Phu Quoc is the only island in Viet Nam to meet the four conditions of visa exemption for foreigners, according to the Law on Entry, exit, transit, and residence of foreigners.
From March 10, 2014, foreigners and Vietnamese holding foreign passports who enter, exit and reside in Phu Quoc island are exempted from visa for a temporary stay not exceeding 30 days under the new decision of the Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. The case of foreigners transiting at an international border gate of Vietnam, including air and sea, then forwarding to Phu Quoc is also exempted from the same visa. In addition, investors with investment projects in Phu Quoc enjoy the highest level of investment incentives and support according to the Government’s regulations on industrial parks, export processing zones and economic zones. This mechanism has been applied for 5 years but so far has not been legalized.
In the afternoon of November 27, at the press conference after the 8th session of the 14th National Assembly, answering the question about visa exemption for foreigners entering coastal economic zones, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Hong (Standing of National Defense Committee) said that in these areas only Phu Quoc island meets the four conditions prescribed.
According to Mr. Hong, before the National Assembly passed the Law on Entry, exit, transit, and residence of foreigners in Vietnam, Phu Quoc Island piloted visa exemption. “The results show that it still ensures national defense and security and attracts tourists and foreign investors,” Mr. Hong said.
Mr. Hong said that when inspecting this bill, the Committee received delegates’ opinions and proposed that the law should stipulate coastal economic zones if all four conditions are met to be exempted from visa for foreigners.
Conditions include: international airport, separate space; defined geographical boundaries, separated from the mainland; in accordance with socio-economic development policies; do not harm Vietnam’s defense, national security, social order and safety.
The examination agency from here has “carefully calculated the effects of visa exemption for foreigners entering the coastal economic zone on national defense and security”. The provisions of this law have thus overcome the inadequacies and shortcomings in the previous immigration policy.
On November 25, the National Assembly passed a law amending and supplementing a number of articles of the Law on Entry, Exit, Transit, and Residence of Foreigners in Vietnam with 404 delegates (84%). The new law, which took effect on July 1, 2020, adds 30 days’ visa exemption for foreigners to enter the coastal economic zone (currently there are 18 zones in the country, including two island districts, Phu Quoc and Van Don); assign the Government to decide which coastal economic zone is exempted from visa if the four conditions are met.