return icon

Entry visa requirements may discourage foreign travelers: experts

The Government has decided to fully reopen the tourism market from March 15. However, travel firms fear that foreign travelers won’t visit the country because of complicated procedures for entry visas.



A group of foreign travelers recently transiting at Singapore airport and applying for visas to Vietnam faced a very complicated process. The travel firm had to ask agencies and local authorities about the procedures before obtaining visas.

Nguyen Khoa Luan, CEO of Anh Viet Hop On – Hop Off Vietnam, described the visa application process he has experienced.

“We paint a beautiful picture about the revival of tourism post-Covid. However, it’s not easy to attract travelers with the current requirements,” he said.

Vietnam is granting visas the old way, he said. A traveler in Paris can visit the Vietnamese Embassy to ask for a visa. Meanwhile, travelers in other regions in France have to go to Paris to ask for visa, then stay in Paris, or return home and return some days later to get the visa. It’s a time consuming process.

CEO of Image Travel Nguyen Ngoc Toan said the tourist visas that Vietnam grants are single-entry, which causes inconveniences for travelers.

For example, a French traveler flying to Vietnam can leave and go to Cambodia. After visiting the Angkor Wat complex in Siem Reap in Cambodia, if they want to enter Vietnam once again, they have to pay for a new visa because under current visa policy, tourist visas are valid only once.

Therefore, most travelers choose to go to Bangkok and fly back to France the next day. This means that Vietnam loses revenue from the one-night stay of the traveler and service use for that night.

Huynh Phan Phuong Hoang, Deputy CEO of Vietravel, said full tourism opening is near (March 15), so authorities need to immediately restore the unilateral and bilateral visa waiver policies as they did before the Covid-19 outbreak. This is an important factor to attract tourists to Vietnam.

Luan said Vietnam’s visa policy needs to be more open and convenient to compete with rivals and lure travelers.

In Turkey, for example, tourists can use e-visas, show their passport and enter the country. Cambodia has also opened the market widely. There is no reason for Vietnam to set up many procedures which may become barriers to foreign travelers, he said.

Luong Hoai Nam, an aviation and tourism expert, stressed that in order to revive tourism, Vietnam has to restore the visa policy it applied before the pandemic and expand the list of countries to enjoy visa waivers.

Vietnam now waives visas for 24 countries, a very small number compared with other countries that are rivals in tourism destinations.

Thailand, for example, waives visas for citizens from 64 countries, Singapore for 120-130 countries, and Indonesia and Malaysia for 150.

Vietnam should waive visas for all countries in the EU. “Why does Vietnam waive visas for German and French travelers, but not Czech, Hungarian and Polish?” he said. “Australia and New Zealand also could be added to the list for visa waivers.”

As for China and the US, two vast markets, Vietnam needs to negotiate for visas valid for 5-10 years. China and the US now grant 10-year visas to each other.

Vietnamese, when entering Canada, can get visas valid for 10 years, and when entering South Korea, can get visas valid for 5 years.

“In order to develop tourism, the visa policy needs to be open, at least as open as Thailand,” Nam said.

The Government Office has sent a document to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), requesting to resume the visa waiver policy applied to travelers from some countries. 

Tran Chung

Vietnamese Gov’t wants visa waiver for int’l tourists reinstated

Vietnamese Gov’t wants visa waiver for int’l tourists reinstated

The prime minister has urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to reinstate the visa waiver for international travelers to revive the pandemic-battered tourism sector when tourism services for local and foreign visitors are fully reopened on March 15.

VN tourism ministry seeks resumption of pre-pandemic visa waiver policy for tourists

VN tourism ministry seeks resumption of pre-pandemic visa waiver policy for tourists

The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism has proposed the Government resumes pre-pandemic waivers of visas for tourists from 24 countries when the country restarts international tourism.


Credit package for social housing not as productive as hoped

Few have benefited from the VND15 trillion credit package for social housing as there is a limited supply of low-cost homes.


More effective tax collection of e-commerce necessary


Cultural industry to contribute 10% of Hanoi’s GRDP by 2045

Authority warns of scam South Korea labour export programmes

The Department of Overseas Labour under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs have warned about scams targeting people who want to work in technical occupations in South Korea.

Textile firms call for favourable policies amid pessimistic prospects

With a pessimistic outlook for the second half of 2022, textile firms are calling for favourable governmental policies to turn their situation around.

Enterprises ignoring waste management to face penalty

Enterprises that are required to manage their waste and have yet to fulfill their payment obligations will be inspected, with a possible fine of up to VND2 billion for violations.

Favorable conditions pledged for Qatar’s funds, enterprises

Competent Vietnamese agencies are willing to create favorable conditions for Qatar’s investment funds and enterprises to seek investment opportunities in the country.

Woman posing for Tiktok video at Phu Quoc airport banned from flying for six months

The head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam Dinh Viet Thang has decided to issue a flight ban on a woman posing for a TikTok video at the Phu Quoc Airport tarmac for six months.

“1,000 public employees quitting jobs each month is inaccurate data”: HCM City

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Home Affairs says the information that 6,177 public employees quit their jobs in the first half of 2022 is incorrect. These are actually statistics from January 1, 2020 to June 30, 2022.

Gov't sets up six working groups to inspect disbursement of public investment capital

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has tasked six working groups to inspect disbursement of public investment capital in 41 ministries, state agencies and 18 localities where disbursement is below the national average rate of 34.47 percent as of July 31.

Vietnam to mobilise $360 billion for sustainable development targets

Vietnam needs to mobilise $360 billion for implementing its green and sustainable development targets by 2030.

Vietnam to make Apple Watch, MacBook for first time

Apple is in talks to make Apple Watches and MacBooks in Vietnam for the first time as the US tech giant looks to diversify production away from China, Nikkei Asia reported.

Japanese firm buys 35.1% stake at Vietnam’s power company

JERA Inc., a power generation company of Japan, has signed a deal to buy a 35.1% stake at Vietnam’s Gia Lai Electricity JSC (GEC) to tap the Southeast Asian nation's growing demand for electricity and further its own decarbonisation efforts.

Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam officially signs contract with Binh Dinh

Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam has signed a three-year contract with Binh Dinh FC and is expected to play his first match for his new team in the V.League 1 this weekend.

Vietnam faces shortage of Protamine sulfate

The Drug Administration of Vietnam (DAV) has sent a letter to provincial and municipal departments of health, hospitals and drug importers, asking them to supply information on stocks of Protamine sulfate.