HANOI, 3 February 2017: Vietnam has launched its first electronic visas for citizens of 40 countries, worldwide, effective 1 February.
Local media reported that nationals of 40 countries will be able to apply for the 30-day single-entry e-Visa, which will save a visit to a consulate or queuing for an visa-on-arrival at a Vietnamese airport.
The government confirmed the e-Visa was launched as a two-year pilot scheme.
Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Brunei, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Mongolia, Myanmar, Norway, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Timor Leste, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uruguay and Venezuela.
To apply for e-visas, foreign citizens can access the websites http://www.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn
TTR Weekly checked the links, Thursday, but they were not working.
Applicants are required to complete a form posted on two separate websites (one in Vietnamese and the other in English) run by the Ministry of Public Security. They will receive an application confirmation code and will be asked to pay a non-refundable fee online using a credit card.
The system is almost identical to Myanmar’s e-Visa, which was the first ASEAN nation to introduce what is now a very user-friendly service and reliable. The confirmation that the visa has been approved usually arrives within just a few hours, although officially the system says the email response could take 24 hours.
Vietnam is much slower at three working days and this could deter users who are booking a holiday at the last minute. In the meantime, the websites are not working so the service is not functioning as announced.
Successful applicants need to print the e-Visa details to present to an immigration officer at a designated airport, land checkpoint or seaport on arrival in Vietnam.
Visitors can enter Vietnam at eight international airports; Tan Son Nhat, Ho Chi Minh City, Noi Bai, Hanoi and Danang in the central region. They can also use the visa to enter at 13 international land border gates and via sea at seven ports across the country.
Vietnam offers visa-free travel to seven countries; Japan, South Korea, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, and Russia.
It also offers visa-free entry for citizens of nine ASEAN countries; Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines.
Vietnam decided to extend visa exemptions for an additional year for tourists from the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain to boost travel arrivals.
Nationals of the five countries will enjoy visa-free travel for a 15-day stay until the ruling expires 30 July 2017.