The Ministry of Public Security of Vietnam is considering passing a regulation that would give visa exemption to foreigners visiting the beautiful island of Phu Quoc, in the Kien Giang province. This proposal will allow foreigners to stay visa-free for a period of 30 days.
This proposal from the Ministry of Public Security is a draft Law on foreign travelers’ entry and exit from, as well as transiting through and residing in Vietnam. The law, which is known as the Law No. 47, will soon be sent to the government for review before it’s passed on to the National Assembly for approval during the 8th session that would be taking place in October.
Phu Quoc as a Tourist Destination
Around 2013, when the number of foreign travelers visiting Vietnam has significantly increased, the Prime Minister at that time has issued several policies and mechanisms to further develop the island of Phu Quoc into a tourist destination. These include offering visa exemptions to foreigners who enter the island in a temporary stay of not more than 30 days.
It has since been five years when the rule was first applied. However, it has never been legalized and put into law. The ministry believes that this should be supplemented with the Law No 47 in order to provide a legal basis to continue to apply such a mechanism. Furthermore, the draft law has sought to amend the regulation that would compel the next entry date to be at least 30 days from the previous exit date to allow for a unilateral visa exemption.
Foreigners Working in Vietnam
The regulation was made in order to discourage foreigners who are exploiting the rule by working in Vietnam without the proper permit and are not complying with the rules set by the Labor Law. But some companies that are in the tourism sector have said that such rule has actually made it difficult for some foreign tourists to enter Vietnam through this one-sided visa waiving mechanism.
Another concern raised regarding the draft law is that some foreigners are abusing the rules and regulations that would grant them a visa and temporary residence up to a maximum of five years for those who can provide investment certificates that would show they have contributed capital to some companies in Vietnam.
Visas for Foreign Investors
There are a few foreigners who have contributed a small amount of money to micro-businesses in the country, such as food shops and barbershops. These foreigners can enjoy five-year visas. As a result, the ministry is thinking of issuing visas with terms of not more than 12 months to any foreign investors who provided small investment capital to some local businesses in the country.
In the meantime, investors who gave a much bigger investment capital can get a visa of 10 years or less. Furthermore, the draft law also stated that the visa exemption to those who are entering through the border gate economic zones would also be amended.
Why Visit Phu Quoc
Vietnam’s General Department of Tourism has revealed that there are more than 2.2 million visitors who came to Phu Quoc Island during the first half of 2019, which is up by 36% compared to the previous year. Of these, 400,000 are foreign tourists.
Phu Quoc is a pretty little island lying off the coast of Cambodia although the island itself belongs to Vietnam. It’s one of Southeast Asia’s lesser-known beach destinations, although it now attracts thousands of tourists from around the world who are intrigued by its captivating beauty.
There are many good reasons to visit Phu Quoc. For one, it’s home to several uninhabited islands, allowing you to have a truly relaxing vacation. One of the most remote islands in Phu Quoc is Hon Xuong, which can only be accessed by taking a boat. Of course, Phu Quoc is also home to several unspoilt beaches. Of these, Khem Beach is the most beautiful. Overlooking the Emerald Bay, its powdery white sands and crystal clear water make it truly worth a visit despite its remote location.
Another beautiful beach that’s worth a visit is the Rach Vem Beach, which you can find at the eastern end of the island and requires passing through a secret path in order to get to it. This beach is also called Starfish Beach because of the vast population of starfishes in the area.
The island of Phu Quoc enjoys an average temperature of 27°C all year round, with the hottest month being April. Thus, it offers comfortable year-round warmth for sun worshippers who wanted to escape the winter chill.
Indeed, there are lots of reasons why you should choose Phu Quoc for your next holiday destination. And now that Vietnam is considering a 30-day free visa to the island, you’ll have another good reason to live on this beautiful island longer.