Still working for her Vietnamese employer, Emma left Vietnam nearly two months ago to settle her family’s business in the US and legalize her labor documents in the country. When she departed, the regulations on foreign workers were a bit tougher than usual. Emma expressed her gratitude for her employers in helping her with the documents needed upon departure and for her arrival soon. “I’m so glad they have kept me despite having to work remotely. My Vietnamese employers have been really supportive and understanding with all the changes in hiring foreign employees,” she shared. “I continue to pray that there won’t be any harsh changes or requirements when it’s time for me to fly back.”
But unlike Emma, Ana wasn’t as lucky. “I had to leave Vietnam three months ago because I lost my primary job, and my freelance work couldn’t support my needs and my family’s,” she said. Ana was part of the repatriated group that left Vietnam in October 2020. When asked if she’s still interested in coming back to Vietnam, she said, “Of course! Vietnam has been so good to me and my family and it was unfortunate to leave our second home.” Ana excitingly shared she got an offer to work in the country again. She doesn’t have the final confirmation yet, but she’s optimistic it’ll happen soon.
Emma and Ana are just two of the thousands of foreign nationals who had to leave Vietnam at the height of the pandemic. Both have been working and living in Vietnam for more than five years now. And with the new simplified procedures released by the Vietnamese government for entering foreign workers starting this month, the two have been hoping to be able to fly back to the country within the first quarter of 2022.
On January 18, the Vietnamese government approved a document that simplifies the entry procedures of foreign workers entering the country. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang confirmed the content of the document took effect immediately upon signing. The spokesperson added that Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh has agreed to simplify administrative procedures for foreigners entering the country.
Per the simplified policy, foreign arrivals with valid papers, including visa, visa exemption, residency card, and temporary residence card, will be allowed to enter Vietnam without obtaining prior permission from the Department of Immigration under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and local authorities. This also applies to overseas Vietnamese workers and relatives entering the country.
Hang clarified that those who do not have all the documents mentioned above would have to obtain approval from provinces and related ministries under the Law on Foreigners' Entry Into, Exit From, Transit Through, and Residence in Vietnam.
In the past, arriving individuals must prepare a list of documents, including approvals from the People’s Committee and the Department of Immigration, proof of vaccination, PCR test results, and a health insurance certificate for quarantine.
With Vietnam partially reopening regular commercial flights to China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Laos, Cambodia, and the US and the acceptance of Vietnam vaccine passports in 10 countries — Australia, Belarus, Cambodia, India, Japan, Maldives, Palestine, the Philippines, the UK, and the US — the country is taking big steps towards recovery.