Accordingly, all press and information activities by foreign journalists, offices and organizations are allowed only after being approved by competent bodies. These activities must also comply with the current provisions of Vietnamese laws.

Non-resident journalist who wants to enter Vietnam to conduct press and information activities must send a set of dossier to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or overseas Vietnamese diplomatic missions and consular offices at least ten working days before coming to Vietnam.

Within ten working days, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or overseas diplomatic missions will reply whether he/she is allowed to enter or not.

In case of approval, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for issuing a Press Permit. During his stay in Vietnam, the non-resident journalist must carry the Press Permit and passport.

For foreign journalists accompanying foreign delegations invited by Vietnamese agencies shall also complete procedures the same as for non-resident ones and they must work under the guidance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Foreign Press Center or other unit assigned by the Ministry.

If foreign press agency wishing to set up a representative office in Viet Nam, it must send a set of dossier by post or by hand to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or overseas Vietnamese diplomatic missions.

Within 60 days since the reception of full and valid documents, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will grant a License for establishment of the representative office if the dossier is accepted.

The representative office may be located in Ha Noi or other province/centrally-governed city after getting written approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and People’s Committee of such locality.

Foreign Journalist Card

Resident journalists are granted Foreign Journalist Card which is valid for no more than 12 months and in accordance with the duration of their visas. To request for a card, each resident journalist must send a set of dossier by post or by hand to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Within three working days since the reception of valid documents, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall issue, re-issue or extend the Foreign Journalist Card and inform to the requester.

As resident journalists terminate their activities or operations of representative offices, they must send a written announcement to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at least 15 working days before the termination and hand back Foreign Journalist Card before exiting the country.

Foreign journalists are allowed to temporarily import and re-export necessary devices like cameras in accordance with the current provisions of Vietnamese laws.

In case of circulating information publications, foreign offices or organizations must send a written request to the Ministry of Information and Communications. For foreign offices, the document must also be sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for notification.

Publishing and circulating information publications must be in line with the Law on Journalism, the Publishing Law and other relevant provisions.

The Decree will take effect since December 20, 2012.

VietNamNet Bridge - October 26, 2012