Abolition of Visa Requirement for Vietnam

The Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung decided to abolish the Visa Requirement in Vietnam for citizens from 5 European countries. This applies to the citizens of France, Germany, Spain, Italy and England. The decision resulted from proposals to the Vietnamese Government by the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and the Vietnamese Tourism Administration. This measure attempts to counteract the declining visitors numbers in Vietnam which over the past 10 years have been steady increases (1).
Visa VietnamWhile there were only 2.927.876 foreigners in 2004 which visited Vietnam, it were in 2013 already 7.572.352 travelers. A downward trend exists since June 2014. While Vietnam was able to record 3.073.905 visitors in the first four months of 2014 there were only 2.698.324 in the first four months of the current year. This represents a decline in visitor numbers of 7,4%.

The Visa requirements for Vietnam were adopted a few days ago for the citizens of Belarus against this background. Until then the Vietnam Visa exemption was valid only for a period of 30 days for tourists from the ASEAN countries with the exception of Brunei (only 14 days) as well as for tourists from Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Japan, South Korea and Russia for 15 days. In addition were all visitors to a stay of 15 days on Phu Quoc Island theoretically exempt from the Visa Requirement (2).

Now shall enter into force the exemption from the Visa Requirement in Vietnam for travelers from France, Germany, Spain, Italy and England. This regulation starts at 01.07.2015 and is initially limited for one year. The Visa Exemption for citizens of the abovementioned States is limited up to a stay in Vietnam of not more than 14 days. Anyone who thinks now it will be possible to realize long-term stays in Vietnam by this way will be disappointed. Between the first and second visa-free entry at least have to been elapsed 45 days. Those who wish to stay longer than 14 days in Vietnam is continue to require a Visa. This can be applied for on the Vietnamese Missions Abroad or online as a so-called “Visa on Arrival”. Violations of these rules are punishable by substantial fines and entry ban.

Sources: Tuổi Trẻ OnlineVNAT

Thu Nguyễn


Postscript: A Visa Exemption is not a Visa Substitute. Thus a Visa Exemption cannot be extended in Vietnam. These who exceed the maximum by Visa or Visa Exemption approved stay can be prosecuted with fines between 25.00 and 200.00 USD. Who does not have these financial resources may be taken into police custody. The Diplomatic Mission of the detainees will be informed in such cases for clarifying the payment liability.