VIETNAM – Vietnam will ease its pandemic safety management measures with its visa exemption for 13 countries, starting March 15, 2022.
As announced earlier this month, the Vietnamese government issued Resolution 32/NQ-CP 2022 whereby visa exemptions shall be applied to citizens from 13 countries with a temporary residence period of up to 15 days from the entry date. The list of countries, five of which have reopened flights with Vietnam beforehand, are as follows: Belarus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Noticeably, citizens from these nations will get visa-free travel regardless of immigration purposes and types of passport. Should the Resolution be extended or renewed, it will be considered and undertaken by relevant authorities after its expiry date of March 14, 2025 – three years from the effective date.
Foreign visitors are now able to travel freely with a negative COVID test upon arrival, according to the latest rule issued by the Vietnamese government. The test must be done using the method RT-PCR within 72 hours before departure or rapid antigen methods within 24 hours. This is a flexible, effective and safe approach in reopening the border for tourism in the “new normal”.
The new Resolution shows Vietnam’s effort in reviving tourism and resuming foreign trade activities that have been significantly slowed due to COVID-19. Japan and South Korea have long been recognized as two of the biggest FDI country investors to Vietnam till date. Meanwhile, in light of the EVFTA, the UK, Germany, France, Italy are among the leading EU countries whose investors have increasing interest in venturing into Vietnam. Lastly, Russia and Belarus (members of Eurasian Economic Union) are two important partners of Vietnam in consideration of EAEU-VN free trade agreements.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, the Vietnamese government has issued several regulations to halt visa exemptions, which were travel-related safety measures in response to the pandemic. The new visa exemption resolution will be a stepping stone in not only easing these measures but also preparing for the slow and steady re-opening of the country, promising a prosperous period ahead for FDI inflows as well as speeding up the economic recovery after a two-year slowdown.