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Extending e-visas could attract tourists, investments: minister


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Extending e-visas could attract tourists, investments: minister

A foreigner enjoys a meal in Hoi An in central Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Phuong

A proposal to extend Vietnam's e-visa duration from 30 to 90 days could help meet the demands of both international tourists and investors, according to the government.

The government believes that such a change in policy would be a boon to economic development by boosting tourism, investment, business cooperation and scientific research, said Minister of Public Security To Lam.

The current e-visa duration is too short, and is thus unattractive to tourists, Lam said.

If the duration is extended to three months, tourists would be able to enjoy long-term vacations in the country, and this would also encourage foreigners to stay in Vietnam for extended periods to engage in research and seek opportunities for investment, the minister said.

Extending the duration of e-visa would also be advantageous for foreigners in charge of establishing commercial and advertising services, according to Lam.

The government has already issued a statement calling a proposal to extend the duration of temporary stays at border gates for those entering Vietnam on visa waivers from 15 to 45 days "appropriate for current trends in the tourism industry."

Legislators have expressed support for the proposal and changes are set to be approved at the National Assembly session starting on May 22.

Tourists from faraway markets, like Europe, often stay in Vietnam for long vacations of at least 15 days, and would often travel the entire length of the country, or through multiple countries such as Laos and Cambodia.

Vietnam's tourism industry aims to compete with Thailand and Singapore, which both offer visa waiver policies for stays of up to 45-90 days.

Extending Vietnam’s visa waiver duration to 45 days would meet the regional average and increase Vietnam’s ability to compete by attracting tourists, according to the government. It would also help tourists be more proactive when it comes to making Vietnam travel plans.

The public security ministry has reported that more foreigners are applying for e-visas. Ever since the post-Covid-19 reopening in March 2022, the number of e-visas issued has increased by 46.6 times compared to the pre-Covid period.

Vietnam is offering e-visas to citizens from 80 countries.