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A quick guide to Certificate of Visa Exemption (VEC), Vietnam

THIGV :

Don't be so modest Ms Van.  I trust your word more than anyone else here.

Then why haven't you asked Ms Van, if a person with a VEC can also work, ( legally ).???? Or, heaven forbid, you actually took my word, and first hand experience for it??, as we know well, each case is often interpreted differently by the " officer " dealing with that case.

Ms. Van,

Again I thank you for your really invaluable help. It is very refreshing to have assistance from someone who is very knowledgible.

bluenz :
THIGV :

Don't be so modest Ms Van.  I trust your word more than anyone else here.

Then why haven't you asked Ms Van, if a person with a VEC can also work, ( legally ).???? Or, heaven forbid, you actually took my word, and first hand experience for it??, as we know well, each case is often interpreted differently by the " officer " dealing with that case.

I did ask her by PM.  If she wishes to give her answer publicly, that's up to her.

I will certainly agree with you that every official may have their own interpretation, but what makes you think that Da Nang gets it right and HCMC and Hanoi get it wrong?  Are you basing your opinion on a sample of one?  Also notice that the proper question is not if someone with a VEC can work, but if someone with a VEC and a Work Permit can work.

Edit:  We are both basing our opinions on a sample of one.

Moderated by Priscilla 9 months ago
Reason : bad language is not welcome

I hope you are taking your blood pressure medications.

Hi

I appreciate your sharing as it would be greatly helpful that everybody khow they should check with their local immigration department to see what should they do in the same situation.

I cannot tell which is right in this case. Both understandings seem to be lawful, and let see if the government will give a common guidance to be applied nationally.

In practice, some of my clients are doing well with their VEC and work permit. Things maybe change in the future and if so I will update you.

In the meantime, just check and follow what your local immigration department requires.

Thank you for your diplomatic response.   :up:

As an update to my previous posts relating to the paperwork for a VEC I am happy to say that thanks to Ms. Van i was able to get the application form for my wife to apply for the spousal request for a VEC.

She phoned me a few minutes ago to say that she has just picked up the approval letter  from immigration and that they have sent a copy to the VN embassy in Phnom Penh.

Once again my eternal gratitude to Ms. Van for her help.

jpbsimpson :

As an update to my previous posts relating to the paperwork for a VEC I am happy to say that thanks to Ms. Van i was able to get the application form for my wife to apply for the spousal request for a VEC.

She phoned me a few minutes ago to say that she has just picked up the approval letter  from immigration and that they have sent a copy to the VN embassy in Phnom Penh.

Once again my eternal gratitude to Ms. Van for her help.

Hi

From what I heard, in you case you must have the original immigration approval to obtain your visa. There is no legal basic for this, just like a practice, but there is no harm to check with the Vietnamese Embassy in Pnom Penh first.

Ms. Van,

Thanks for the information I will receive the original letter from my wife this weekend and will take it when we go to the Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh.
Just a minor point - do I have to go to the embassy in person? or can my wife take the original letter and my passport to the embassy and apply on my behalf?

What is the cost for a TT Visa and what is the cost of a VEC?

again thanks for your help

In three weeks I will be in Saigon and will apply for a TRC or VEC or maybe both. It will be interesting to see the process and how it ends up

My wife was in immigration today and was told that the VEC rules are changing soon.
All people with VEC's will have to exit every six months.
VEC's are to be phased out for expat marriages
TRC's issued upon a VEC will also be halted and only work related TRC's issued.

When this comes in who knows, but Bluenz has already been told he won't be getting a new one.

colinoscapee :

All people with VEC's will have to exit every six months.
VEC's are to be phased out for expat marriages
TRC's issued upon a VEC will also be halted and only work related TRC's issued.

It would seem logical that the government would want to phase out the VEC in favor of the spousal TRC but what's logical.  For Americans, the one year tourist visa, if that is ever solidified, will start to look better than the VEC if the 6 month Kampuchia trip interval can be extended to 1 year. 

Most people writing here are seeing this from the perspective of resident spouses.  Numerically, I would guess that most VEC's are actually held by Viet Kieu living in Western countries.  Rather than as a backdoor residency permit, these people use the VEC for its nominal purpose of "visiting relatives."  Not allowing these people to renew their VEC after five years will significantly inconvenience these people, who are accustomed to simply buying a ticket and getting on the plane without having to apply for a short term visa.  They may, indirectly at least, have the ear of the government as their contribution to the economy is significant.

