November 25, 2020
Vietnam Entry Permit For Visitors from Laos During the Covid-19 Season
As countries around the world continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam is slowly relaxing its border controls and have started allowing foreign nationals to enter the country. For now, Vietnamese authorities will only allow those coming from its neighboring countries with low Covid-19 cases, such as Laos. However, leisure travel is not allowed and authorities will only allow the entry of diplomats, foreign investors, business managers, experts, skilled workers, and students. These visitors must first obtain special entry permits and provide certain requirements.
If you are from Laos and you plan on entering Vietnam for essential purposes, then here’s everything you need to know.
Entry Approval and Visa Issuance for Foreign Visitors from Laos
Remember that foreign visitors from Laos who are coming to Vietnam for work must first get an entry approval and apply for a visa. This is the new policy and it applies to all foreign visitors who will come to Vietnam during this time of the pandemic.
It is the sponsor company that will apply for the entry approval for the foreign visitor. The entry approval must be submitted to the local People’s Committee. Once approved, the local People’s Committee will endorse the application to the local health office in order for the quarantine facilities to be arranged. In order to prevent the spread of Covid-19, all visitors will be asked to go on quarantine for 14 days at a facility that’s approved by the government.
Procedures for Entry of Foreign Visitors During Covid-19
To better understand the process, here are the steps that all foreign visitors must follow when entering Vietnam during this time:
- Essential workers from Laos, including foreign investors and business managers, must coordinate with their company in Vietnam before flying into the country. The company will send a letter of request to the local People’s Committee asking permission for the entry of the foreign visitor.
- When the request is approved, the local People’s Committee will issue the entry permit. Meanwhile, the provincial Dept. of Health will also issue a quarantine approval.
- After getting the entry permit, the sponsor company will send a letter of request to the Immigration Department. This is to request for the visa issuance. Even though Lao nationals are exempted from a visa to Vietnam, entering the country at this time of the pandemic will require a visa.
- Once the entry permit is issued and the visa is granted, the foreign visitor can now book a flight ticket to Vietnam. But before leaving, they must first get tested for Covid-19 in Laos. That’s because a negative test result is required to be presented before they can take their flight to Vietnam.
- Upon arriving at the Vietnam airport, the foreign visitor will undergo a medical evaluation to determine if he has any symptoms of Covid-19. Anyone who is showing symptoms of the disease will immediately be isolated.
- The company must arrange for a private vehicle to pick up the visitor from the airport and take him or her to the quarantine facility.
- On the first day of the quarantine, the visitor will be tested for Covid-19. Another test will be conducted two days before the quarantine ends. If both results are negative the visitor can end isolation and start working.
Responsibility of the Airline Company
It is the responsibility of the airline company to ensure that the passenger has all the requirements needed to enter Vietnam. Therefore, the airport staff in Laos must first check with the passenger if he or she has the following documents before he will be allowed to board the flight:
- Passport with validity of six months from the entry date.
- Approval letter issued by the local People’s Committee and the local Health Department.
- Booking confirmation for the quarantine facility. It should have at least 14 days of booking and will include a pick-up service coming from the airport.
- Copy of travel insurance that includes Covid-19 coverage.
- Letter of commitment from the company that states they agree to shoulder the cost of medication if the visitor does not have Covid-19 insurance.
- Approval for entry from the Immigration Department of Vietnam.
- A negative result of a PCR Covid-19 test taken 5 to 7 days before the flight to Vietnam.
It’s important to secure all the required documents before booking an airline ticket to Vietnam. Without these requirements, the visitor will not be permitted to board the flight to Vietnam.
If the visitor will be taking along his or her family members, such as the spouse, children, or parents, the family members must also have the necessary requirements. They must also submit proof of relationship to the foreign visitor, such as a birth certificate or marriage certificate. Remember, Vietnam will not yet allow the entry of tourists at the moment.