Vietnam considers visa exemption for nationals of wealthy countries

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has instructed immigration agencies to consider waiving visas for visits of six to 12 months for people coming from wealthy countries to drive tourism recovery.

The list of countries whose citizens are unilaterally exempted from visas would be expanded from the current 13, he said in a directive Friday.

The list now has Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Britain, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Belarus.

The PM also instructed the agencies to consider issuing long-term and multiple-entry visas from 12 to 36 months to attract wealthy foreign retirees from Europe, Northeast Asia, North America, India, and some Middle Eastern countries.

It comes in the context that some Southeast Asian countries like Thailand and Malaysia have sparked off a regional tourism race to attract foreign tourists, especially from China, with visa-free policies.

Vietnam now waives visas for travelers from 25 countries compared to 162 by Malaysia and Singapore, 157 by the Philippines, 68 by Japan, 66 by South Korea, and 64 by Thailand.

Vietnam grants tourist visas for up to three months to citizens of all countries and territories.

It received 12.6 million international visitors last year, only around 70% of the pre-Covid number.

China, India and Australia were among Vietnam’s biggest sources of visitors last year and industry insiders expect the government to waive visas for their citizens to provide a fillip to tourism.

Written by Viet Tuan – Vnexpress – February 24, 2024 | 08:50 am GMT+7

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