New e-visa list adds 35 countries and territories while removing others.
Vietnam has amended the list of countries and territories whose citizens can apply for e-visas, with a focus on emerging tourism markets in Europe. The changes took effect on February 1.
Citizens of an additional 35 countries and territories can now visit Vietnam with an e-visa: Austria, Iceland, Belgium, Portugal, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Qatar, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Croatia, Estonia, Fiji, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Macedonia, Micronesia, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Marshall Islands, Salomon Islands, San Marino, Cyprus, Switzerland, China (Hong Kong and Macau passport holders), Vanuatu, Western Samoa, Serbia, and Slovenia.
Applications for 30-day e-visas can be submitted to https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn and cost $25, with notification of granting or rejection sent to applicants within three working days.
Vietnam first launched e-visa procedures in February 2017, starting with 40 countries and territories, including the UK, the US, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Japan, China, and South Korea. In December 2017, six countries were added to the list: Australia, India, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the UAE. All of these countries have now been removed from the list.
After the pilot phase ended recently, the government approved a two-year extension to the e-visa program, to 2021. The latest change in countries and territories on the list aims at attracting more tourists from Europe, who spend an average of $1,316 per trip, while overall foreign visitors spend $900, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.
Last year the government also announced visa waivers for a three-year period for citizens of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK, to provide impetus to the tourism industry.
With changes to visa policies, Vietnam’s tourism industry hopes to welcome 17-20 million foreign visitors a year by 2020 and earn revenue of $35 billion, contributing 10 per cent to the country’s GDP compared to 7.5 per cent in 2018.
The country welcomed a record 15.4 million foreign visitors last year, a 20 per cent increase against 2017.
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