The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said it will work with relevant agencies in an attempt to relax visa policies, following complaints about visa woes that have driven foreigners, including experts, away from Vietnam.
The ministry added that it is handling complaints lodged by local people and enterprises at home and overseas in order to study and propose appropriate revisions to the country’s immigration policies, Doan Khac Viet, deputy spokesperson of the ministry told a regular press briefing on Thursday.
Responding to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper’s inquiry regarding obstacles facing foreign experts when they apply for a visa to enter Vietnam, Viet said the ministry is actively working with other countries to streamline immigration procedures.
He also cited the law on foreigners’ entry into, exit from, transit through, and residence in Vietnam as saying that when foreigners seek to enter Vietnam to work with enterprises and projects in the country, they must get their visa applications processed by the Vietnam Immigration Department under the Ministry of Public Security.
The Vietnam Immigration Department is in charge of determining the types and duration of visas, he explained.
The Southeast Asian nation reopened its doors to international visitors on March 15 this year after coronavirus outbreaks were brought under control.
However, its stringent visa policies have hindered foreign business people and experts from visiting Vietnam.
Earlier, the country’s regulations linked to the issuance of investment visas were more relaxed and considered one of the top factors that attracted foreign investors to Vietnam.
But the current visa regulations are more stringent.
Accordingly, investors must have contributed capital of less than VND3 billion (US$127,549) to be eligible for visas valid for a maximum of one year, while those with contributed capital of over VND3 billion can get a visa of three years or shorter.
Such prevailing visa policy is a major hindrance to the entry of foreign investors into the country.
A Lebanese entrepreneur runs a business in Vietnam with around seven employees but got his visa applications rejected.
Another one had to take a detour by buying a seven-day package tour so as to enter Vietnam and thereby incurred higher costs than normal.