An office of the RoK Embassy in Hanoi is crowded with applicants for visas in mid-April (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Republic of Korea (RoK) has decided to restrict five-year visas to only permanent Vietnamese residents, instead of both permanent and temporary residents, in Hanoi, Da Nang city and Ho Chi Minh City.

The Vietnam National Administration of Tourism said on July 8 that it had received the RoK Foreign Ministry’s notification of the change in the country’s granting of five-year visas for Vietnamese citizens in the three major cities.

The RoK side said since it began granting five-year visas for Vietnamese citizens, the RoK Embassy in the country has given more than 16,000 visas to Vietnamese nationals who have permanent and temporary residence in Hanoi, Da Nang and HCM City. At first, it had granted five-year visas to only those with permanent residence in the three cities.

However, there has been a growing number of Vietnamese with temporary residence in the cities taking advantage of this policy to reside illegally in the RoK. Therefore, the RoK has decided to resume the initial policy, which is granting five-year visas to only Vietnamese citizens with permanent residence in the abovementioned cities, according to the RoK ministry.

This policy change has been applied since June 10.

The numbers of tourists between the two countries have been on the rise over the past years. 

Data of the Korean Tourism Organisation show that in 2018, Vietnam welcomed more than 3.5 million Korean arrivals while the RoK attracted over 460,000 Vietnamese tourists. 

In the first five months of this year, more than 215,500 Vietnamese visited the RoK, and over 1.7 million Koreans came to Vietnam, up 32.3 percent and 22.4 percent year on year, respectively. -VNA