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Updated Procedure For Entry Of Foreign Experts – August 2021

Updated Procedure For Entry Of Foreign Experts – August 2021

On July 5, 2021, the National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control issued ‘Official Letter No. 5322/CV-BCD’ providing new guidelines for entry of foreign experts and foreigners to prevent and control the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • To implement this official letter, on July 13, 2021, Ho Chi Minh City ‘Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs’ issued ‘Official Letter No. 23515/SLDTBXH-VLATLD’ on dossiers of request for supporting foreigners to enter the country.
  • On August 4, 2021, the Ministry of Health issued ‘Official Letter No. 6288/BYT-MT’ reducing the time of concentrated medical isolation for those visitors who have received full doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • On August 6, 2021, the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued ‘Official Letter No. 2974/LS-PL’ providing guidelines for inspection and recognition of the Certificate of Immunization and Certificate of COVID-19 recovery from abroad.

The latest regulations for entry of foreigners into Vietnam include providing information about plan for transportation, isolation plan, program, work plan, place of residence, the contact information of the foreign expert and accompanying relatives. The duration of concentrated medical isolation has now been reduced to 7 days for immigrants who have received a full dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

The following information will help you better understand the current entry process:

  1. Submission of request explaining the necessity of foreign worker(s) and providing information about the foreigners who are expected to enter for work

Information that needs to be supplemented along with the application for immigration of foreign experts includes:

  • The need for foreigners to enter for work.
  • Expected work program and plan of foreigners after entry.
  • Expected place of residence of the foreigner after entry.
  • Contact information of foreigners expected to enter including address, phone number, and email.
  1. Plan for transportation and quarantine

  • The company needs to provide details about the method of transportation (i) from airport to quarantine, and (ii) from quarantine to the place of residence in the locality after completing the concentrated isolation.
  • The company must clearly show the expected concentrated isolation place, including the name and address of the isolation hotel listed among accommodation facilities for isolation of the entry applicants issued by the People’s Committee of the province.

Thus, when applying for the entry of foreigners in Ho Chi Minh City, besides the requirements stated by the Immigration Department, they must also explain the urgency of bringing foreign experts to Vietnam to work. Further, the company must make arrangements for entry, isolation, working schedule of the experts, prepare accommodation in advance, and book isolation rooms and transportation when experts arrive in Vietnam. These details should be stated in the application for entry of foreigners.

  1. Duration of concentrated medical isolation reduced to 7 days

According to the current regulations of the Ministry of Health, there are two categories of people entering Vietnam whose concentrated medical isolation period is reduced from 14 days to 07 days:

  • The applicants who have received a full dose of COVID-19 vaccine

In this case, the person entering the country must fully meet the following conditions:

  • Having received 2 full doses of COVID-19 vaccine (the last dose given prior to at least 14 days and not more than 12 months before the time of entry) and possessing a certificate of vaccination.
  • Producing a negative test result for SARS-CoV-2 (by RT-PCR/RT-LAMP method) taken within 72 hours before departure and certified by the competent authority of the country in which the test was taken.
    • Applicants enter the country who have recovered from SARS-CoV-2

In this case, the person entering the country must fully meet the following conditions:

  • Have been infected with SARS-CoV-2 (with a certificate of positive test for SAR-COV-2 by RT-PCR method of single sample taken no more than 6 months prior to the time of entry) and
  • Must produce a certificate of recovery from COVID-19 or equivalent documents certifying that the disease has been cured, issued by a competent authority in the country of treatment.
  1. Latest entry process for experts and relatives

Experts and their relatives entering Vietnam must be approved by the People’s Committee of the province and the Immigration Department where they intend to enter. The following steps should be followed by foreigners entering Vietnam:

Step 1: Making plan, scheduling and preparing documents

The company must prepare work plans, isolation plans, contact details and estimated means of entry, transportation, isolation locations, places to stay after completing isolation, and documents proving entry status of foreigners.

Step 2: Approval of request for entry into Vietnam

The company must submit the application for entry approval along with documents proving their entry status to receive approval from the People’s Committee of the province where experts are allowed to enter.

The People’s Committee at the province level (“People’s Committee”) is the authority which can approve the request for entry. Please note that processing of the above procedures could take up to 7-21 days depending on the circumstances at the approval agency and the epidemic situation.

Step 3: Flight tickets, quarantine hotel and transportation bookings

According to the current practice of airlines, experts can only book air tickets after receiving the approval letter from the People’s Committee. Therefore, foreigners must book flight tickets after receiving the approval mentioned in Step 2.

In addition, foreigners need to register for transportation from the airport to the quarantine place. Usually, the hotel where the quarantine is located will provide these services.

* The respective People’s Committee in each province has issued the list of hotels eligible for quarantine.

Step 4: Visa application

After receiving the approval letter and preparing to confirm the flight booking and the hotel for quarantine. The company must apply for immigration settlement (Visa) at the immigration department.

In case the application is approved, the immigration department will fax the result of the application to the diplomatic mission of Vietnam where the foreigner is residing. The immigration department usually provided feedback on the application within 5 to 7 working days. The foreigners shall go to the diplomatic mission of Vietnam where the business is registered to receive Visa and must also pay the administrative fees related to the issuance of Visa.

Step 5: Enter Vietnam and quarantine

Within 3 days before entry, the foreigner need to prepare a certificate (in English) proving that he/she is negative for SARS-CoV-2 issued by a competent health authority. The foreigner must also make a medical declaration online before boarding the plane.

After arriving at the airport in Vietnam, foreigners will be taken directly to the registered isolation location by special vehicle where they must undergo medical isolation for a period of 7 days is the foreigner falls under any of the two categories mentioned in section 3 of this article. For all other cases, he/she must undergo 14 days of quarantine. During the quarantine period, foreigners will have to undergo 2-4 Covid-19 tests. If all tests are negative, the foreigner will be granted a certificate of completion of the medical quarantine program by the quarantine management authority. Such person will be transferred to self-quarantine and must monitor his/her health at the place of residence for additional 7 days to complete the entire isolation process.

Thus, Vietnam has tightened the rules for entry experts, technical workers, business managers, executives and relatives of these subjects, who enter Vietnam from March 21, 2020 in the context of the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak. All visitors must isolate after entry. As the situation is evolving, Vietnam has periodically updated the entry rules and procedures for foreign experts to ensure the prevention of the epidemic. The aim of this policy is to meet the dual goals of effective epidemic prevention and economic development.

Time of writing: 14 August 2021

The article is based on the current law at the time of recording as above and may no longer be relevant at the time readers access this article due to changes in applicable law and specific cases that the reader wants to apply. Therefore, the article is for reference only.

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