Major General Le Xuan Vien, head of the Immigration Management Department, speaks at the press conference to review the nine-month pilot e-visa scheme. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The number of e-visa issues for foreigners entering Vietnam has seen dramatic growth month on month, said Major General Le Xuan Vien, head of the Immigration Management Department in a press conference on December 12.

The press conference, held by the department, reviewed Vietnam’s nine-month pilot e-visa scheme and announced six more nations whose citizens are eligible to the scheme.

Since February 1, the National Web Portal on Immigration has reported about one million visits; and approximately 96,500 foreign citizens were granted e-visas, 97 percent of whom got their e-visas through the portal, Vien unveiled.

The country’s new e-visa scheme has been well-received by both people at home and overseas after nine months of implementation, and particularly attracted greater attention from citizens from the US and European countries, he noted.

The immigration official added that Vietnam provides both e-visa and visa-upon-arrival services.

Following the success of the scheme, the government has decided to expand it to visitors from six more countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UAE, India and the Netherlands. Australians are the seventh biggest group of foreign arrivals and among the top spenders.

Vietnam began allowing tourists from 40 countries to apply for e-visas last February, with China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the US, the UK, Germany and Sweden — all major target markets for its tourism sector, among the 40.

Visitors can apply online for a 30-day, single-entry visa by paying a non-refundable application fee. It will take applicants three working days to find out if their visa applications have been approved.

Visitors with e-visas can enter through eight international airports, 13 international border gates on land or seven ports. - VNA