Directive No. 450/VPCP-QHQT (Directive 450) which entered into force on 18 January 2022 breathes new life into Vietnamese immigration procedures.
Since March 2020, the country has imposed a lengthy and formalistic entry procedure, which was stacked on top of the usual visa (and work permit) requirements. Additionally, Vietnam had restricted access to a small circle of individuals, who are deemed to be ‘essential’ for Vietnam’s economic operation (i.e. investors, experts, business travellers, and diplomats). Decree No. 82/2015/ND-CP, dated 24 September 2015 that governed immigration pre-pandemic has now been reinstated.
With the world slowly recovering from COVID-19 and its global economic repercussions, Directive 450 now scraps the entry procedure for inbound travellers who are in possession of a valid (business) visa, visa exemption, a permanent or a temporary residence card.
Mandatory hotel quarantine upon arrival in Vietnam had already been reduced from two weeks to three days at the beginning of January 2022. With Directive 450, the government lifts all further restrictions of the Entry Procedure. Unvaccinated individuals will be isolated for a week and undergo frequent PCR-testing until released.
International tourism is currently possible, but subject to “pilot programs” that are limited by contingency and location, which Directive 450 confirms. Officials currently expect the return of regular cross-border tourism into Vietnam at the end of April 2022, subject to the further development and momentum of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Important to note is that as of 15 January 2022 the automatic and free extension of visas for stranded foreigners who entered after 1 March 2020 has ended. Fines can be imposed in case people remain in Vietnam.
For more information, please contact:
Leif Schneider / Senior Associate and Head of German Desk
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This legal update is not an advice and should not be treated as such.
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