As posted before, it's about expats who get married, not sure what will happen with Viet Kieu's as that's a totally different matter.

colinoscapee :

As posted before, it's about expats who get married, not sure what will happen with Viet Kieu's as that's a totally different matter.

Is there evidence that new VEC or VEC renewals after 5 years will be given to Viet Kieu while not being given to spouses of Vietnamese residents?  If so that could perhaps give some insight into the governments intentions.  Regardless, is it really as you say "a totally different matter?"  I would hope that we could broaden our perspective.  It seems to me that there are several Viet Kieu both residing in Vietnam and in others countries who are significant contributors here.

I met a US guy, born and raised, of Viet blood who paid a Dr 500$ for his 'birth cert' and a few hundred bucks elsewhere et voila hes now a full Vietnamese citizen with properties and very shady biz!

I hope he realises getting Vietnamese citizenship means he will be facing Vietnam's law and not getting the support of the U.S embassy.

I know lots of people don't know this or think they will ever get in trouble with the law. It's one of the reason why I haven't claimed Vietnamese citizenship yet despite wanting to own land and live in Vietnam.

Hi there,
Thanks to the very helpful information from this thread, I'm about to have a VEC.
I'm married with a Vietnamese so I went today at the 254 Nguyen Trai office to file my request for a VEC. All went smoothly and I now have a receipt asking me to come back to the same office on the 18 of November to pick up my passport with the VEC.
I tried to ask how it works and what I should do once I'll get my passport back but the women who took my file didn't speak much english so I didn't have any clear answer.
So here's my question:
My actual visa will expire on 18 of November (the very same day I should get my VEC). Do I have to leave Vietnam once I'll get my passport back to get the 1st stamp on the VEC? In such case, do I have to pick up my passport early in the morning then go straight to Moc Bai to exit the country before my visa expires?

NHerby :

My actual visa will expire on 18 of November (the very same day I should get my VEC). Do I have to leave Vietnam once I'll get my passport back to get the 1st stamp on the VEC? In such case, do I have to pick up my passport early in the morning then go straight to Moc Bai to exit the country before my visa expires?

My VEC came stamped for the first 90 days by the immigration office at Nguyen Du in HCMC (2012).  I would be surprised if yours does not have the first 180 days stamped in but please keep us posted.

A quick update:
So I went to the 254 Nguyen Trai office to pick up my passport with the VEC on it. As I expected, it wasn't stamped.
As I had to go to Bangkok for business reason, I took this opportunity to make a quick trip to Thailand. And, when coming back in Vietnam, I got my VEC stamped at TSN for the next 6 months.
http://pix.toile-libre.org/upload/img/1479709158.png
It is now clearly stated on the VEC that duration of stay is 180 days.

I agree that the VEC in the passport clearly shows 180 days. This is calculated obviously from each arrival date. However when I went to the local police to extend the entry in the Red House Book they only extended for 3 months.

Can you elaborate "Red House Book" because I don't have any entry like that but just registered in the ward police registry like any other foreigner(in Vietnam).
If you meant the "Family Book" with red cover (So Ho Khau) which is not possible for a foreigner even though married with Vietnamese citizen, which I heard from the UBND of my spouse  :cool: (Vietnam)

jpbsimpson :

I agree that the VEC in the passport clearly shows 180 days. This is calculated obviously from each arrival date. However when I went to the local police to extend the entry in the Red House Book they only extended for 3 months.

Hearsay is no evidence according to law  :)
Immigration office staffs are not law makers.
I don't think the authority just want the foreign spouse make kids and go back to their homeland  :)
Wife/husband need their partner and kids need their parents - Not just money!
All we can do is to wait for the real order(if any) passed by the government officially  :D

colinoscapee :

My wife was in immigration today and was told that the VEC rules are changing soon. All people with VEC's will have to exit every six months. VEC's are to be phased out for expat marriages. TRC's issued upon a VEC will also be halted and only work related TRC's issued.
When this comes in who knows, but Bluenz has already been told he won't be getting a new one.

If you are a spouse, you can apply for a 5 year VEC. If you are a spouse with a TT visa or a VEC, then you can apply for a TRC for 3 years. VEC was free of cost ( affixing the certificate in passport and first entry seal from border gate (Moc Bai) for me. TRC fee is $155.

