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Vietnam Launches Electronic Visa Program for 40 Nationalities

Starting this February, citizens from select countries will be able to apply for their Vietnam visas via an online portal.

According to VnExpress, just ahead of Tet, the Vietnamese government released a directive detailing an e-visa pilot program that would take effect on February 1. The two-year program states that citizens from 40 countries are eligible for electronic visa applications, including Japan, Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States. A complete list of nationalities can be found here.

During a press conference held on January 25, immigration officials announced that the new single-entry e-visa will be valid for 30 days, reports Thanh Nien. However, the department also added that Chinese citizens holding electronic passports – which has a map depicting China’s claim on disputed islands in the East Sea – are not eligible for the pilot program.

Lao Dong reports that the fee for the online application is US$25 per person. Within three days of submission, visitors will be informed of the outcome of their application. Successful applicants will present a printed version of the approved visa upon arrival.

While this is without a doubt very good news for hopeful tourists from the listed nations, it appears that not many have been able to access the program: both electronic visa official homepages – here and here – are inaccessible as of press time.

According to VnExpress, visitors could try their luck at an alternative link instead.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc announced plans for the e-visa program last August and Vietnam’s parliament officially approved the proposal last November. The directive came into effect just weeks after the Politburo revealed future goals to reach US$35 billion in tourism revenue by 2020.

[Photo via Flickr user dcgreer]

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