Due to the increasing number of coronavirus cases, Vietnam has decided to close its doors to foreign visitors. These include Norwegian citizens who are entitled to visa-free entry into the country. They were among those foreign nationals who were part of the visa waiver program of Vietnam. Under this program, citizens of more than 20 different countries can enter visa-free.
After Vietnam’s relentless battle to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease, the country is now trying to go back to normal. And in order to rebuild its thriving tourism economy, the country is once again inviting foreign visitors to visit its famous tourist attractions. If you’re a citizen of Norway and you’re thinking of visiting Vietnam, now is the perfect time to come.
The Vietnam Visa Waiver Program
In 2019, more than 28,000 Norwegian citizens came to Vietnam for a visit. This was an increase of 2,000 from the previous year. Such an increase can be attributed to the fact that Norwegians can enter Vietnam visa-free.
Under the visa waiver policy, Norwegian citizens are not required to present a visa upon entry into the country. All they need to show is their Norwegian passport. However, your stay in Vietnam must not exceed 15 days. In fact, the Immigration Officer might also ask you for a proof of onward journey. This can come in the form of a plane ticket showing your date of exiting the country. Your exit date must be within the 15-day period. If you plan on staying longer, then you must apply for a visa.
The Visa Waiver Program was part of the government’s efforts of inviting foreign visitors to boost its tourism industry. Aside from Norwegians, there are several other nationalities that were given visa-free entry privileges.
Temporary Suspension of Visa-free Entry Due to Covid 19
Vietnam has so far been successful in bringing in foreign visitors into the country. As a matter of fact, the country has recorded more than 18 million foreign visits last year. This was a significant increase compared to 2015 when the Visa Waiver Program was first implemented. Unfortunately, due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the government has to temporarily close its doors to foreign visitors. The suspension also applies to visa-free entry privileges.
But then again, the visa suspension was only temporary. Vietnam was able to control the spread of the virus and is now slowly rebuilding its economy, which was badly hit by the Covid 19 pandemic. In line with this, they are now opening its doors to all foreign visitors including visa-free entry to Norwegian nationals.
Vietnam Visa-free Entry Requirements for Citizens of Norway
Although Norwegians are not required to present a visa, they must be able to present certain documents in order to be allowed entry into the country. Here are the required documents that Norwegians must show upon arrival in Vietnam.
- Valid passport – it’s a common knowledge that a passport is required for every time you enter a new country. So before you fly to Vietnam, make sure you have your Norwegian passport with you. Your passport must have a validity of at least 6 months from your date of entry.
- Proof of onward travel – as mentioned, you’re only allowed to stay in Vietnam for 15 days under the visa waiver program. Therefore, you need to show proof of onward travel, such as a plane ticket showing your departure date.
Applying for a Vietnam Visa for Citizens of Norway
For those who need to be in Vietnam for more than 15 days, then you must apply for a visa ahead. It should be easy to apply for a visa to Vietnam. In fact, Norwegian citizens can choose between the e-visa and the visa on arrival. The e-visa will let you stay in Vietnam for up to 30 days. As for the visa on arrival, you can choose from a single entry and double entry visa, with a maximum stay of 60 days.
If you want the e-visa, you just need to go online and fill out a visa application form. Once your visa is approved, they will send you an email for a copy of the visa. You just print this and this is what you’re going to present at the Vietnam Immigration. This is very convenient since you don’t have to visit an embassy just to claim your visa.
As for the visa on arrival, you must apply for it in advance. However, the visa will be claimed at the airport when you arrive. When you apply for this visa online, they will send you a pre-approval letter and this is what you’re going to present at the visa counter in order to get your visa sticker.