NEW RULES FOR TOURIST VISAS IN VIETNAM TAKE EFFECT ON 15 AUGUST 2023
In Vietnam, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has imposed stringent visa restrictions for foreign nationals. As a reminder, beginning March 22, 2020, Vietnam enacted a suspension of entry for all foreign nationals.
During this period, visa issuance was halted, and entry was denied to all travelers, even those holding existing visas or visa exemptions. Exceptions were made for individuals engaged in diplomatic or official purposes , foreign guests attending important foreign affairs activities, experts, business managers, and high-skilled workers. While this decisive action safeguarded the nation, positioning it as one of the least impacted globally by the pandemic, it also had profound repercussions on the economy.
The pre-COVID-19 rules for tourists seeking to enter Vietnam were comparatively straightforward:
• The option to obtain a 3-month tourist visa (single or multi entry);
• E-visa, accessible to citizens from 80 countries, offering a 30-day single-entry tourist visa;
• Visa exemptions for citizens from 24 countries, allowing trips ranging from 14 to 90 days based on bilateral agreements.
On March 15, 2022, Vietnam officially reopened its borders to international visitors after a two-year closure.
Upon this reopening, alongside COVID-19-related regulations, the government aimed to restrict entry and ceased issuing 3-month tourist visas. Nonetheless, e-visas were reinstated for over 80 countries, and nationals from 13 countries, (Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, and UK, etc…), regained the 15-day visa exemption, simplifying entry into Vietnam.
On June 24, 2023, the National Assembly approved new measures pertaining to tourist entry to Vietnam.
Starting from August 15, 2023, foreign tourists will be subject to new regulations:
• Availability of 3-month multiple-entry visas from August 15, 2023.
• The e-visa program now extends to citizens of all countries.
• As of August 15, 2023, regular passport holders from the 13 aforementioned countries will enjoy an extended 45-day visa exemption, instead of the previous 15-day period.
Through these fresh regulations, the Vietnamese government aims to entice more international tourists, fostering the country’s development and aligning it with the sustainable tourism models observed in other Southeast Asian nations.
Hoteliers, restaurateurs, and all stakeholders in the tourism sector are anticipating a surge in activity, with the aspiration of rejuvenating an economy that has experienced minimal growth since the advent of COVID-19.
VCI LEGAL stands ready to offer insights into these matters, as it consistently supports tourism endeavors and collaborates with numerous hospitality and F&B entities.