To combat the spread of COVID-19 in the country, the Vietnamese government is currently implementing multiple measures, including travel restrictions, compulsory medical declaration, medical checks, and quarantine upon arrival, with immediate effect. In addition to this, the government is limiting approval for new foreign workers to travel to and work in Vietnam in an effort to reduce external transmission of COVID-19 to Vietnam.
To combat the spread of COVID-19 in the country, the Vietnamese government is currently implementing multiple measures, including travel restrictions, compulsory medical declaration, medical checks, and quarantine upon arrival, with immediate effect.1 In addition to this, the government is limiting approval for new foreign workers to travel to and work in Vietnam in an effort to reduce external transmission of COVID-19 to Vietnam.
Weeks after announcing the recovery of all early 16 COVID-19 sufferers, Vietnam has confirmed it now has 77 (including the initial 16) infections as at 12:00PM (GMT+7), 18 March 2020.
The government sees the visa suspension policy as an effective measure to constrain the rapid spread of the virus given that COVID-19 infection is now surging in many countries. These and other measures described in this newsletter will impact companies with expatriate populations in terms of existing and future assignments inbound to Vietnam or outbound from Vietnam. Employees and their families who may have received offers for an international assignment to Vietnam may need to postpone the commencement of the assignment or may indeed be already there but on limited term visas. This could cause some anxiety, stress, and inconvenience, especially plans for relocation are already underway or where they are already in Vietnam on temporary visas.
The changes will require employers to re-consider their personnel and work arrangements due to travel limitations and work permit restrictions.
With effect from 00:00 GMT+7, 18 March 2020, the following immigration measures shall be applied:
The above measures shall take place for 30 days from 18 March 2020, and be reviewed regularly by the Vietnamese government.
Further, Vietnam also suspended uniliteral visa exemptions for citizens of all current 13 countries, with an effective date as noted below:
Travelers seeking to enter Vietnam should regularly check the latest information from the nearest Vietnam embassy and should not transit through the above-mentioned areas if they wish to avoid being mass quarantined.
In addition to the above immigration measures, local labour authorities are also implementing new regulations on the issuance of work permits for foreign workers, specifically:
Since the Labour authority has stopped issuing new work permits for foreign nationals, those already in Vietnam with a three-month-business-visa (DN visa) will not be able to transition to a work visa with a longer term. To deal with the situation, the sponsoring company should consider applying for a visa extension (which is valid for one to three months) in the absence of a work permit to enable the foreign employees to continue to stay in Vietnam while waiting for further guidance from the Labour authority. Family members accompanying the foreign employees with dependent visas should also be subject to a similar visa extension. The Immigration authority will consider extensions on a case-by-case basis.
1 For updates (in English) on measures introduced and activities related to the fight against COVID-19, see the website for the government of Vietnam.
For some basic information on measures taken by the Vietnamese government to combat COVID-19 and some joint U.S.-Vietnam efforts related to the COVID-19 crisis, see this webpage of the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam.
* Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any immigration services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Vietnam.
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