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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