December 18, 2019
Visa tips

Vietnam Prolongs Visa Waiver for 13 Countries

Here’s good news to foreign travelers visiting Vietnam – the country has now extended its visa exemption program for citizens of 13 countries. These include Russia, Germany, Japan, and the UK. Under the visa waiver program, foreign visitors can stay in the country for a maximum of 15 days. They don’t need to apply for a visa to enter the country, for as long as they will get out of the country before the 15-day period ends. The waiver program was part of the county’s plan to lure more foreign visitors into the country and boost the tourism industry.

Extension of the Visa Waiver Program

It was during a regular cabinet meeting in November when the Vietnamese government has agreed to extend the waiving of visas for citizens of 13 countries. These include the citizens of Belarus, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, South Korea, Japan, and Russia. According to Vietnam’s National Administration of Tourism, it was discussed during the cabinet meeting that the waiver program will be extended until December 31st, 2022.

Under the program, citizens of the said countries will be able to stay in Vietnam for up to 15 days, regardless of their purpose of visit, for as long as they were able to meet the requirements specified in the Vietnamese laws.

The Vietnam Visa Waiver Program

The Vietnam Visa Waiver Program enables citizens of certain countries to visit Vietnam for business or tourism purposes without the need for a visa. This was first rolled out last January 1, 2015. Initially, this program is supposed to end on December 31st, 2019. But due to its success, the Vietnamese government has decided to extend it for three more years, which is until December 31st, 2022.

The countries included in the visa waiver program are Finland, Russia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, South Korea, Japan, Belarus, Spain, Germany, United Kingdom, France, and Italy. Nationals of France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Belarus, and the UK can only avail of the visa waiver until June 30, 2021. The rest can enjoy the privileges until December 31, 2022.

No Longer than 15 Days

The most important condition under the visa program is that these foreign travelers should not exceed 15 days in the country. For those who wanted to stay in Vietnam for more than 15 days, applying for the Vietnam e-visa is highly recommended. This is a single-entry visa that will allow you to stay in the country for a maximum of 30 days. That should be enough time to see everything that the country has to offer.

If you find that 30 days is not enough for a relaxing holiday in Vietnam, then consider applying for the Vietnam Visa on Arrival. With this visa, you can opt for a multiple entry visa and stay in the country for a maximum of 60 days. As the name suggests, the Visa on Arrival is a type of visa that you can avail as you arrive in the country.

It’s also worth noting that foreign travelers going to the island of Phu Quoc no longer need a visa for as long as they remain on the island for only a maximum of 30 days only. Phu Quoc is one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist destinations since it’s home to some of the most gorgeous beaches of Vietnam. It’s a great place to visit if you want a relaxing holiday in the country.

Improvement in Vietnam’s Visa Policy

The decision of the Vietnamese government to extend the waiver program is definitely an improvement of the country’s visa policy. Vietnam is known to grant visa exemption to certain countries every year.

With the significant increase of foreign visitors traveling to Vietnam over recent years, it’s clear that the visa waiver program has been a success. In November, the number of international arrivals has reached 1.8 million, which is an all-time high, according to Vietnam’s General Statistics Office. Furthermore, the number of foreign visitors between the months of January and November has reached 16.3 million, which is an increase of 15.4% from the previous year.

Extending the Allowed Stay

Meanwhile, the National Tourism Advisory of Vietnam has suggested extending the allowed stay of some foreign nationals into the country. They requested the citizens of Germany, Italy, UK, Spain, and France to be allowed to stay in the country for 30 days instead of only 15 days.

Furthermore, they also suggested waiving the visas of the top foreign visitors of the country. Among these are citizens of the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Switzerland. However, it is not yet clear if the Vietnam government has approved such suggestions or if they have plans to approve them in the future.

If these suggestions will push through, then more foreign visitors will surely be enticed to visit Vietnam.