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Vietnam to exempt visa for foreigners landing in coastal economic zones

November 28, 2019
Van Don airport

Van Don airport

The parliament Monday allowed the government to grant visa exemption of up to 30 days to foreigners entering coastal economic zones.

The National Assembly passed amendments to the Law on Entry, Exit, Transit and Residence of Foreigners in Vietnam by a majority of 83.64 percent, with 404 deputies voting in favor.

This will allow a 30-day visa exemption to foreigners entering some of Vietnam’s 18 coastal economic zones including Phu Quoc and Van Don island districts. The government will decide which coastal economic zones are eligible for the visa exemption.

The zones need to have an international airport, defined geographical boundaries and be separate from the mainland. They should be areas in line with socioeconomic development policies while posing no threat to national defense, security, social order and safety.

The amended law will take effect on July 1, 2020.

In discussions on the amendments, some deputies stressed the need for strictly regulating and adding conditions on entry to coastal economic zones to ensure that national defense and security are not affected.

Some expressed concern that given Vietnam’s long coastline, it would be difficult to manage and ensure security and order, while others felt no visa exemption should be granted to foreigners entering coastal economic zones.

However, the National Assembly Standing Committee stated that the imposition of four above-mentioned criteria for visa exemption for foreigners entering the coastal economic zones would guarantee security.

Vietnam currently provides 30-day visa exemption to tourists visiting Phu Quoc, the country’s largest island in the southern region.