Hi fellow travellers,
I just received my visa a couple of days ago, and was pleasantly surprised because apparently I was told the Embassy in Canada was on holiday for the week.
In anycase, the local travel agent (here in Canada) that helped me arrange my visa, expressed concern over my photo on the visa being black and white. Even though I submitted a colour one, it came back b/w. She's a specialist in Vietnam travel so I assume she knows what she's talking about when she says the photos are usually in colour.
Now seeing as how the Embassy website asks for a passport sized photo in either colour or b/w, I am assuming that b/w is ok.
Anyone out there with a b/w photo on their visa? As well, the travel agent said that the visa, which she said should not be stapled into my passport, is supposed to be surrended when I exit the country. Is this true too?
#1 FlashWanderer has been a member since 16/2/2010. Posts: 8
I don't have a photo on my visa, though I had to hand one in. I get a stamp stuck in my passport, which stays there. Maybe the rules for Canada are different.
#2 violets has been a member since 6/7/2009. Posts: 151
Yeah I'm from the States, have gotten visas for Vietnam twice and never had a photo on the actual passport (always have had to give a color photo with the application). In fact I've never had a photo put on the actual visa of any country I've ever traveled to. I've also never had a visa stapled into my passport - immigration card yes - which they do take when you leave, but usually the visas are always like a sticker. To take it out you'd have to cut out the whole page. Maybe things are different in Canada, but if you received the visa directly from the Vietnam consulate I would think it is perfectly valid.
I had visa (not for Vietnam, some other country) stapled to my passport before. It is still in my passport.
I don't think they will collect the visa from you when you exit. But removing the staple to retrieve the visa sounds way better than having to cut out a page.
#5 wombatfuz has been a member since 30/12/2009. Posts: 38
sure its not a "Visa on arrival" u have rather than an actual visa ? As the others have said the visa is usually stuck to the page and don't have photos...
#6 nzlup has been a member since 1/2/2010. Posts: 22
Thanks all for your replies!
I contacted the Vietnam Embassy in Canada today and actually got a response from them the same day-impressive. They said the b/w photo was okay and "don't worry." I do hope that this is an actual visa, not a 'visa on arrival.' I too have never had a visa that was not stuck on the passport, and never had one with a pic.
My visa was done within 5 business days, and 4 of those business days, the Embassy was closed for Tet. So I was surprised, but very happy to get it back so soon.
A few days before Tet, I asked around in a panic and this is what I found out, for anyone who may have similar queries:
- I was told by one travel agent that since the Embassy would not be open again until Feb. 22, that there was a possibility I wouldn't have it in time before I left, even if I paid for a rush, $170CAD.
- If I tried to do it myself through the Embassy, I'm not sure exactly how much it would have been because the prices were not on their website and I didn't ask. But the Embassy did confirm that they'd be closed for a week.
- a private 'visa processing' company quoted me $250CAD, for a rush, and still no guarantee I'd get it back in time.
* And finally I went to one of the many local Vietnam travel agencies here in town (one of the many benefits of living in a multi-cultural city) and they pretty much assured me I'd have it in time, even though I kept going on and on about the Embassy being closed, etc. Since they must help arrange alot of these visas, they must know what they're doing. Connections in the Embassy perhaps? I felt somewhat confident that it would be ok. I figured that since they are a Canadian company, if there was some sort of scam involved, then I'd have more recourse because it is a Canadian company. I did not have to hand over my passport. They just scanned it. And I actually didn't even need to provide my own passport photo. They offered to take a photo for free. But since I paid for mine, I insisted on using it. And.....drumroll please...it cost me a total of $75!
Oh and I should mention that I had also looked into Approval Letters during my panic stage. With all the horror stories about travel related scams in Vietnam, I was very wary. I contacted both the Canadian Embassy and Consulate in Vietnam, and the Vietnam Embassy in Canada and all 3 suggested I go the traditional visa route. One said these letters were "unreliable at best" and very risky. Now to be fair and with all due respect to all those honest agencies, I think the idea of the Approval Letter is very good and efficient, but just risky, for me. I did hear of some success stories, but I am very happy I went the route I did.
#7 FlashWanderer has been a member since 16/2/2010. Posts: 8
I think it is better to do visa on arrival. It is more simple. It takes only 3 - 4 working day. And the total must be paid is 50us$(25$ for stamp fee and 25$ for travel agency. You just provide your personal information, then having one document in hand to show at the airport and get actual visa
#8 travel2vietnam2010 has been a member since 24/2/2010. Posts: 8