Vietnam Allows Visa-free Travel for 5 EU Countries
Travelers from UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain will be entitled to an additional year of visa free entry into Vietnam, according to the Vietnamese Government. The visa exemption program will be valid from July 1, 2017 till June 30, 2018. So, if you are from one of the 5 countries, a visit to Vietnam during this period will save you the hassle of visa run.
The visa free policy for the 5 EU countries was first announced by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on 18 June, 2015. Under the visa waive program, travelers from these 5 countries can travel visa-free to Vietnam for stays within 15 days (valid passport and round trip tickets are required to present at immigration). However, if the stay is longer than 15 days, visa is required as normal. Meanwhile, if they wish to re-enter Vietnam under visa waive program again, the second visit must be at least 30 days later after the prior visit. Otherwise, visa will be required for the second visit.
Travelers are recommended to hike into rice terraces of Sapa and meet with local minority people.
Vietnam currently also allows visa-free entry for tourists from Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Belarus, Russia, ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member countries, Japan and South Korea (more information can be found under Vietnam visa page). By comparison, its neighbor Thailand offers longer stays without visa for tourists from dozens of countries, including America, Australia, New Zealand and most countries of Europe. Perhaps that is why the country was lagging behind its neighboring countries such as Thailand in attracting tourists. The exemption of visa requirement for these countries may help change that situation and benefit travelers as well.
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