15:53 | 08/03/2017 Culture & Tourism
(VEN) - From February 1, 2017 to February 1, 2019, Vietnam will be piloting electronic visas or e-visas for citizens from 40 countries, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).
E-visa and visa exemption policies are expected to create breakthroughs in tourism
The 40 countries include Azerbaijan, Argentina, Armenia, Ireland, Poland, Belarus, Bulgaria, Brunei, the Republic of Korea (RoK), Germany, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Cuba, Denmark, East Timor, the US, Hungary, Greece, Italy, Kazakhstan, Russia, the UK, Luxembourg, Myanmar, Mongolia, Japan, Panama, Peru, Finland, France, the Philippines, Romania, Spain, Sweden, China (e-visa is not applicable to citizens holding ordinary electronic passports), Uruguay, Venezuela, Norway and Slovakia.
According to VNAT, the pilot is an administrative innovation aimed at attracting more foreign visitors to Vietnam. The e-visa policy and visa exemption policies are expected to create breakthroughs in the tourism sector.
Application for e-visas is conducted on www.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn and www.immigration.gov.vn. The visas can then be printed by the applicants. Applicants pay fee of US$25 per visa and get no refund in cases of refusal. Foreigners with e-visas can enter and exit Vietnam through 28 air, overland and marine border crossings.
VNAT says administrative procedures have been simplified, so that handling applications and issuing e-visas takes three days.
Apart from e-visas for individuals, the portals handle e-visa requests from organizations. Creating an electronic account is the condition for organizations to apply for e-visas for foreigners. The e-visa verification time also takes three days.
The pilot is being carried out as part of a Politburo resolution on developing tourism into a spearhead economic sector. In 2017, Vietnam hosts the APEC Year with many related international events, an opportunity to promote tourism, too.
Richard Kenneth Wilson from the UK was the first foreigner to get a Vietnamese e-visa on New Year’s Day. At a brief airport ceremony he said he appreciated Vietnam’s efforts in e-visa verification.