International travel agencies have the right to request that a competent state agency (the Vietnam Immigration Department, or VID) approve the entry, exit, or transit of tourists as stated in Article 13 of Decree No. 92/2007/ND-CP. This decree details the implementation of a number of the Articles of the Laws on Tourism, including regulations regarding the rights and obligations of international tourist agencies. International travel agencies, therefore, can legally request the VID’s assistance in approving visa Approval Letters for their tourist clients.
Article 13. Rights and obligations of international travel enterprises
1. An international travel enterprise has the following rights:
a) To enjoy business autonomy and take responsibility for tourism business activities;
b) To request a competent state agency to approve the entry, exit or transit of tourists;
c) To have their lawful tourism business activities protected by the State;
d) To participate in tourism promotion activities; join in professional associations;
e) Other rights provided for by law.
2. An international travel enterprise has the following obligations:
a) To set up, register and conduct its business in accordance with law;
b) To employ only tourist guides who possess international tourists guide’s cards to guide foreign tourists and observe regulations on the employment of laborers;
c) To notify the provincial-level state agency charge of tourism of the replacement of its travel business administrator within 30 days after such replacement;
d) To monitor and make full and accurate statistics on the number of tourists to whom it has provided tourism services;
e) To assure the conditions for, an interests of, tourists in accordance with the concluded agreements;
f) Other obligations prescribed by law.
For full English Translation Version, please see here: Decree No. 92/2007/ND-CP.
Vietnam visa exemption
Vietnam Visa exemption is granted to:
1. Citizens of Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Laos for visits of 30 days at the maximum.
2. Citizens of Philippines for visits of 21 days at the maximum.
3. Citizens of Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Russia and Finland for visits of 15 days at the maximum.
4. Citizens of Brunei for visits of 14 days at the maximum.
5. Citizens of France holding valid diplomatic or official passports for visits of 90 days at the maximum or several visits of 6 months at the maximum.
6. Citizens of Chile holding valid diplomatic or official passports for visits of 90 days at the maximum.
7. APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) Holders from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies for visits of 60 days at the maximum.
8. For those who travel to Phu Quoc Island – Vietnam : Foreigners and Vietnamese nationals bearing foreign passports who enter Vietnam through an international border gate and then travel to Phu Quoc Island and stay in Phu Quoc less than 15 days will also be granted Vietnam visa exemption. Passports must be valid for at least 45 days. After arriving in Phu Quoc Island, if visitors want to travel to other localities or stay in the island for more than 15 days, the immigration department will be responsible for issuing visas right on the spot.
National Ordinance No. 24/2000/PL-UBTVQH10
Related to entry, exit, and residence of foreigners in Vietnam, the Standing Committee of Vietnam National Assembly issued a National Ordinance No. 24/2000/PL-UBTVQH10 on 28 April, 2000. The ordinance includes 7 chapters and 26 articles stating specifically who is responsible for what in terms of Vietnam visa issuance, and who can get a visa to enter Vietnam and for how long.
Of the 26 articles, the following selected articles will help you understand how and why a travel agency can legally assist you in getting a visa Approval Letter.
- Vietnamese agencies and organizations, Vietnam – based foreign agencies and organizations as well as international organizations, Vietnamese citizens and foreigners lawfully residing in Vietnam may invite foreigners into Vietnam.
- Agencies, organizations and individuals that invite foreigners into Vietnam shall have to ensure the compliance with foreigners’ entry purposes, ensure financial matters and their cooperation with the State bodies to settle arising problems for foreigners.
- Agencies, organizations and individuals that invite foreigners into Vietnam shall send their written requests to the entry and exit management agency of the Ministry of Public Security or the consular office of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
- A written request shall be replied within no more than 5 working days after the receipt of the request.
- Foreigners applying for entry shall be granted visas at Vietnam’s international border gates in the following cases:
- They enter for funerals of their relatives, for visits to their seriously ill relatives;
- They depart from countries where Vietnamese diplomatic missions and/or consulates are not available;
- They enter for visits under programs organized by international tour enterprises of Vietnam;
- They enter to provide urgent technical support for programs, projects; to give first-aid to seriously ill persons, accident victims; to provide rescue for victims of natural disasters and epidemics in Vietnam;
- For other urgent reasons.
2. The exit and entry management agency of the Ministry of Public Security shall issue visas as prescribed in Clause 1 of this Article.
For the full version of the Ordinance, please download here: National Ordinance No. 24/2000/PL-UBTVQH10.
Vietnam Public Holidays in 2016
Here is a list of Vietnamese national public holidays in 2016. Kindly note that on these special days, the Vietnam Immigration Department closes, and no Vietnam visa Approval Letters are issued until the next normal business day (business days are Monday through Friday only and exclude Saturday and Sunday).
FRI JAN 01 New Year’s Day
SAT FEB 06 Tet Eve (Vietnamese New Year’s Eve)
SUN FEB 07 Tet Eve (Vietnamese New Year’s Eve)
MON FEB 08 Tet Nguyen Dan (Vietnamese New Year)
TUE FEB 09 Tet Holiday (Vietnamese New Year)
WED FEB 10 Tet Holiday (Vietnamese New Year)
THU FEB 11 Tet Holiday (Vietnamese New Year)
FRI FEB 12 Tet Holiday (Vietnamese New Year)
SAT APR 16 Hung Kings Temple Festival
SUN APR 17 Hung Kings Temple Festival Holiday
SAT APR 30 Reunification Day (Marks the fall of Saigon in 1975)
SUN MAY 01 International Labor Day
MON MAY 02 Reunification Day Holiday (Marks the fall of Saigon in 1975)
TUE MAY 03 International Labor Day Holiday
FRI SEP 02 National Day (Marks Vietnam’s declaration of independence in 1945)