A customs official conducts immigration procedures for a foreigner at Tan Son Nhat airport in HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo
Government also revealed a list of border gates and airports that will accept electronic entry.
Eighty countries that will benefit include Austria, Poland, Portugal, UAE, Germany, India, the Republic of Korea, Japan, US, Italy, Poland, France, China, Russia and the UK.
Eight airports that will accept e-visas are Noi Bai, Tan Son Nhat, Cam Ranh, Da Nang, Cat Bi, Can Tho, Phu Quoc and Phu Bai.
Sixteen road border gates listed in the new decision include Moong Cai in Quaang Ninh Province, Huu Nghi in Lang Son Province, Lao Cai, Nam Can in Nghêe An Province, Cau Treo in Haa Tinh Province, La Lay, Lao Bao in Quang Tri Province and Ha Tien in Kien Giang Province.
Thirteen sea border gates in the list are Hon Gai, Cam Pha in Quang Ninh Province, Hai Phong in Hai Phong City, Nghi Son in Thanh Hoa Province, Vung Ang in Ha Tinh Province, Chan May in Thua Thien-Hue Province, Dung Quat in Quang Ngai Province, HCM City sea border gate, among others.
Vietnam started a two-year e-visa pilot program for foreigners from 40 countries on February 1, 2017.
The pilot scheme did not require foreigners to be sponsored or invited by organizations or individuals in Vietnam to be applicable for the e-visas, as long as they have valid passports and are citizens of one of the 40 listed countries.
Foreigners are not required to be present at representative agencies of Vietnam in their countries, get interviewed or scan their fingers to apply for e-visas.
They can go directly to the website https://immigration.gov.vn and apply for e-visas themselves.
Applications are processed within three working days. Each applicant will be provided with a digital code, with which they can check the application progress and print their e-visas once they have been issued.
They can also present the codes at border gates and airports for scanning of their e-visas.
The e-visas are valid for 30 days. Each applicant must pay a non-refundable application fee of US$25 via bank transfer.
In a related move, due to COVID-19 pandemic, foreigners entering the country under visa waiver programs, e-visas or tourism visas after March 1 will be automatically given stay permit extension until June 30 free of charge, according to the Immigration Department.
"The policy of automatic extension of stay permit applies to foreigners entering Vietnam under visa waiver programs, e-visa or tourism visas after March 01, regardless of how long they have been in Vietnam before,” said Senior Colonel Dang Tuan Viet from the Immigration Department.
"After June 30, if the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic does not improve or the transportation and healthcare policies of other countries do not change, we will continue to propose to extend the policy implementation.
"If they can prove by official documents that they are stuck here due to reasons like sickness, pandemic, visiting relatives or wedding, we will still apply this policy for them,” he told Vietnam News.
If for other reasons, the Ministry of Public Security has instructed foreign diplomatic missions here to sponsor them to be granted a stay permit extension, he said.