Vietnam major changes for VISA issuance for Foreign Tourist

On June 24, 2023, the Vietnamese National Assembly passed the Law amending and supplementing a number of articles of the “Law on Entry, Exit, Transit, and Residence of Foreigners in Vietnam,” marking an important step forward in attracting tourism and promoting foreign relations. According to the new regulations, from August 15, 2023, these new visa policies will officially take effect.

Vietnam issues electronic visas (E-visas) to all citizens of 257 countries and territories around the world.

Previously, Vietnam applied electronic visas for 80 countries with a maximum duration of 30 days. According to the new regulations issued from August 15, 2023, Vietnam will officially expand electronic visas (E-visas) to all citizens of 257 countries and territories around the world for a maximum period of 3 months (90 days) and valid for one or multiple entries.

This is a breakthrough in promoting international relations, tourism development in particular, and socio-economic development in general during Vietnam’s integration with the world. However, with these new policy changes, foreigners can safely plan longer travel or business trips in Vietnam without worrying about visa extensions in the short term.

Vietnam Extends Stay Period for People Entering the Country Under Unilateral Visa Exemption from 15 Days to 45 Days

According to the new regulations in the Amended and Supplemental Law, from August 15, 2023, citizens of 13 countries with unilateral visa exemption will have their visa exemption period to enter Vietnam extended up to 45 days (increased three times compared to the previous 15-day stay period): Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, Ireland, Russian, Japan, South Korea, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Belarus.

This change is considered a hot topic in the fields of tourism and economics. Extending the visa exemption period is an important step to attract a large number of international tourists to Vietnam, while strengthening cohesion and cooperation with international partners. It will also help stimulate the local economy, especially in tourism, restaurants, hotels, and related services.

Vietnam Considers Visa Exemption for More Citizens of Some Wealthy Countries

In the context of some Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand and Malaysia launching a tourism race in the region to attract foreign tourists, especially from China, with a visa-free policy.

On February 24, 2024, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh directed immigration authorities to consider additional visa exemptions for a number of wealthy retirees from Europe, Northeast Asia, North America, India, and some Middle Eastern countries, and increase the entry time from 6 to 12 months or 36 months to promote tourism recovery.

Vietnam welcomed 12.6 million international visitors last year in 2023, only about 70% of the pre-Covid number. China, India, and Australia were some of Vietnam’s largest tourist sources last year, so industry insiders expect the Vietnamese government to consider visa exemptions for citizens of these countries. This is to create additional opportunities for tourism and economic development of the country.

Vietnam currently waives visas for visitors from 26 countries compared to 162 countries for Malaysia and Singapore, 157 for the Philippines, 68 for Japan, 66 for South Korea, and 64 for Thailand.