What is the change? Vietnam has approved an e-visa system for nationals of certain countries applying for business and tourist visas beginning in early 2017.

What does the change mean? The e-visa system will allow certain foreign nationals to fill out an online visa application and obtain their visas upon entry.

  • Implementation time frame: Early 2017.
  • Visas/permits affected: Visitor visas.
  • Who is affected: Business and tourist travelers to Vietnam.The list of nationals eligible for e-visas has not been released, but is expected to include countries with the highest tourist traffic to Vietnam.
  • Impact on processing times: When implemented, the online applications process should make itmore straightforward to obtain visitor visas.
  • Business impact: The system will ease business travel by allowing visa applicants to avoid having to go through the Vietnamese embassy or a travel agency in Vietnam to apply for visa preapproval letters. The policy is aimed at increasing the number of visitors from key countries to Vietnam.

BAL Analysis: The e-visa system is not expected to take effect until next year. Currently, the e-visa system allows applicants to enter their information and upload a photo, but does not allow online submission of the form. At this time, applicants must still print the form and submit it manually at a Vietnamese embassy or through a travel agency in Vietnam, whereafter the immigration department issues a preapproval letter; a visa stamp by the Vietnamese embassy or upon arrival is still required.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Vietnam. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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