Major Changes in Vietnam Immigration Policy

These changes have raised concerns among current and future visitors to Vietnam, as they have implications on visa types, validity, and other important aspects. In this article, we will provide a detailed analysis of the major changes in Vietnam immigration policy, along with their impact on foreigners.

Change Related to Types and Codes of Vietnam Visa

One of the most significant changes in Vietnam’s immigration policy is related to the types and codes of visas. Previously, there were 20 types and codes of visas, but since July 1, 2020, this number has increased to 21, with more sub-codes. The changes have been made to streamline and clarify the visa categories and their respective codes.

Under the previous law, there were separate visa codes for tourists, business travelers, investors, students, etc. However, the new law has merged some of these categories, reducing the number of visa codes from 20 to 17. This means that some visa types, such as DL (tourist) and DN (business), have been combined into one single code, DT (temporary visitor).

Moreover, with the addition of new sub-codes, it has become easier to distinguish between different types of temporary visas. For example, under the old law, the DT code was used for both tourist and business visas, but now there are separate sub-codes for each, i.e., DT1 for tourist visa and DT2 for business visa.

Major Changes in Vietnam Immigration Policy

Impact on Foreigners:

These changes in visa types and codes will have a significant impact on foreigners traveling to Vietnam. With fewer categories and more specific sub-codes, it will be easier for them to determine the type of visa they need and apply accordingly. Moreover, the changes have also simplified the application process for visas, making it more efficient and time-saving.

Change about the Tourist Visa Validity

Another important change in Vietnam immigration policy is related to the validity of tourist visas. Under the previous law, a tourist visa was valid for a maximum period of three months, and it could only be extended once for another three months. However, with the new law, the maximum validity period for a tourist visa has been extended to one year, and it can be extended multiple times.

This change has been made to promote tourism and attract more international visitors to Vietnam. With a longer validity period, tourists can plan their trips without worrying about the expiry of their visas, and they can also stay longer in the country if they wish to do so.

Impact on Foreigners:

The increase in tourist visa validity will have a positive impact on foreigners planning to visit Vietnam for leisure or business purposes. They will have more flexibility and convenience in terms of their travel plans, and they can enjoy an extended stay in the country if needed.

Moreover, this change will also benefit those who wish to explore different regions of Vietnam over an extended period, as they will not have to apply for a new visa every three months. This will save them time and money, making their travel experience more enjoyable.

Change of Visa Status Without Leaving the Country for Eligible Foreigners

Under the previous law, foreign visitors were required to leave Vietnam to change their visa status, i.e., from tourist to business or vice versa. This often caused inconvenience and additional expenses for foreigners, especially those who were in the country for a short period and needed to change their visa status for business purposes.

However, with the new law, eligible foreigners can now change their visa status without leaving the country. This applies to those who enter Vietnam with a tourist visa and wish to change it to a different type of visa, such as business or work visa. The change can be made at the immigration department without the need to exit and re-enter the country.

Impact on Foreigners:

This change will greatly benefit foreigners who need to change their visa status for work or business purposes. It will save them time, money, and the hassle of exiting and re-entering Vietnam. Moreover, this will also make it more convenient for those who have urgent work or business engagements in Vietnam and cannot leave the country to change their visa status.

Major Changes in Vietnam Immigration Policy

Change in Vietnam Visa Exemption

One of the most significant changes in Vietnam’s immigration policy is related to the visa exemption. Under the previous law, citizens of 24 countries were exempt from obtaining a visa to enter Vietnam for a certain period. However, with the new law, the number of visa-exempt countries has increased to 80.

Moreover, the duration of stay for visa-exempt nationals has also been extended from 15 days to 30 days. This means that citizens from 80 countries can now enter and stay in Vietnam for up to 30 days without a visa.

Impact on Foreigners:

The increase in the number of visa-exempt countries and the duration of stay will have a positive impact on international visitors to Vietnam. It will promote tourism and business activities between Vietnam and other countries, making it easier for citizens to travel to Vietnam. This change will also encourage more travelers to explore the country, leading to growth in the tourism industry.

Change on Vietnam Temporary Residence Card which takes effect on July 1, 2020

Apart from the changes in visas, there have also been some significant amendments to the temporary residence cards in Vietnam. Under the previous law, temporary residence cards were issued to foreigners who had a work permit or were investors, representatives of foreign businesses, or students studying in Vietnam.

However, with the new law, the scope for obtaining a temporary residence card has been expanded. Under the new regulations, temporary residence cards can be issued to foreigners who have invested in a project in Vietnam, are members of a limited liability company, or are managing directors or experts of an enterprise operating in Vietnam.

Major Changes in Vietnam Immigration Policy

Impact on Foreigners:

The expansion of eligibility for temporary residence cards will benefit many foreigners who wish to stay in Vietnam for an extended period. It will also provide more opportunities for foreign investors and entrepreneurs to establish their presence in Vietnam and contribute to its economy. Moreover, this change will also make it easier for foreign professionals and experts to work and live in Vietnam for a longer period.

Legal Sources

The changes mentioned above have been made through Law No. 51/2019/QH14, which was passed by the National Assembly of Vietnam on November 25, 2019, and took effect on July 1, 2020. The law amends and supplements a number of articles of the Law on entry, exit, transit, and residence of foreigners in Vietnam (Law No. 47/2014/QH13). The Ministry of Public Security’s Immigration Management Department is responsible for implementing the new law and providing guidelines to relevant authorities.


In conclusion, the major changes in Vietnam’s immigration policy since July 1, 2020, have brought significant improvements and benefits for foreigners. With streamlined visa categories, increased validity periods, and more opportunities for obtaining temporary residence cards, it has become easier for foreigners to visit and stay in Vietnam. These changes will not only promote tourism and business activities but also strengthen the country’s economy. As always, it is important for foreigners to stay updated with the latest immigration policies and regulations to ensure a smooth and hassle-free travel experience in Vietnam.

The website is an online information and service site specializing in Vietnamese visas. With the purpose of supporting and simplifying the visa application process, this website provides detailed information about visa types such as tourist visa, business visa, work visa and visit visa.

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