GaryFunk :

In three weeks I will be in Saigon and will apply for a TRC or VEC or maybe both. It will be interesting to see the process and how it ends up

Charmavietnam,

You asked me to confirm regarding the "red house book"  For our home we have two red house books One is the small family book for Vietnamese families. The other is a large format multi page encyclopedia of blank pages all for one little foreigner. (actually I am NOT so little) Overweight but not excessively so! Both books are red - the little one very red the large one perhaps bordering on deep pink!

jpbsimpson :

Charmavietnam,

You asked me to confirm regarding the "red house book"  For our home we have two red house books One is the small family book for Vietnamese families. The other is a large format multi page encyclopedia of blank pages all for one little foreigner. (actually I am NOT so little) Overweight but not excessively so! Both books are red - the little one very red the large one perhaps bordering on deep pink!

I think this is the book that Sarahcrowley13 also referred to as the pink book in this thread:  http://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=630700  I had always assumed that it was only for rentals but if you live with in-laws that makes perfect sense.  Can you remind us of what the cover says for a more accurate description?

Thanks but can you post the Vietnamese name on the cover page and screenshot of your page? Thanks in advance!
Here is the screen shot of So Ho Khau (Family Book - RED) which shows the details of head of family and other members. Each member has a page.
Image 1 - Cover Page:
https://s15.postimg.org/74qg0jjq3/so_ho_khau.gif

Image 2 - Inner page of members:
https://s15.postimg.org/jl47en9ej/6960621201_921ae48b53_b.jpg

It shows clearly the relationship with the family head, full name, DOB, sex, ID card number....

This one is the one that my wife, her mother, brother etc. are listed in

The book that has me listed is about three times the size, is landscape orientated and about one inch thick. I cannot take a picture of it atthe moment as it is in Vietnam and I am in Cambodia.

I also confirm that it is the same type of book that I had when I rented a previous apartment

I see. Anyway, that's not the family book (Red Book) which only include the details of Vietnamese citizens and never need to extend like you mentioned - each 3 months.
Still I don't know what's that register :D

charmavietnam :

I see. Anyway, that's not the family book (Red Book) which only include the details of Vietnamese citizens and never need to extend like you mentioned - each 3 months.
Still I don't know what's that register :D

That's Temporary Residence Declaration Book for foreigner. You can search "sổ khai báo tạm trú" and check the image.

Yeah I saw it in search before. It's like KT3 for Vietnamese, right?
I don't think it's a compulsory one. Any benefits with that?

Each foreigner that lives here in a rental property or own house must be listed in that book and its stamped by the ward police each time your visa is renewed.

But until now, I don't have that book. I got many documents without that one. If it is a MUST, then why don't they ask that book when I apply for some documents such as VEC or TRC?  :)

colinoscapee :

Each foreigner that lives here in a rental property or own house must be listed in that book and its stamped by the ward police each time your visa is renewed.

You should know by now that laws are interpreted as to how they feel.

charmavietnam,

This "foreigners" red (or pink) book was required when I got married and lived in a rented apartment. When I changed jobs and moved to the house owned by my wife I was registered there in another Pink book whilst my wife, her mother and her brother were in the Vietnamese Red Book. When I applied for the VEC I provided this book as evidence of where I was going to live in Vietnam. After getting the VEC and a six month stamp at the border I then went to the local police and had a three month stay registered in another pink book as the police could not comprehend that I was out of the country and had NOT overstayed the time stated in the previous pink book. Due to the fact that most of the time that I come to Vietnam is at the weekend i.e. in on a Saturday morning and out again on Sunday evening or early Monday morning I am not able to go to the local police to re-register as they don't work at the weekend after Saturday 11am. I will again "overstay" the time by being out of the country. I suspect that they will keep issuing new pink books!

Such is life!

No one asked me for that book in different cases till now but a residence document from the ward police  :)

Come to think of it I think I saw this pink/red book you are talking about.

I don't have this book btw and I did my marriage certificate and VEC stay extension numerous times and was never asked for this book. I usually just fill out the 1 page NA5 form and bring it to the local police so they can stamp it.

When I went to extend my VEC at the phong quan ly xuat nhap canh this person with a Chinese passport submitted this big book that is about standard size paper. Is that the book everyone is referring to?

charmavietnam :

No one asked me for that book in different cases till now but a residence document from the ward police  :)

Yes your document or that big pink book are pretty the same. Both have the seal of ward police. I always ask my clients to provide residence document or residence book, and use whichever they give me. Both work.

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