The Government of Vietnam is seeking approval from the National Assembly to issue electronic visas to citizens of all countries and territories.

International tourists on the way to the sandy beach in the southern province of Khanh Hoa’s Cam Ranh Coastal City. Photo: Trung Vu/ The Hanoi Times

Accordingly, Vietnam would extend visa validity from 30 to less than 90 days for single or multiple entries and stay from 15 to 45 days for foreign visitors from Vietnam’s Visa Waiver Program countries and territories.

The measure is seen as a boost for the development of Vietnam’s “smokeless industry”, which will enhance the competitiveness of national tourism in Southeast Asia.

The country reinstated the visa waiver policy for citizens of 24 countries after three years of border closures due to Covid-19. Despite being one of the first countries in Southeast Asia to fully lift border restrictions, the travel industry has not recovered as expected. Restrictive visa policies are largely blamed for the results.

At the virtual national conference on tourism in 2023 on March 15, local tourism enterprises at the meeting said the extension of unilateral visa exemptions for key markets should be issued before the peak summer season to realize the target of 8 million foreign visitors to Vietnam in 2023.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is coordinating with other ministries and sectors to negotiate visa exemption agreements with other countries, including those in Latin America, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and the Maldives.

The Ministry of Public Security will continue to study measures to facilitate the entry of tourists into Vietnam in the coming period. It will work with the Ministry of Justice and relevant agencies to implement procedures and finalize proposals to regulate the entry, exit, transit, and residence of foreigners in Vietnam following the law.

The Government will then submit them to the National Assembly at the next National Assembly session, which will be held in May 2023.