Vietnamese nationals who were born or are a registered permanent resident in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City or Da Nang will be eligible for five-year multiple-entry visas to South Korea, starting December 3.
The news was announced on Monday by Jeong Woo-jin, Deputy Consul General of the Republic of Korea in Ho Chi Minh City, during a visit to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper’s headquarters in Phu Nhuan District.
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Vietnamese applicants who have proof, either through a birth certificate or residence book, that they are from one of the three major cities will enjoy the extended visa benefits, starting next week.
Visa holders will be allowed multiple entries into South Korea during the five-year validity period of their visa, with each stay lasting no longer than 30 days, Jeong said.
The new visa policy is an initiative from South Korea’s foreign ministry to make traveling to South Korea easier for residents in Vietnam’s most developed cities.
South Korea has plans to expand this visa policy to other Vietnamese cities and provinces in the future based on the results of its implementation in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang, the diplomat said.
In addition, all applicants from ASEAN member states, including Vietnam, who are professors, medical doctors, lawyers, or have earned a four-year undergraduate degree in South Korea or a graduate degree in a foreign country, will be eligible for ten-year multiple-entry visas to South Korea from December 3.
ASEAN, or the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, is a socio-economic and political bloc consisting of ten countries in Southeast Asia, which are Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam.
The new policy is the result of efforts from the Embassy and Consulate General of South Korea in Vietnam to improve the exchange of people between the two countries, the deputy consul general said.
In the first ten months of 2018, Vietnam welcomed over 2.6 million visitors from South Korea, more than the number of Korean visitors to India and any other ASEAN countries, he said.
Over 441,000 Vietnamese nationals visited South Korea in the same period.
Vietnam currently exempts visas for all South Korean nationals who intend to stay in the country for 15 days or less.