What is the change? Immigration authorities in a number of Vietnamese provinces, including Hanoi and Dong Nai, have begun requiring foreign nationals who are at the end of an assignment to cancel and turn in their temporary residence card before leaving Vietnam.

What does the change mean? Foreign nationals affected by the change, as well as their dependents, must apply for a separate exit visa before departing Vietnam.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Temporary residence cards.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals and their dependents in provinces where authorities are requiring them to hand in their temporary residence cards before leaving Vietnam.
  • Impact on processing times: The change may add to the time it takes to leave Vietnam. Foreign nationals affected by the change should submit applications for exit visas two to four weeks before their expected date of departure.

Background: Up until now, foreign nationals at the end of an assignment could leave Vietnam for their home country with their temporary residence card and then mail it back to a third party in Vietnam for delivery to the Immigration Department for cancellation. This has changed in Hanoi and Dong Nai, however, and authorities are requiring foreign nationals to turn in their temporary residence cards before leaving. While Hanoi and Dong Nai have adopted new rules, other provinces, including Ho Chi Minh, continue to operate under the old procedures, which allow foreign nationals to use their temporary residence card to leave Vietnam at the end of an assignment.

BAL Analysis: Those affected by the change should submit applications for exit visas within the time frame described above. They should note that they may need to leave their passport at the Immigration Department for seven days or longer while their exit visas are processed. BAL will continue to follow developments in Vietnam, including the possibility that more provinces adopt the new rules.

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

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