Vietnam to Start Issuing E-visas Again After COVID-19

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Update: As of August 2020, the government does not allow the processing nor has it made public the expected date for its opening.

Vietnam is expected to begin issuing E-visas for international visitors again from July 1, 2020 after suspending the digital visa system due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The electronic visa or E-visa for Vietnam can be obtained via the internet by completing an online application form. It authorizes the holder to enter the country for tourism and business, among other reasons.

The outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) led Vietnam to introduce travel restrictions in March, barring entry to foreign nationals, with very few exceptions.

The country stopped issuing visas and suspended the online E-visa system as part of its measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.

According to global visa information, a Vietnamese government resolution has now been passed to resume issuing E-visas to nationals of 80 countries, probably starting on July 1.

This means that Vietnam is set to reopen to international visitors now that the coronavirus situations appears to be under control in the country.

Vietnam Landscape

Which nationalities will be able to obtain a Vietnam E-visa?

Since Vietnam visas were suspended on March 18, foreign nationals have been barred from entering the country, with very few exceptions.

Diplomatic or official passport holders have been permitted to enter, as have certain individuals involved in special economic projects. However, all arrivals have been subject to coronavirus testing and a 14-day quarantine.

The online E-visa portal has been deactivated and international travelers have been unable to apply.

Starting from July 1, 2020, apparently this is set to change. Citizens of 80 different countries will once again be able to apply online for a Vietnam E-visa, including most European Union (EU) countries, Australia, Canada, India, Japan, the UK, and the US.

The full list of sovereign states that will be permitted to apply for the E-visa is as follows:

  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China — including Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR passport holders; Chinese e-passport holders are not eligible
  • Colombia
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macedonia
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Myanmar
  • Nauru
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Timor Leste (East Timor)
  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK)
  • The United States of America (US)
  • Uruguay
  • Vanuatu
  • Venezuela

It has been reported that holders of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) passports and Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) passport are a key target for tourism in Vietnam following the reopening of the country’s borders, particularly with regards to Vietnam’s casino industry, which was permitted to reopen on May 8.

Travelers from these countries may enter Vietnam with the E-visa at 29 land and sea borders and at 8 of the country’s international airports:

  • Hanoi’s Noi Bai Airport
  • Hai Phong’s Cat Bi Airport
  • Da Nang Airport
  • Thua Thien-Hue Province’s Phu Bai Airport
  • Khanh Hoa Province’s Cam Ranh Airport
  • HCMC’s Tan Son Nhat Airport
  • Can Tho Airport
  • Kien Giang Province’s Phu Quoc Airport

Vietnam and COVID-19

Vietnam has been remarkably successful at combating the coronavirus pandemic from the outset. Since the start of the outbreak, there have been fewer than 350 confirmed cases of the disease in the country and 0 fatalities, compared to 7.04 million cases and 404,000 deaths worldwide.

COVID-19 originated in Wuhan, China at the end of 2019. Despite sharing a long border with China and having a population of 97 million people, Vietnam has been much less affected due to taking quick, decisive, and extreme action to contain the virus from the outset.

In January, after the first case of COVID-19 was recorded in Vietnam, the country closed schools, introduced travel restrictions and health screenings at the border and in other vulnerable places, and developed a vast and intensive contact tracing operation.

Localized lockdowns were implemented, visas were suspended on March 18, and the borders were closed to almost all foreign travelers on March 22.

Quarantine centers were opened for individuals who had had contact with people with confirmed COVID-19 to stay for 14 days to avoid the risk of passing the virus on. Everyone who was quarantined was tested for coronavirus.

These measures appear to have worked well, as the number of new cases reported daily in the country has not been over 3 since May 18 and has been 0 on most days in this period.

Vietnam is now preparing to reopen and welcome tourists from other parts of the world traveling with an E-visa.

Consult worldwide visa information to check visa requirements for each nationality in order to visit Vietnam.

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