November 15, 2020
Immigration Procedures & How To Get Visa Entry Into Vietnam During the Covid-19 Season
After closing its borders for several months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Vietnam is open once again. However, it will only allow the entry of visitors who are coming for essential visits for now. These refer to foreign experts who work for Vietnam-based International organizations and companies, diplomats, students, entrepreneurs, and business managers. So if you belong to any of these groups of people, then you are welcome to come to Vietnam. Here are the procedures that you need to follow when entering Vietnam.
Step 1 – Apply for an Entry Permit
Even if you belong to those individuals who are allowed to enter Vietnam, you cannot just book your ticket right away. There are certain requirements that you need to comply with before flying into the country. The first step is to apply for the entry permit.
If you are a foreign expert working for a company in Vietnam, your sponsoring company will be responsible for obtaining the entry permit. The company should apply for the entry permit from the local People’s Committee of the place where the company is headquartered. For instance, if the company is based in Hanoi, then they should apply for an entry permit from the local People’s Committee of Hanoi. This is the same procedure that will apply to business managers and investors who will be invited to work in Vietnam during this time of the pandemic.
When applying for the entry permit, there are requirements that the company must submit. These include a scanned copy of the business license, a copy of the page in the passport showing the foreign visitor’s face, a diploma copy (if any), and a signed and stamped job application. Take note that the processing time for an entry permit is 2 to 3 weeks.
Step 2 – Apply for Written Approval
Once the entry permit is issued, the next step is for the sponsoring company to apply for written approval. The application for written approval must be sent to Vietnam’s Immigration Department.
When applying for written approval, the following documents must be submitted – scanned copy of the foreign visitor’s passport, a business license that has been notarized, entry permit, travel itinerary, NA16 form, and confirmation of airline booking. The processing time for the application of written approval is 2 to 3 working days.
Step 3 – Apply for a Medical Certificate
The next thing to do after getting written approval is to apply for a medical certificate. This certificate will prove that you are negative of SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, you must undergo a Covid-19 test when applying for the medical certificate. It’s also important that the test was conducted recently, which is at least 3 to 5 days before entering the country.
When undergoing a Covid-19 test, make sure that you go to a licensed laboratory. That’s because Vietnam authorities will only accept the medical certificate if the test was conducted by government-approved laboratories or those laboratories accredited by the World Health Organization. The medical certificate should clearly indicate that you are negative for the Covid-19 virus.
Step 4 – Clinical Medical Examination at the Airport
Once you have the medical certificate that shows you are negative of Covid-19, you can now fly to Vietnam. Upon arriving at the airport, medical staff will assist you with the clinical medical examination. They will assess your health condition to find out if you have any symptoms of Covid-19. If you are not showing any symptoms, you will be asked to proceed through immigration procedures.
Step 4 – Undergo Immigration Procedures
Just like with traveling before the Covid-19 pandemic started, visitors will be asked to undergo immigration procedures after the medical exam. But this time, instead of only giving your passport, you will also be asked to present the approval letter, immigration application, and the Vietnam visa that is attached to one of the pages of your passport.
Steep 5 – Proceed to Hotel for Isolation
After undergoing the immigration procedures and other formalities required for entry, you can now go out of the airport and proceed to your hotel for isolation. Your company should be responsible for arranging a private vehicle that will pick you up from the airport and send you to your hotel.
During your first day of isolation, you will be tested for Covid-19. While waiting for the result, you must comply with the health and safety measures that were imposed by the local medical staff. For instance, if you are staying in a hotel in Ho Chi Minh, you should follow the 15-day isolation requirement in accordance with the guidelines imposed by the local health department of the city.
If the result of your Covid-19 test is negative, you are free to carry out your duty. But you must follow the government protocols while in the workplace to ensure that the Covid-19 virus will not spread.