Vietnam will cut visa fees for several types of international passport holders and overseas Vietnamese from the 23rd of November 2015, with the aim to boost the country’s foreign arrivals.
According to a Ministry of Finance circular, the fee for the single-entry visa will be cut to $25 from the current $45 while the fee for the multiple-entry visa with validity of less than three months will be slashed to $50 from $95.
Foreigners applying for a multi-entry visa that is valid from three to six months will still have to pay US$95, and the current US$135 for the multi-entry visa that is valid between six months and one year.
The fee for a visa valid for between one and two years is $145, and from two to five years, $155.
In a special treat for those tourists popping over to neighboring Laos and Cambodia before returning to Vietnam to fly home, there will be a special low-priced US$5 visa fee instead of the current US$45.
Such a policy was immediately praised by local travel operators who said the change is more convenient for international customers.
Vietnam currently applies a one-sided free-visa policy to eight countries, including Japan, South Korea, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, and Belarus, according to the newspaper. In addition, Vietnam also waives visa for travelers from the other nine Southeast Asian countries, including Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and the Philippines.
In July, the ministry exempted visas for travelers from five European countries namely Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and the UK. However, the waiver is valid for 15-day visas only.
It is reasonable to hope that the new visa policy will spur tourism and attract more than 2 million additional tourist visitors before the year’s end.