Last month, the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam announced that all US nationals visiting Vietnam for business or tourism will be issued with a one-year multiple-entry tourist visa, regardless of the intended length of stay.
Previously, US nationals were able to obtain one-month and three-month business or tourism visas, with the choice of either single-entry or multiple-entry status, as well as the one-year multiple-entry visa options. The one-month and three-month options were available at prices between $25 and $50. These have now been abolished for US nationals, meaning that all US travellers will have to pay the vastly increased fee of $135, even if they only intend to stay for less than a month.
It is also important to note that there is a maximum 90 day stay period for business purposes for the one-year multiple-entry visa. This means that an individual can stay in Vietnam for a maximum of three months at any one time; upon reaching this limit they would have to exit Vietnam and re-enter again.
For individuals visiting Vietnam on long-term business, or for businesses looking to expand their opportunities, this new protocol could be beneficial as it will allow them to stay in the country for a longer period of time without having to renew their visa. One downfall is that they will still have to exit and re-enter every 90 days, even though they won”t have to renew the visa. If this is going to have a detrimental effect on your visit to Vietnam, you would be advised to apply specifically for a business visa, which does not have a maximum length of stay. Individuals in possession of a one-year business visa can stay in Vietnam for the full year.
For people visiting Vietnam for tourism purposes, the hike in costs for acquiring the visa will no doubt be disappointing, considering that the fees will be the same whether the visit is for one week or one year and that previously the one-month and three-month options were available at a fraction of the new price.
Individuals visiting Vietnam for tourism purposes will have to factor in the new fees when planning their journey. Those who are travelling for business purposes may want to consider applying for a business visa specifically, if they intend on staying in Vietnam for longer than three months at a time.
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