What is the change? Business visitors in need of a Multiple Entry Visa for Business are now required to obtain it from a Vietnamese Embassy overseas before they can travel to Vietnam.

What does the change mean? Foreign nationals who were previously allowed to obtain the three-month Multiple Entry Visa for Business upon arrival in Vietnam must now make plans to obtain their visas in advance.

  • Implementation timeframe: Jan. 1, 2015.
  • Visas/permits affected: Multiple Entry Visas for Business.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals in need of traveling in and out of Vietnam on a business visa.
  • Impact on processing times: The impact on processing times is still unclear, but the increased volume of visa requests at Vietnamese embassies could cause delays.
  • Business impact: Businesses may have to delay meetings or employee start dates because of possible delays during the implementation period.
  • Next steps: Businesses will need to confirm that their employees have appropriate visas in place before the employees travel to Vietnam on business or to start employment.

Background: With a new immigration law coming into effect on Jan.1, 2015, the three-month Multiple Entry Visa will only be issued on arrival for tourism purposes, not business. Business visitors and foreign nationals intending to start work in Vietnam must now obtain a Multiple Entry Visa for Business in advance of travel from the Vietnamese Embassy with jurisdiction over their current residence.

A company located in Vietnam must sponsor the application for a Multiple Entry Visa for Business. A detailed schedule of activities or work to be conducted in Vietnam must be included as part of the application. Typical processing time for a Multiple Entry Visa for Business is currently two weeks. If a foreign national is traveling to Vietnam to start work and obtains his or her work permit before the expiration of his or her visa, in-country extension of the Multiple Entry Visa for Business is still possible.

BAL Analysis: This policy change will require companies to make detailed plans for business trips to Vietnam in advance. Vietnamese immigration regulations have changed frequently over the past few years, with new regulations sometimes being reversed or significantly modified after a trial period. BAL is monitoring the effects of the new immigration law closely, and will provide updates regarding any changes.

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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