VIETNAM – Some Provinces Now Require Residence Card Cancellation Before Departure
Effective immediately, the immigration authorities in some provinces in Vietnam are requiring foreign nationals who are terminating their assignments and leaving the country to surrender and cancel their Temporary Residence Card (TRC) prior to their departure. In these cases, the foreign national and any dependents will have to apply for an exit visa to be able to leave Vietnam.
It has been a common practice for foreign nationals whose work assignments are ending to return their TRC (and the TRC of their dependents) after the TRC has been used to exit Vietnam upon final departure. Once overseas, the TRC(s) could normally be mailed back to Vietnam by the individual and then easily submitted to the Immigration Authority for cancellation.
What has changed?
Recently, the Immigration Department in Hanoi and some other provinces such as Dong Nai have begun requesting that foreign nationals who are terminating their employment in Vietnam must surrender their TRC (and the TRCSs of dependents) to the authority for cancellation prior to leaving the country. Due to this requirement, the individual and their dependents must obtain an exit visa (temporary stay stamp on passport), in order to be able to leave Vietnam.
The passports of the individual and their dependents will be kept at the Immigration Department for a duration of seven days for processing. The exit visa (temporary stay) stamp when issued will state that the applicant is allowed to continue his/her stay until the intended exit date.
Note that Ho Chi Minh City and many other provinces have yet to implement this requirement and continue to accept the return/cancellation of the foreign national’s TRC after they have left Vietnam. Foreign nationals and dependents with TRCs lodged in these provinces do not need to apply for any exit visa and may simply send back their TRC once they are overseas as normal.
It is recommended that foreign nationals in affected provinces, whose work assignments are ending, apply for an exit visa between two and four weeks before their intended date of departure. Companies employing foreign nationals in Vietnam are advised to contact their immigration specialist for case-specific advice.