I am a Taiwanese currently living in Vietnam. Can I stand surety for my wife and children to visit me in the country in the Lunar New Year holiday?
According to the 2014 Law on Foreigners’ Entry into, Exit from, Transit through and Residence in Vietnam (effective as of January 1, 2015), temporary or permanent residence card holders may stand surety for their grandparents, parents, spouses and children to enter Vietnam.
A temporary card holder may stand surety for his/her spouse and under-18 children to stay with him/her within the validity duration of his/her temporary residence card.
So, you may stand surety for your spouse and children to enter Vietnam. During the period your family resides lawfully in Vietnam, you may travel in the Vietnamese territory for the tourist purpose combined with visiting relatives without having to ask for permission. If you enter restricted areas, you will ask for permission according to law.
When arriving in Vietnam, your spouse and children must declare their temporary residence and abide by Vietnamese law; respect Vietnam’s cultural traditions and customs; do things in Vietnam in accordance with the purposes of their entry; and always carry along passports or international travel documents and papers for their residence in Vietnam, and produce them to competent agencies when requested.
In order to stand surety for your spouse and children to enter Vietnam, you have to submit a visa application directly to the Immigration Department. Within five working days after receiving the visa application, the Immigration Department will check the dossier and issue a reply to you, notifying the application to the overseas Vietnamese agency competent to grant visas.
After receiving the written reply from the Immigration Department, you have to notify your spouse thereof for carrying out procedures for obtaining the visa at the visa-granting-overseas Vietnamese agency, and pay to the Immigration Department a charge.
How can declaration of temporary residence be made?
According to Vietnamese law, foreigners who temporarily reside in Vietnam will, via managers of their accommodation establishments, declare their temporary residence to public security agencies of communes, wards or townships or police stations in localities where such accommodation establishments are located.
Accommodation establishments’ managers will fill in temporary residence declarations for foreigners and submit such declarations to public security agencies of communes, wards or townships or police stations in localities where their accommodation establishments are located within 12 or 24 hours, for remote and deep-lying areas, after the foreigners arrive in their establishments.
Hotels must have Internet access or have their computer networks connected to immigration management agencies under provincial-level Public Security Departments in order to transmit information on foreigners’ temporary residence. Other accommodation establishments that have Internet access may send declared information on foreigners’ temporary residence to email addresses of immigration management agencies under provincial-level Public Security Departments.
Foreigners who change their places of temporary residence or reside at places other than those stated in their temporary residence cards have to make temporary residence declaration again.
Are my wife and children eligible for visa exemption when they enter Vietnam? While staying here, if she gets a job and labor permit, can she change her visa status?
According to Vietnamese law on exit and entry, the following persons are eligible for visa exemption:
- Persons eligible for visas exemption in accordance with treaties to which Vietnam is a contracting party.
- Holders of permanent residence cards or temporary residence cards.
- Persons who enter border-gate economic zones or special administrative-economic units.
- Persons in the cases of unilateral visa exemption.
- Overseas Vietnamese holding passports or international travel documents issued by foreign competent agencies and foreigners who are their spouses or children; foreigners who are spouses and children of Vietnamese citizens who are exempted from visas under the Government’s regulations.
If your spouse and children are not those specified above, they will have to apply for a visa.
Each person will be granted a visa, except under-14 children who share passports with their mothers.
A visa for visiting relatives is valid for no more than 6 months.
Under Vietnamese law, visas may be single or multiple ones and their status cannot must be changed. If your wife wish to change her visa status, she has to exit the country and then apply for a new visa. If she obtains a labor permit, she may be granted a visa valid for no more than 24 months.