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Refusal to issue visas to new VN passport causes problems for travel firms

The rejection of Vietnam’s new passport by some EU member countries is affecting HCM City tourism companies since their customers are unable to travel to those countries.
A group of Vietnamese tourists on a Europe tour. Three EU countries are refusing to issue visas to Vietnamese having the new passports that are being issued since July 1 since they lack information about place of birth. 

The rejection of Vietnam’s new passport by some EU member countries is affecting HCM City tourism companies since their customers are unable to travel to those countries.

Issued since July 1, the new passports are not accepted for visas by Germany, Spain and the Czech Republic since they lack information about place of birth.

Tran Thanh Vu, general director of Vinagroup International Travel JSC, said many customers who booked tours to Europe obtained the new passports and could cancel their tours.

According to tourism companies, travel to Europe is picking up and they have booked hotels and flight tickets for tour groups.

The countries refusing to accept the new passports are key tourist destinations in Europe.

Lại Minh Duy, general director of TSTourist, told Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper that his company is turning away customers who have the new passport and want to tour the countries that are not accepting them.

Nguyen Ngọc Toan, general director of IMAGE Travel & Event Company, said people with the new passports are opting out of his company’s Europe tours until possibly the start of next year.

Nguyen Quoc Ky, chairman of Vietravel Holdings, called on the Government to resolve the problem by issuing old-style passports until it sorts it out with those countries.

Nguyen Thi Khanh, chairwoman of the HCM City Tourism Association, said many tourism companies and her association are asking for the problem to be resolved to aid the tourism industry’s recovery.

Last Wednesday (August 3) the Ministry of Public Security said it would look into incorporating information about place of birth in the new passport.

It and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are working with Spain, Germany and the Czech Republic to resolve the issue as soon as possible, it said.

The UK and France have said they would accept the new passport for issuing visas.

The Immigration Department said the new passports are designed in line with international regulations and practices, especially International Civil Aviation Organisation standards.

Many countries' passports do not have the field for place of birth but are recognised internationally, it pointed out.

Source:  VNS

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