The National Assembly (NA) on Monday voted for amendments to the immigration law, for the first time allowing visitors to change their visa status and prolong their stays in Vietnam without having to fly out of the country.
|National Assembly deputies vote on amendments to the immigration law on Monday. VNA/VNS Photo|
The amendment was approved by an overwhelming 83.6 per cent for the Law on Entry, Exit, Transit and Residence of Foreigners.
The law will come into effect on July 1 next year, allowing visitors to apply to change their visas under a number of circumstances.
Visitors who can prove they are investors or representatives of foreign organisations 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 invitees 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 they are eligible for a work permit.
These amendments mark a huge change in policy, as foreign guests currently have to fly out of the country if they want to renew their visas.
Vo Trong Viet, chairman of the NA Committee on National Defence and Security, said the amendments would 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.
“The regulation is open but also strict about monitoring foreigners living in Vietnam. Not all tourists that visit Vietnam can apply for a change of purpose given the particular conditions (for a visa switch),” he told the NA.
The NA on Monday also passed the Law on Amendments and Supplements to the Law on Cadres and Civil Servants and the Law on Public Employees, along with the Law on Amendments and Supplements to Article 3 of the Law on Management and Use of Weapons, Explosives and Combat Gear.
NA votes in new legal chairman
Hoang Thanh Tung was elected the new chairman of the National Assembly’s legal affairs committee on Monday.
National Assembly (NA) deputies on Thursday were dismayed at a Government proposal to take away parliament’s role in collecting opinions and reviewing draft laws before it is up for vote.
The draft amendments to the Law on Investment and the Law on Enterprises feature notable changes and are expected to bring forward a more favourable investment climate when it is scheduled to take effect in 2021.