Automatic Stay For Stranded Foreigners in Vietnam Extended Until July 31

Foreigners who entered Vietnam on visa waivers, e-visas or tourist visas from March 1, 2020 are entitled to automatic stay extension until July 31, 2021.

Foreigners walking in the pedestrian zone around Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi. Photo: VNA

The Vietnam Immigration Department under the Ministry of Public Security has issued a notice for automatic stay extension for foreigners stranded in Vietnam due to Covid-19.

The notice reads: “Foreigners who entered Vietnam on visa waivers, e-visas or tourist visas from March 1st, 2020 are entitled to automatic stay extension until July 31, 2021 and can depart from the country without having to apply for stay extension.

“For those who entered Vietnam before March 1st, 2020, the same automatic stay extension until July 31th, 2021 can be considered, subject to provision of proof that the person was stranded in Viet Nam due to Covid-19, accompanied by a diplomatic Note (with Vietnamese translation) from relevant diplomatic missions, or a written document from relevant Vietnamese authorities confirming that the person was required to undergo mandatory quarantine or treatment for Covid-19, or advice of other force majeure. The person is required to present the diplomatic Note or written document on departure from Vietnam.

“During “automatic stay extension” period, foreigners are required to complete temporary residence and health status declaration.

Foreigners who are not subject to Paragraph 1 or violate Vietnamese laws will be treated according to applicable laws of Vietnam.”

Vietnam closed its borders and canceled all international flights in March last year. Only Vietnamese repatriates, foreign experts, diplomats, investors, and highly-skilled workers have been allowed in since with stringent quarantine requirements, VnExpress said.

Foreigners are at beach in Mui Ne, Binh Thuan Province, March 2020. Photo: VnExpress

The country has decided to shorten concentrated quarantine time for fully vaccinated entrants from 21 days to seven.

It's still not clear when the new quarantine period will be applied and if it will be limited to a number of destinations in Vietnam. But it is part of the country's plan to trial the use of vaccine passports that allow foreigners to travel to certain destinations that have managed the novel coronavirus pandemic well.

Travel firms said Europeans and North Americans vaccinated against Covid-19 are eagerly awaiting an opportunity to return to Vietnam, judging by enquiries for tour details.

Since May, inbound travel agencies still operating in Vietnam have been receiving frequent requests from their partners in European and North American markets for updates on tourism products and service prices as they prepare for international tourism to resume in the near future.

Travel companies in the UK have said their customers will "immediately return" to Vietnam when the Vietnamese government reopens its doors to foreign tourists.

Travel firms have reported particular interest among foreign tourists for boat tours in Nha Trang (Khanh Hoa province) and Lan Ha Bay on Cat Ba Island (Hai Phong), and for stays in resorts in places like Pu Luong (Thanh Hoa province) and Phu Quoc Island (Kien Giang province).

The Vietnamese government had said last April that it was considering allowing foreign visitors in with vaccine passports. However, the country is currently grappling with a new Covid-19 wave with new strains.

Taking samples for Covid-19 testing. Photo: VNA

The country logged 360 new Covid-19 infections, including 356 domestic and four imported cases, in the past six hours to 6pm on July 4, the Ministry of Health (MoH) announced.

Ho Chi Minh City, which is the country’s current largest pandemic hotspot, recorded most of the infections, with 169 cases.

The new infections brought the national tally to 19,933, including 18,075 domestic and 1,858 imported cases.

On July 4 alone, the number of Covid-19 cases amounted to 887, including 873 local and 14 imported infections. Most of the cases were detected in HCM City with 599 infections./.