Vietnam hikes visa fee for US citizens five-fold

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Vietnam-VisaFollowing the introduction of a new one-year multiple-entry visa to Vietnam for US citizens by August 29, visitors now will have to pay a $135 stamping fee upon arrival, more than five times than the $25 charged for the previous one-month single-entry visa and almost three times the previous three-month visa for $50 which both have been scrapped.

Adding to that, so-called approval letters which are needed to pick up the visa on arrival and can be arranged through various government-approved online service portals ahead of the journey, cost between $50 and $150 (depending on the service provider) on top of that.

This means, total visa costs for a US couple who wants to travel to Vietnam – even just for a few days – could reach up to $570.

Understandably, the Vietnamese tourist industry is not happy with the new sole visa option for US visitors.

Vu The Binh, vice chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association, told the Saigon Times that the change is already having an adverse effect on tourism.

“Many groups of visitors from the US to Vietnam are being hindered by the new regulation,” he was quoted saying, adding that “most tourists want a single visit for a short time. They do not need the new long-stay visa with much higher fee.”

Vietnam attracted nearly 500,000 US travelers last year, ten percent more than the previous year, and received about 386,000 US tourists during the first eight months of 2016, another 15 percent up from the same period last year, government statistics show.

However, most of them indeed stay for a relatively short holiday time and might be wondering why they would have to pay that much for a few days in Vietnam.

Many tourism firms also said they were not informed in advance about the new policy and have not received official documents about it.

The new visa is being granted under a recently arranged reciprocity arrangement, with the US presently issuing multiple-entry visas valid for up to one year to Vietnamese citizens. Under this programme, a tourist visa issued at a US embassy in Vietnam for a Vietnamese citizen costs $160, but there is no stamping fee upon arrival.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Following the introduction of a new one-year multiple-entry visa to Vietnam for US citizens by August 29, visitors now will have to pay a $135 stamping fee upon arrival, more than five times than the $25 charged for the previous one-month single-entry visa and almost three times the previous three-month visa for $50 which both have been scrapped.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Vietnam-VisaFollowing the introduction of a new one-year multiple-entry visa to Vietnam for US citizens by August 29, visitors now will have to pay a $135 stamping fee upon arrival, more than five times than the $25 charged for the previous one-month single-entry visa and almost three times the previous three-month visa for $50 which both have been scrapped.

Adding to that, so-called approval letters which are needed to pick up the visa on arrival and can be arranged through various government-approved online service portals ahead of the journey, cost between $50 and $150 (depending on the service provider) on top of that.

This means, total visa costs for a US couple who wants to travel to Vietnam – even just for a few days – could reach up to $570.

Understandably, the Vietnamese tourist industry is not happy with the new sole visa option for US visitors.

Vu The Binh, vice chairman of the Vietnam Tourism Association, told the Saigon Times that the change is already having an adverse effect on tourism.

“Many groups of visitors from the US to Vietnam are being hindered by the new regulation,” he was quoted saying, adding that “most tourists want a single visit for a short time. They do not need the new long-stay visa with much higher fee.”

Vietnam attracted nearly 500,000 US travelers last year, ten percent more than the previous year, and received about 386,000 US tourists during the first eight months of 2016, another 15 percent up from the same period last year, government statistics show.

However, most of them indeed stay for a relatively short holiday time and might be wondering why they would have to pay that much for a few days in Vietnam.

Many tourism firms also said they were not informed in advance about the new policy and have not received official documents about it.

The new visa is being granted under a recently arranged reciprocity arrangement, with the US presently issuing multiple-entry visas valid for up to one year to Vietnamese citizens. Under this programme, a tourist visa issued at a US embassy in Vietnam for a Vietnamese citizen costs $160, but there is no stamping fee upon arrival.

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