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[Updated] Vietnam Moves Closer to Joint Visas with Thailand, Cambodia, ASEAN

[Update Below] After years of discussion, Vietnamese, Thai and Cambodian foreign relations authorities are getting closer to a joint visa agreement.

Though Vietnam rejected a similar proposal in 2010, it seems like authorities have recognized that there are many benefits from a visa agreement with neighboring countries.

In addition to a joint visa with Thailand and Cambodia, Hoang Thi Diep, deputy head of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said that Southeast Asian countries are planning to have a common visa for the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc.

In May, Ho Chi Minh City authorities asked the tourism administration to push for a single visa for Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, and Vietnam which, combined, attracted 36.6 million visitors last year.

No information on when the new visa will go into effect.

[Thanh Nien

 

Update 13/9: At a meeting this Wednesday, the Vietnamese tourism minister and his counterparts from Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Myanmar convened at a meeting in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday to discuss a single-visa policy for the countries.

Cambodia and Thailand are already running a pilot program for single-visas, wherein a tourist obtaining a visa to enter Thailand is allowed to enter Cambodia, and vice versa.

Tourist safety was also high on the list according to Cambodian tourism minister Thong Kon:

“With Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos having already set up the tourism police forces, Vietnam will seek to exchange experience with them, while fortifying its tourism security policy,” he said.

Though there’s no hint as to when the program would take effect, with each passing day it seems increasingly likely that the visa program will become a reality.  

[Tuoi Tre]