vietnam extended its e-visa pilot program to 40 countries in February. The list of nationals can be viewed here.

Either the Vietnamese host (sponsoring) entity or the individual traveler may apply for the e-visa by completing the electronic form on the government portal. If the application is made through the local host entity, the entity must register and be approved for an e-visa account and receive a digital ID from the Labor Department before applying for the visa for their business travelers. If the host entity applies on behalf of the individual, the e-visa will indicate the name of the host entity. A local host entity may renew an e-visa one time for an additional 30 days. The visa category appearing on the e-visa document is “EV,” whether the purpose of the trip is business or other.

BAL Analysis: The guidance clarifies several processing issues, but it does not mention whether an e-visa holder can convert to another category, such as a work visa, while in Vietnam. Therefore, business travelers planning long-term assignments in Vietnam should continue using the regular multi-entry business visa until authorities provide further guidance on e-visa conversions.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Vietnam. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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