Foreigners Await Vietnam's Potential Visa Rule Relaxation

In an eagerly anticipated development, the National Assembly of Vietnam is gearing up to discuss the liberalization of tourist visa rules, raising hopes among foreigners for improved travel experiences. With expectations of positive outcomes, international travelers are eagerly awaiting news from the legislators.

One such hopeful is German national Peter Zimmermann, who, along with numerous retirees, eagerly anticipates the passage of new visa laws that would facilitate extended winter stays in Vietnam. Zimmermann emphasized the burden imposed on older individuals by the current requirement of leaving the country every 30 days, expressing the need for more traveler-friendly regulations.

Recognizing the significance of tourism, the Vietnamese government has submitted proposals to the National Assembly. The suggested changes include extending the visa period for foreigners from 30 days to three months, as well as tripling the duration of visa-free stays to 45 days for visitors from selected countries. These reforms aim to alleviate the inconvenience faced by foreign visitors and encourage longer stays.

Tourists traveling at the Tam Coc portion, Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam

Tourists traveling at the Tam Coc portion, Ninh Binh Province, Vietnam

The other Zimmermann, an avid visitor to Vietnam prior to the pandemic, expressed weariness with the monthly visa runs, which resulted in substantial expenses for him and his spouse. He eagerly awaits the implementation of Vietnam's long-awaited three-month visa policy, which would provide a more convenient and cost-effective solution for travelers like him.

The anticipation is not limited to Zimmermann alone. Australian tourist Ken Rafter, whose family recently visited Vietnam, eagerly anticipates the outcome of the discussions. Rafter hopes that Vietnam will introduce longer visa durations and potentially waive visa requirements for Australian citizens. He lauded Vietnam as an exceptional destination and is already planning future trips to explore different regions, anticipating that relaxed visa regulations would enhance travel experiences.

Indian traveler Pritesh Meta echoed the sentiments of many foreigners, expressing a strong desire for extended stays beyond the current one-month limit or even the elimination of visa requirements. Meta shared his experience of being unable to explore northern regions due to restrictive visa durations, but his plans to return to Vietnam remain intact. He hopes for more convenient visa policies during his next visit, enabling him to fully immerse himself in the cultural richness of the country.

While Vietnam has witnessed a recovery in tourism, welcoming over 3.6 million foreign visitors from January to April, accounting for 62% of pre-pandemic levels and nearly half of this year's target of eight million, it still trails behind neighboring countries such as Thailand, which received 8.4 million tourists during the same period. The upcoming discussions on relaxing visa rules are regarded as a crucial step toward attracting a larger number of international visitors and bolstering Vietnam's tourism industry.

As the National Assembly engages in deliberations, foreign tourists maintain their optimism, eagerly awaiting potential visa rule changes that could pave the way for smoother and more extended explorations of Vietnam's vibrant landscapes and cultural treasures.