Vietnam extends eVisa

HANOI, 9 November 2018: Vietnam has extended its eVisa project for another two years.

The pilot was launched in 2017 and was due to expire in February 2019.

Nationals from 40 countries, including China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, the US, Germany and Sweden could apply for the online visa.

The scheme offers a 30-day, single-entry eVisa for a tourist, or business trip, for a USD25 non-refundable fee paid by credit card when completing the application form.

While it is not as user-friendly as Myanmar’s eVisa, arguably the best in the region, it is considerably more convenient than any of Thailand’s visa options including its visa-on-arrival in saving time and clearing up the visa requirement before travel begins.

Visitors who have an eVisa can enter the country at any of Vietnam’s eight international airports, 13 international land border gates and by sea at seven designated ports.

Government officials said having a user-friendly eVisa service was a key element in “luring more tourists” to the country.

It is also a time saver for foreign tourists who can quickly resolve their visa requirement online rather than visiting an embassy or queuing for a visa-on-arrival.

Government officials said the service was in line with the government’s determination to keep administrative reform in line and adopt IT applications in state agencies by 2020.

The country’s 14th National Assembly discussed the extension of the implementation of Resolution No.30/2016/QH14, on the pilot issuance of eVisas for foreigners entering Vietnam, during their ongoing sixth session in Hanoi 5 November 5, Vietnam News Agency reported.

In the first eight months of this year more than 241,000 foreign tourists entered the country on eVisas. Last year, 12.9 million foreign tourists visited the country, many of them enjoying visa-free entry.

TTR Weekly analysis:
There’s been a marked shift from visa-free travel as governments come under pressure to improve security in the fight against crime and terrorism.

While visa-free travel is preferred, it is not always a viable solution for all countries.  In many instances the eVisa is a vital item in the immigration tool kit allowing officials to pre-check applications through online databases and blacklists, while earning substantial revenue for the country that in turn can fund projects to preserve the environment and counter potential damage from ‘overtourism’.