Vietnam extends visa free list

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HANOI, 10 June 2015: The Vietnamese government has given the green light to several proposals, including waiving visas for more nations, to revive the country’s troubled tourism industry.

Travel arrivals have been in decline since 2014 and while there are signs of recovery in specific markets, the trend worries tourism executives who claim the government is not doing enough to streamline entry procedures.

Tuoi Tre News reported that the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) and the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism have repeatedly called on the government to enact measures to ‘save’ the tourism industry, which has reported declining tourist arrival numbers for 12 months in a row, since May 2014.

Prime Minister, Nguyen Tan Dun,g approved some proposals from the two agencies during a government meeting, late last month, raising hopes that Vietnam would reverse the negative trend.

inside no 4The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism has proposed scrapping visas for countries that are Vietnam’s key tourism markets, or those it has established strategic agreements on trade and tourism.

The countries that are likely to enjoy visa-free travel are the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

“Tourists from these countries will be given a 15-day stay over a five-year period,” VNAT chief Nguyen Anh Tuan said.

The visa waivers for the first group of countries are expected to take effect, 1 July for countries in Europe and for Australia, New Zealand and Canada, 1 July, next year.

Vietnam currently offers visa-free travel to seven countries; Japan, South Korea, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, and Russia. Also under ASEAN’s open doors policy citizens of Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines all enjoy visa-free stay.

China ,the largest tourist generating market, is not on the list for visa-free travel despite the commercial benefits visa-free travel would bring. In fact very few Southeast Asian nations offer visa-free travel to Chinese, even though they rely heavily on that market to reach ambitious tourism targets.

Starting next month, Vietnam will also waive visas for tourists from Belarus, according to a resolution the government released earlier this month.

8 COMMENTS

  1. You have all got it wrong, I live in Thailand, am an Australian national, whenever I go to Vietnam I simply apply online, costs USD $26, get approved in 24 hours, at the airport I take passport, approval letter and $45USD and enjoy a multi entry 90 day visa, it really is that easy, google it!
    Phil

  2. Visa exemption for five nations in Western Europe

    (Vietnam Goverment Portal) – The Government has issued Resolution No. 46NQ-CP which declares visa exemption for citizens from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain and Italia when visiting Viet Nam.

    Accordingly, citizens from these five nations entering Viet Nam within 15 days will be off entry visa requirement regardless of passport types they hold and purposes of their visit.
    The policy will take effect for five years from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016 and will be subject to extension.

    At the Government’s May regular meeting, the Government agreed with measures to tackle difficulties and develop Viet Nam’s tourism, including expansion of visa exemption and provision of e-visas.

    Currently, Viet Nam unilaterally exempts visas for citizens from Japan, the Republic of Korea, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Russia.

    The country also waives entry visa requirement for passport holders from nine ASEAN member states.

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    Original link:

    http://news.chinhphu.vn/Home/Visa-exemption-for-five-nations-in-Western-Europe/20156/24613.vgp

  3. I agree with the sentiments above – 15 days is way too short! Although I think this visa free status will be a way off.

  4. I can not find this anywhere else to confirm this. This seems to be the only website reporting it.

    • Many local Vietnamese pubications reported the news. We qouted Tuoi Tre News in our report. You could look at Van Hoa (Culture) Online. or VietnamNet Bridge. Please note that the proposal, while having strong support, still needs to be approved and passed into law for it to be effective by the suggested launch date. There could be postponements, but ultimately the authorities know they need to make it easier to visit or continue to see declines, or marginal growth rates, when compared to competitiors such as Thailand and Malaysia. Myanmar too is making headway with it easy-to-use e-Visa online.

  5. I hope this is true. The last experience I had with the Vietnamese embassy in London, UK regarding visa has totally put me off travelling there ever again!

  6. Fifteen days is barely worth it. It’s only time to go to three or four places, and you’ll still be rushed and spending much of that time on the bus.

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