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Vietnam passes law allowing foreigners to change visa status without leaving country

Vietnam passes law allowing foreigners to change visa status without leaving country

Tuesday, November 26, 2019, 18:24 GMT+7
Vietnam passes law allowing foreigners to change visa status without leaving country
Two foreign visitors wave a hand fan while walking on a Hanoi’s street. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Foreigners can change their visa status and extend their stay in Vietnam without leaving the country from July next year, when an amended immigration law comes into effect.

The visa status fix is among amendments to the Law on Entry, Exit, Transit and Residence of Foreigners, which was passed by lawmakers with an overwhelming majority of votes on Monday morning.

According to the revised law, foreign visitors to Vietnam can apply for a change of visa purpose under a number of particular conditions.

Visitors who can prove they are investors or representatives of foreign organizations that make legal investments in Vietnam will be allowed to have their purpose of visit switched during their stay in the country.

Family members of such visa holders will also enjoy the same advantage.

Foreign workers who receive job offers in Vietnam or enter the country on e-visas will be able to change their visa status as long as they have a work permit or confirmation that they are eligible for a work permit.

The law will take effect on July 1, 2020.

The law marks a huge change in policy as foreign guests currently have to leave the country if they want to renew their visas.

The amended law is expected to make it easier for foreigners to stay in Vietnam to learn about the market and look for jobs and investment opportunities without wasting time and money on immigration procedures, according to Vo Trong Viet, chairman of the National Assembly (NA) Committee on National Defense and Security.

“The regulation is open but also strict about monitoring foreigners living in Vietnam,” he told the NA.

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