Sunday, 21 Jul 2019

Vietnam to extend e-visa scheme to lure foreign visitors

Updated at Tuesday, 06 Nov 2018, 10:54
The Hanoitimes - The Ministry of Public Security has issued 336,932 e-visa to foreigners from January 2017 to October 2018.
The majority of Vietnam's National Assembly deputies have agreed to the government's proposal to extend the electronic visa plan by another two years to encourage more foreign arrivals to the country, local media reported.

Vietnam has not detected any threat to national security related to e-visa granting after two years implementing it on a pilot basis at a limited number of gates of entrance, said Minister of Public Security To Lam on Monday.

The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) considers applying it permanently in more border gates, he added.

More Vietnamese border gates authorized to issue e-visa.
More Vietnamese border gates authorized to issue e-visa.
Vietnam started the e-visa pilot program in February 2017, applicable to citizens of 46 countries at 28 border gates.
In the report by the Ministry of Public Security presented at the on-going National Assembly session, Minister To Lam said between January 2017 and October 2018, the MPS has issued 336,932 e-visa.
E-visa applications have undergone strict scrutiny and no foreigner without visa has entered the Vietnamese territory. The Vietnamese authorities have rejected 6 e-visa applications and denied other 13 cases due to false declaration, the minister informed.  
As of October 15 2018, almost three hundred thousand foreigners have been granted e-visa, mainly at international airport entrances. No e-visa holders have shown signs of breaching national security or public order. E-visa fee revenue has amounted to VND195 billion (US$8.3 million).
At the NA’s session, the majority of delegates agreed that the issuance of e-visions is a strong administrative reform, reducing trouble for foreigners when coming to Vietnam. “The issuance of e-visas for foreigners also contributes to attracting tourists and is a common trend in other countries,” said the NA delegate Bui Mau Quan (Hai Duong). 
Minister To Lam said that the government will allow the issuance of e-visas to other border gates in the near future. The secretary-general of the Public Security Bureau believes that with this move, revenue from fees will increase, while at the same time creating favorable conditions for foreigners to live, work and travel in Vietnam.
Thanks to this policy, the number of foreign visitors to Vietnam has been growing fast over the past three years. Foreign arrivals to Vietnam increased 22.4% year-on-year to 12.8 million in the first ten months this year, according to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT).
Mai Nguyen
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