HCMC welcomes first tourist on e-visa

Officials from the Immigration Department, the Tourism Department in Ho Chi Minh City and related agencies yesterday held a ceremony at  Tan Son Nhat International Airport to welcome  the first visitor to arrive in Vietnam granted an electronic visa.

Richard Kenneth Wilson (C), a British national, is the first tourist on e-visa to HCMC (Photo: SGGP)

Richard Kenneth Wilson who is the British national applied online for e-visa. Tourist agents said that the implementation of e-visa is expected to facilitate paperwork; accordingly it will attract more holiday-makers to Vietnam.

Richard Kenneth Wilson said he applied for e-visa to enter Vietnam from February 3 to March 5. His e-visa was granted on February 1 when the country launched for the first time the new system of e-visa approval which allows visitors from 40 countries to apply online for 30-day tourist visas.

“I am very happy being the first tourist to come Vietnam by e-visa”, Richard said. He added that he surprised when he was warmly welcomed as this is the first time he arrived in Vietnam, surely he will return the country with his family for sight seeing tours.

Director of the municipal Department of Tourism Bui Ta Hoang Vu said that the pilot program of e-visa issuance for residents in 40 countries was officially launched in February, 2017. Applications are to be processed by the immigration authority within three working days, applicants can access and print their e-visa using an ID provided by the website during the submission process.

Applicants just make online payment of US$25. Vietnam’s immigration authority can directly issue visas via the system to visitors from foreign countries without a representative office in that country, making it easier and cheaper for tourists to visit Vietnam.

The city Department of Tourism said that there has been an increase in number of holiday-makers to Vietnam during Tet holidays ( the Lunar New Year) with 253,000 visitors. It is a happy sign of the city’s tourism sector.

E-visas will be accepted at all of international airports in Vietnam, including the major hubs of Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Da Nang, Can Tho City, and Phu Quoc Island.

Visitors from the following 40 countries can apply for Vietnam’s e-visas during the course of the pilot program: Azerbaijan, Argentina, Armenia, Ireland, Poland, Belarus, Bulgaria, Brunei, South Korea, Germany, Chile, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Cuba, Denmark, Timor Leste, the United States, Hungary, Greece, Italy, Kazakhstan, Russia, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Myanmar, Mongolia, Japan, Panama, Peru, Finland, France, the Philippines, Romania, Spain, Sweden, China (not applicable for Chinese e-passport holders), Uruguay, Venezuela, Norway, and Slovakia.
Applications for Vietnam’s electronic visas (e-visas) can be submitted online via government domains https://www.immigration.gov.vn/ (English) or https://xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/ (Vietnamese)

By Thi Hong - translated by Uyen Phuong

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