Easy visas boost Vietnam’s tourism

HANOI, 12 June 2017: Vietnam’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’s Department of Tourism says its electronic visa (eVisa) pilot scheme has already had a positive impact on Vietnam’s tourism since it was implemented in February this year.

Local media reported that the department released data, 30 May, showing 22,000 tourists from the United States, the United Kingdom,  Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Slovakia, Japan, Switzerland and China requested e-visas through the country’s immigration portal at https://www.immigration.gov.vn.

Some 21,000 tourists received e-visas, of which 12,000 have already entered the country.

Nationals of 40 countries will be able to apply for the 30-day single-entry eVisa, which will save a visit to a consulate or queuing for an visa-on-arrival at a Vietnamese airport.

The government said the eVisa was launched as a two-year pilot scheme.

Citizens from 40 countries are eligible to apply for the eVisas are:

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.

The Vietnamese government, last week, approved an extension of the visa waiver for citizens from five European countries — the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Citizens of the five countries will enjoy visa free travel from 1 July to 30 June, 2018. The current agreement was due to expire 30 June. They will be able to stay in Vietnam for up to 15 days without a visa.

TTR Weekly reported on the extension of the visa-free stay, last week, but a reader in Germany reported that officials at the Vietnamese embassy said they were unaware of the extension and had not received an official update or notification.

Vietnam offers visa-free travel for citizens of seven countries; Japan, South Korea, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, and Russia.

It also has a visa-free policy for nine ASEAN countries; Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines.