New policies take effect this month hinh anh 1Illustrative photo (Source:

Hanoi (VNA) - A series of new policies are coming into effect this month, including regulations relating to foreign diplomats and policies to support poor students, raise awareness of legal assistance and tighten State control of chemical substances.

Under Circular 04/2016/TT-BNG issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which took effect on September 1, foreigners holding NG3 visas are eligible to apply for temporary residence cards with validation periods of up to five years. The validation period should expire at least 30 days prior to the expiration of their passport.

NG3 visa holders are members of diplomatic missions, consular offices, representative offices of intergovernmental bodies, their spouses and children under 18, and their domestic helpers.

Holders of NG1, NG2 and NG4 visas who want to extend their stay permits should ask the bodies or organisations that sponsored them to enter Vietnam to submit applications for extending their temporary residence cards. The extension period is for a maximum of 12 months and must also expire at least 30 days prior to the expiration of their passport.

A Government’s decree, which also took effect the same day, aims to support poor students in areas regarded as extremely disadvantaged.

Under Decree 116/2016/NĐ-CP, a student of elementary or junior high schools in these regions will be provided with 15kg of rice per month for no more than nine months per year.

Each student will also receive an allowance to cover part of the cost of meals and housing which is equivalent to 40 percent and 10 percent of the basic salary per month, respectively.

Boarding schools for ethnic minorities will be financially aided to provide meals for students.

According to Decision 32/2016/QĐ-TTg, which will be effective from September 22, poor people and ethnic minorities in impoverished localities will have more opportunities to access legal assistance.

The Government will provide budgets to support officials working at centres for legal assistance in impoverished districts, communes and hamlets to attend lawyer training courses. More money will also be spent to establish a hotline for legal assistance at localities and to organise campaigns to raise community awareness on this matter.

Individuals and organisations will be fined 10-15 million VND for not having a plan or measures in place to prevent and respond to chemical-related incidents during the production, trading, use or storage of hazardous chemicals.

The same fine will also be imposed on those who do not comply with conditions for producing and trading chemicals, insecticides and antiseptic products used at home and in medical establishments.

These are stipulated in the Government’s Decree 115/2016/NĐ-CP, which will come into effect from September 15.-VNA