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Vietnam Visa exemption for Overseas Vietnamese?

"Ethnically Vietnamese people that hold foreign passports and foreign nationals who are their husbands, wives and children will benefit from the new policy."
 
Who are eligible for entry visa exemption?

According to Article 1 of the Regulation on visa exemption for overseas Vietnamese promulgated together with the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 135/2007/QD-TTg of August 17, 2007, overseas Vietnamese, foreign spouses and children of Vietnamese citizens or overseas Vietnamese are eligible for entry visa exemption if possessing all the following papers:

1. Foreign passports or foreign passport substitutes (below collectively referred to as passports) which remain valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry. An overseas Vietnamese who has no passport must possess a residence permit granted by a foreign country which remains valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry.

2. Visa exemption certificates granted by a competent Vietnamese agency.

A visa exemption certificate is granted to each person. For under-14 children sharing passports with their fathers or mothers, visa exemption certificates will be granted together with passports of their fathers or mothers.

What are dossiers of application for a visa exemption certificate? What agencies are competent to grant the certificates?

The Regulation stipulates:

Foreign spouses or children of Vietnamese citizens or overseas Vietnamese who are eligible for entry visa exemption shall submit dossiers, each comprising:

- 01 declaration of application for a visa exemption certificate (made according to a set form);

- 02 recent color photos of 4 cm x 6 cm, white background, of the applicant facing straight bareheaded and wearing no dark glasses (01 photo stuck on the application form and the other enclosed separately);

- A foreign passport which remains valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry (enclosed with its copy for archive by a competent agency);

- One of the following papers evidencing marital or parental relationship with overseas Vietnamese or Vietnamese citizens (enclosed with its copy for archive by a competent agency):

+ Marriage certificate,

+ Birth certificate,

+ Paper certifying parent-child relationship,

+ Decision on child adoption,

+ Other valid papers as prescribed by Vietnamese law.

For overseas Vietnamese, a dossier consists of:

- 01 declaration of application for a visa exemption certificate (made according to a set form),

- 02 recent color photos of 4 cm x 6 cm, white background, of the applicant facing straight bareheaded and wearing no dark glasses (01 photo stuck on the application form and the other enclosed separately)

- A foreign passport or a residence permit granted by a foreign country for persons having no foreign passports, which remains valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry (enclosed with its copy for archive by a competent agency);

- One of the following papers proving that the applicant is an overseas Vietnamese (enclosed with its copy for archive by a competent agency):

+ A certificate of Vietnamese nationality;

+ A copy or duplicate of the decision on Vietnamese nationality restoration;

+ A copy or duplicate of the decision on Vietnamese nationality relinquishment;

+ A certificate of loss of Vietnamese nationality;

+ A Vietnamese passport (which remains valid or has expired);

+ A Vietnamese identity card (which remains valid or has expired);

+ A birth certificate (including copy);

+ A lastest polling card;

+ The household registering book;

+ A laissez-passer granted before 1975;

+ An identity card granted before 1975;

+ A duplicate of the birth certificate granted before 1975 (copy);

+ Papers granted by a foreign competent agency which state that the applicant has Vietnamese nationality or is a Vietnamese native.

- If having none of the above papers, the applicant may submit one of the following which needs not to be certified or authenticated):

+ A paper of guarantee issued by an overseas Vietnamese association based in the country where he/she resides;

+ A written affirmation by a Vietnamese citizen.

Agencies competent to grant visa exemption certificates include:

- Overseas Vietnamese diplomatic missions and consulates;

- The Immigration Control Department under the Ministry of Public Security.

A competent agency shall grant a visa exemption certificate within 7 working days after receiving a valid dossier.

A visa exemption certificate has a validity duration of up to 5 years which must be at least 6 months shorter than the remaining validity duration of the passport or residence permit granted by a foreign country.

People entering Vietnam with visa exemption certificates may stay in Vietnam for up to 90 days following each entry. Those who wish to stay longer shall carry out visa application procedures according to current regulations before or after their entry into Vietnam.

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