The National Assembly has officially passed a bill amending and supplementing several provisions of the Law on Exit and Entry of Vietnamese Citizens and the Law on Entry, Exit, Transit, and Residence of Foreigners in Vietnam. A notable change is that the duration of electronic visas (eVisas) will be extended from 30 to 90 days. The law also allows citizens of countries unilaterally exempted from visas by Vietnam to be granted temporary residence for 45 days (previously 15 days) and to be considered for visa issuance and temporary residence extension according to regulations.
Unlimited Entry and Exit
The law will take effect on August 15th and the government will decide on the list of countries and territories whose citizens are eligible for eVisas and the list of international border gates that allow foreigners to enter and exit with eVisas. After being granted an electronic visa, foreigners can enter and exit an unlimited number of times within 90 days without having to apply for a new visa.
The new information on visas and electronic visas immediately brought a breath of fresh air to the tourism industry. Previously, experts and tourism businesses had repeatedly proposed extending the temporary residence period for foreigners exempt from visas, instead of just 15 days as currently. While countries in the region such as Thailand and Singapore apply visa exemption policies with temporary residence periods of up to 45 days and 90 days, respectively. The extension of the unilateral visa exemption period to 45 days will help improve Vietnam’s competitiveness in attracting tourists, allowing them to plan their sightseeing and relaxation schedules more flexibly.
The new regulations also contribute to promoting the effectiveness of exit and entry management and creating more favorable conditions for Vietnamese citizens and foreigners. With simple, convenient procedures, foreigners do not have to go to Vietnamese representative offices abroad or apply for a visa through intermediaries…
The government previously announced that Vietnam would consider offering visa-free stays to citizens of more countries in order to attract international tourists. However, no official decision has been made yet.
Currently, Vietnam allows visa waivers for citizens of 25 countries. In comparison, Malaysia and Singapore allow visa waivers for 162 countries, the Philippines for 157 countries, and Thailand for 65 countries.
In the first five months of this year, Vietnam welcomed 4.6 million foreign visitors. This is more than half of the year’s target of eight million visitors but still only 63% of the number of visitors before the pandemic.