In May 18th, Vietnam Government has launch an official information about Vietnam visa extension, it says that foreigners stuck in country due to COVID-19 can stay until June 30.
When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the country to close its borders, foreigners who still stayed in Vietnam worried too much because they can’t leave this country. Most people choose to extend their visa to continue staying in Vietnam, avoid penalty when they overstay with an expired Vietnam visa. However, in May 18th, Vietnamese Government update new rule about visa extension during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is said that foreigners who entered Vietnam under visa waiver programs, Vietnam e-visas or tourism visas after March 1 will be automatically given stay permit extension until June 30 free of charge. On Monday, May 18th, the Immigration Department announced that all stay permits for these people will be automatically extended and do not need to be renewed. This means from now until June 30, 2020, foreigners stuck in Vietnam due to the COVID-19 pandemic can stay or leave this country without doing any paperwork.
Besides that, foreigners entering the country before March 1 will also be considered for this permit extension as long as they can prove they cannot leave the country due to the pandemic. How to prove it in this cases? They need certification by their diplomatic mission in Vietnam through an official diplomatic note with a translation in Vietnamese. Many people who applied documents from the Vietnamese authorities certifying that they have undergone quarantine or treatment for COVID-19 or are stuck here due to reasons beyond their control are also eligible for the stay permit extension. When leaving the country, they must also show these documents at international airports.
For many foreigners who are given the automatic stay permit extension, they should declare their temporary stay to local police and complete health declarations. For those who do not fall under these categories or have committed illegal actions, they have to abide with the existing laws on immigration.
Official visa extension update in summary
According to official statement on website of the Vietnam Immigration Department on “automatic stay extension” for foreigners in Vietnam that launch in May 18th:
Anyone who entered Vietnam with Visa Exemptions, E-Visas or Tourist Visas from March 1, 2020 will be eligible for “automatic stay permit extension” until June 30, 2020. They are also allowed to exit Vietnam at any time until June 30 without following any stay permit extension procedure. This means that in case you are in Vietnam under those visa categories and you entered the country on or after March 1, 2020, your Vietnam visa becomes expired before June 30, 2020, you can leave Vietnam after your visa expiry date but by June 30, 2020 without being fined because of overstaying.
Anyone who entered Vietnam BEFORE March 1, 2020 will be eligible for the same policy if they show either of the following documents including: a certification issued by their diplomatic mission in Vietnam through an official Diplomatic Note stating that you are stuck in Vietnam due to Covid-19 (attached with a translation in Vietnamese); documents issued by the Vietnamese authorities which certificate that they have undergone quarantine or treatment for COVID-19 or are stuck in this country due to reasons beyond their control. Those documents are also required to show when they exit Vietnam to ensure no charge for overstaying.
If foreigners are entitled to “automatic stay extension”, they are required to declare their temporary stay to local police and complete health declaration.
In case foreigners don’t meet the conditions below or have committed illegal actions, they shall be subject to current laws of Vietnam. For example, if you were in Vietnam from March 1, 2020 but you are holding Vietnam Business visa, you are required to extend visa before its expiry date.
If you have any inquiries regarding this matter or other problems, feel free to contact The Vietnam Immigration directly via their hotline (0243.9387320) for support.
Although this is very good news for some foreigners who are stuck in Vietnam due to Covid-19 outbreak, for the reason that they can avoid the extension expense now. However, please keep in mind that you are only eligible for automatic visa extension if you meet the conditions mentioned above. Otherwise, you might still be charged for overstay fee if you fail to follow the stay extension procedure.
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