February 15, 2022
Starting March 15, 2022 Vietnam resumes visa waiver program
During the height of the coronavirus outbreak from 2020, Vietnam has decided to temporarily suspend the visa waiver program. Under the program, citizens of certain countries will be able to enter Vietnam for a certain period of time without the need to apply for a visa. The temporary suspension applies to citizens of European countries who have reported the most number of coronavirus cases. These are Spain, France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and the UK.
After years of suspending the visa waiver program, the Vietnam Immigration Dept. has decided to bring it back once again. In doing so, they are hoping that they will be able to invite more tourists to the country and recover from the devastating loss in the tourism industry brought about by the Covid 19 outbreak.
Which Nationalities Qualify for the Vietnam Visa Waiver Program
Although applying for a Vietnam visa is so easy these days, it might be best to check first if you qualify for the visa waiver program. Below is a list of the nationalities that are eligible for the program and the number of days they are allowed to stay in Vietnam visa-free.
- Belarus – 15 days
- Denmark -15 days
- Finland – 15 days
- France – 15 days
- Germany -15 days
- Italy -15 days
- Norway – 15 days
- Russia – 15 days
- Spain – 15 days
- Sweden – 15 days
- United Kingdom – 15 days
- Japan -15 days
- South Korea – 15 days
- Kyrgyzstan – 30 days
- Brunei – 14 days
- Cambodia -30 days
- Indonesia – 30 days
- Laos – 30 days
- Malaysia – 30 days
- Myanmar – 30 days
- Philippines – 21 days
- Singapore – 30 days
- Thailand – 30 days
Important Notes Regarding the Visa Waiver Program
Take note that the visa waiver program policies would differ from one nationality to another. So here are some important notes to keep in mind:
- Visitors from Southeast Asian countries, such as Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Brunei, Indonesia, and Myanmar can enter and exit Vietnam several times within the visa-free period. For instance, Singaporean nationals can enter and exit Vietnam multiple times within 30 days.
- Visitors from France, Belarus, Spain, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Japan, and South Korea must wait for 30 days before re-entering Vietnam. It should be 30 days from the last date of exit. For instance, if you are a Russian citizen, and you exited Vietnam on April 10, you can only re-enter after 30 days, which is on May 10 onwards.
- The visa waiver program will not apply on the island of Phu Quoc since all visitors can enter the island visa-free, regardless of nationality. However, you’re only allowed to stay on the island for 30 days. If you plan on going to other cities in Vietnam, you are required to get a visa if you don’t qualify for the visa waiver program.
- Even though UK citizens are qualified for the visa waiver program, holders of the BNO passports are not. BNO refers to British National Overseas passport holders. Examples are Hong Kong nationals who hold a UK passport. Since Hong Kong citizens are not eligible for a free visa, they must apply for a visa before they can enter Vietnam. Hong Kong citizens have an option to apply for the e-visa or Visa on Arrival.
Long-term Visit To Vietnam
The Vietnam visa waiver program is very useful to those who are visiting Vietnam for a short period of time. As indicated above, most of the citizens who qualify for the waiver program can only stay in the country for less than a month. So what happens if you plan on staying in Vietnam for more than the allowed number of days? In this case, your best bet is to apply for a Vietnam visa.
These days, applying for a visa to Vietnam is now so easy for most foreign visitors. There are plenty of options to choose from. If you want a convenient method of getting your visa, you can choose the e-visa. Also known as the electronic visa, this visa can be applied easily online. You don’t need to leave your home since all you need is to connect to the Internet.
But if you need a visa that will allow you to stay in Vietnam for up to 90 days, then go for the visa on arrival. As the name suggests, this visa will be issued upon your arrival to the country. However, you will have to register online in advance. You will then be given a pre-approval letter that you will use to claim the visa upon your arrival in Vietnam. The visa will be in the form of a sticker that will be attached to your passport.