December 18, 2019
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 more 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. However, they must make sure to get out of the country before the 15-day period ends. The waiver program was part of their plan to lure more 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 visa waiver. There are 13 countries that were included in the program. 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 that the waiver will be extended until December 31, 2022.
Under the program, citizens of the said countries will be able to stay in Vietnam for up to 15 days. This is regardless of their purpose of visit. However, they must make sure to meet the requirements specified in the Vietnamese laws.
The Vietnam Visa Waiver Program
The Vietnam Visa Waiver Program enables the eligible citizens to visit Vietnam for business or tourism purposes without 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 government has decided to extend it for three more years. Thus, the program will now be 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 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 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 your holiday, consider applying for the Vietnam Visa on Arrival. With this visa, you can apply for multiple entry and stay in the country for 60 days. As the name suggests, the Visa on Arrival is a type of visa that you can avail upon arrival.
It’s also worth noting that foreign travelers going to the island of Phu Quoc no longer need a visa. But they must remain on the island for only a maximum of 30 days. Phu Quoc is one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist destinations. It’s home to some of the most gorgeous beaches and the best luxury resorts in 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.