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Lawmakers set to vote on extending e-visa validity to three months

Legislators will vote next month on the bill that seeks to extend the validity of e-visas from 30 days to a maximum of three months and allow multiple entry.

Lawmakers set to vote on extending e-visa validity to three months

The Ministry of Public Security submitted the relevant amendments to the Law on Entry, Exit, Transit and Residence of Foreigners in Vietnam to the National Assembly on Saturday.

Members will discuss these changes on June 2 and vote on it on the last day of the ongoing session on June 24.

Lawmakers have expressed support for the proposals on visa relaxation, saying issuing multiple-entry e-visas would reduce the administrative burden and save time and money.

“A three-month e-visa will meet foreign visitors’ demand to stay longer to explore investment opportunities,” Le Tan Toi, head of the NA Committee for Defense and Security Committee, said.

Lawmakers also supported the proposed tripling to 45 days of the duration of visa-free stays for tourists from certain countries who now enjoy a 15-day waiver, and expand the list of eligible countries for e-visa issuance.

Vietnam offers e-visas to citizens of 80 countries and territories. It waives visa for citizens from 25 countries, mostly for between 15-30 days, a policy considered less generous than other countries in the area. Thailand offers visa waivers for 70 countries for 45 days, the Philippines for 157 countries for 30-59 days, Singapore for 158 countries for 30-90 days, Malaysia for 166 countries for 14-90 days, and Indonesia for 169 countries for up to 30 days.

The country received over 3.6 million foreign visitors in January-April, equivalent to 62% of pre-pandemic numbers and nearly half of this year’s eight-million target.

But the number is far below those of its Southeast Asian neighbors like Thailand, which received 8.4 million in the period.

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