Vietnam set to relax visa rules

Vietnam currently grants visa waivers to nationals of only 25 countries.
Vietnam currently grants visa waivers to nationals of only 25 countries.

Plans include extending the validity of eVisas to three months.

Vietnam.- Legislators in Vietnam are supporting a government proposal to extend the validity of e-visas and increase visa-free stays. The plan includes extending the validity of e-visas from the current 30 days to three months and allowing multiple entries for greater flexibility. 

Le Tan Toi, head of the National Assembly’s Committee for Defense and Security, said the proposed changes are in response to the demand from foreign visitors who wish to stay longer and explore investment opportunities in Vietnam.

Rhe committee has also agreed to triple the duration of visa-free stays for tourists from select countries. The current 15-day waiver will be extended to 45 days.

According to VnExpress, some lawmakers have noted that Vietnam grants visa waivers to nationals of only 25 countries, significantly fewer than neighbouring countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Thailand. There have been calls for an expansion of the visa waiver list to attract a broader range of international visitors.

The proposed changes to Vietnam’s visa policies are expected to be approved during the upcoming National Assembly session, which is scheduled to commence on May 22. The modifications aim to boost Vietnam’s tourism industry, which has been gradually recovering from the impact of the pandemic. 

In the period from January to April, Vietnam welcomed over 3.6 million foreign visitors, representing 62 per cent of pre-pandemic levels and nearly half of the country’s target of eight million visitors for this year. The number of foreign tourists in Vietnam still lags behind that of its Southeast Asian counterparts, such as Thailand, which received 8.4 million visitors during the same period. 

See also: Lottery sales in Southern Vietnam hit US$1.5bn in Q1

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