I am a lawyer from the United States of America. How can I apply for a temporary residence card in Vietnam?
According to Vietnamese law, a foreign lawyer wishing to practice law and bear a temporary residence card in Vietnam must obtain a license for practicing law in Vietnam but is not required to have a work permit.
In order to be granted a temporary residence card, you first of all have to obtain a license for practicing law in Vietnam. The conditions for you to acquire such a license include:
- Having a law practitioner certificate which has been granted by a foreign authority or organization and remains valid;
- Having experience of counseling on foreign laws and international law;
- Pledging to comply with the Constitution and law of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the rules of professional conduct applicable to lawyers practicing law in Vietnam;
- Being appointed by a foreign law-practicing organization to practice law in Vietnam or employed by its Vietnam-based branch or a foreign law firm or Vietnamese law-practicing organization to work as a law practitioner in Vietnam.
A foreign lawyer may be granted a temporary residence card if fully satisfying the following conditions:
Regarding the scope of professional practice, a foreign lawyer practicing law in Vietnam may advise clients on foreign laws and international law, provide other legal services related to foreign laws, provide consultancy based on Vietnamese law if possessing a Vietnamese law bachelor’s degree and satisfying all requirements prescribed for Vietnamese lawyers, but may not participate in legal proceedings as representatives, defense counsels or defense counsels for the lawful rights and interests of involved parties before Vietnamese courts.
An agency, organization or individual inviting or guaranteeing a foreign lawyer to apply for a temporary residence card must prepare a legal dossier for initial registration at the Vietnamese immigration management agency. Such a dossier must comprise:
- A copy of the business registration certificate;
- A copy of the specimen seal certificate;
- A copy of the tax identification number certificate (if any);
- Registration certificate of specimen signature and seal.
- The inviting or guaranteeing individual’s personal identification papers such as people’s identity card and local residence certificate, among others.
The procedures for a foreign lawyer to apply for a temporary residence card are as follows:
- His/her passport that remains valid for at least six months;
- A written request of the inviting or guaranteeing agency, organization or individual for grant of a temporary residence card for the invited or guaranteed person;
- A declaration form for grant of a temporary residence card, stuck with the applicant’s photo (two photos sized 3cm x 4cm);
- A duplicate or photocopy of the license for practicing law in Vietnam or the valid law practice certificate issued by a foreign authority or organization (enclosed with the original for comparison).
You should be advised that in case your spouse or child also wishes to apply for a temporary residence card, he/she must possess the following papers:
- Marriage registration certificate;
- Birth certificate or household registration book;
- Papers proving your spousal or parent-child relationship.
The inviting or guaranteeing agency, organization or individual has to submit the dossier of application for a temporary residence card directly to the immigration management agency in the locality where it is located or where the invited or guaranteed person resides.
Within five working days after receiving a complete dossier, the immigration management agency will consider granting a temporary residence card.
A temporary residence card granted to a foreign lawyer practicing in Vietnam will be valid for up to five years.- (VLLF)