RoK Ambassador to Vietnam Kim Do Hyon (Source: thanhnien.vn)
Permanent residents of Vietnam’s three biggest cities of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang will be eligible for C-3 visas from early December next year.
C-3 visa holders can stay in the RoK for up to 30 days, with no restriction on the number of visits for five years.
Kim was quoted by Sai Gon Giai phong (Liberated Saigon) daily as saying that through the new policy, the RoK wishes to step up business cooperation and people-to-people exchange with Vietnam.
The RoK also hopes to bolster economic ties with the Southeast Asian nation and attract more Vietnamese to the country for tourism and medical treatment, thus helping tightening their friendship, the diplomat said.
RoK President Moon Jae-in said during his March visit to Vietnam that the country was the RoK’s most important partner in Southeast Asia and a key partner in its New Southern Policy, the diplomat noted.
According to the ambassador, to deal with queues of visa applicants in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, the RoK plans to open visa application centres and assign businesses to receive applications.
The RoK is scheduled to open its Consulate General in the central city of Da Nang to make it easier for citizens in the city and the central region to get visas, he said, adding that visa procedures will be very simple, requiring only interviews and document checks in cases with suspicious signs.
Regarding labour visas, Kim said although the policy is not applied to guest workers in the RoK, it is expected to create favourable conditions for the RoK government to renew labour visa policy.
In the future, the RoK will apply the five-year visa to Vietnamese residents in Hai Phong, Da Lat and Nha Trang cities, and, hopefully, Kim said, to all Vietnamese citizens.
Statistics show the number of Vietnamese arrivals to the RoK in the first 10 months of this year was 440,000, compared to 380,000 in 2017. Corresponding figures for RoK visitors to Vietnam were 2.6 million and 2.4 million, respectively.