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Singapore (Kind Of) Explains Why It’s Been Turning Away Vietnamese

Singapore has been barring entry of Vietnamese travelers, especially women, in recent weeks without explanation. Following questions from their Vietnamese counterparts, the city-state's immigration authority has sought to clarify the situation, albeit in fairly ambiguous terms.

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The Singaporean immigration authority (ICA), responding to a request from the Vietnamese embassy, confirmed that it was getting stricter about Vietnamese visitors, “after many of them were found violating local laws when entering the country and during their stay there,” according to Thanh Nien.

The ICA cited examples of Vietnamese women using different passports when entering the country and instances where they were unable to explain why they wanted to enter Singapore due to poor English comprehension. The authority added that it has similar policies in place for people arriving from Thailand and some other ASEAN countries.

Embassy official, Nguyen Cong Huan, said that he will work with Singaporean authorities to create "appropriate measures" and clearer definitions of which cases should be categorized suspicious and ineligible for entry.

Such clarifications are needed to spare airlines from footing the massive bills incurred when passengers are denied entry. One airline told the paper that it shells out US$32,900-36,500 per month on fees, surcharges and return flights for Vietnamese passengers forced to return to Vietnam.

[Photo via Contact Singapore]

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