Vietnam considers expanding visa exemption for more countries

By Viet Tuan   February 15, 2024 | 11:26 pm PT
Vietnam considers expanding visa exemption for more countries
American tourists in Hoi An in central Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Dac Thanh
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has ordered the Ministry of Public Security to consider expanding visa exemptions for citizens of certain countries in accordance with bilateral cooperation.

The request was made on Thursday after the Lunar New Year break as the country eyes 18 million foreign arrivals this year, equivalent to the pre-pandemic figure.

The PM asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to evaluate the application of unilateral visa exemption policies for citizens of 13 countries.

The foreign affairs and public security ministries have been asked to expand the list of countries whose citizens are unilaterally exempted from visas. The list now has Germany, France, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Belarus.

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

Many Asian countries are increasing their competitiveness to attract foreign tourists with visa-free policies.

Under the current immigration policy, Vietnam grants three-month tourist visas for citizens from all countries and territories.

The government also tripled the duration of stays in Vietnam to 45 days for citizens of 13 countries unilaterally exempted from visas.

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