Foreign tourists are eagerly anticipating the resumption of the three-month visa policy in Vietnam, as the government moves towards relaxing tourist visa regulations.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh recently instructed officials to waive visas for more countries and extend the length of stay for foreign tourists to accelerate the recovery of tourism. This move has given hope to tourists like Eric Warnken from Germany, who was tired of having to make visa runs every month. He spent around $1,000 every 30 days flying to Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur and staying in hotels for 3-4 days to obtain new e-visas. Eric hopes that new, more relaxed visa policies will soon be implemented, allowing him and his friends to visit Vietnam for at least three months, as they had done before the pandemic.
Vietnam currently offers a one-month, single-entry e-visa to visitors from 80 countries, but the multi-entry, three-month visa that was available before Covid has not yet been reinstated. To boost tourism, the Ministry of Public Security has proposed prolonging the duration of e-visas to a maximum of three months for foreigners entering Vietnam.
Tourists like Pritesh Meta from India, who want to explore rural parts of northern Vietnam, and Australian John Rafter and his family, who plan to visit next month, are eagerly waiting for major changes in the visa policy.
Despite being one of the first Southeast Asian countries to fully reopen to international tourism post Covid, Vietnam only received 3.6 million foreign tourists last year, about 20% of pre-pandemic levels. The tourism industry has been urging the government to lift visa barriers to help the industry recover.