Hanoi, Mar 28 (IANS): Vietnam's cabinet has approved granting electronic visas of up to three months for long-stay tourists as the government prepares to relax travel regulations to help support a key driver of the economic growth, local media reported on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh said there was a general consensus among cabinet members on issuing electronic visas, valid for single-entry or multiple entries, to "citizens from all countries and territories" who would be able to stay in Vietnam for a maximum of three months from the current 30 days, Xinhua news agency quoted local newspaper Vietnam News as saying.
The government also approved extending the visa-free length of stay to 45 days from 15 days for citizens from countries that it has unilaterally waived visa requirements.
Vietnam already waives visa requirements for tourists from 25 countries and also grants a one-month single-entry e-visa to visitors from 80 countries and regions.
The proposal will be submitted for Parliament's review and approval at the next meeting session scheduled in May.
The relaxed policies aim to attract both foreign tourists and international investors, creating a driving force to stimulate economic recovery and growth.
Despite being one of the first Southeast Asian countries to fully reopen its doors to foreign visitors, Vietnam received only 3.66 million arrivals last year, around 20 per cent of the pre-pandemic levels.
Vietnam targets to receive 8 million foreign arrivals, earning $27.3 billion in revenue this year, up 31 per cent from last year.