I read through a couple of strings about visa for Vietnam; however, I just want to make sure of a couple of things.
Does the visa run out from the date you apply for it or can you request a start date?
Can a visa be issued in the same day ~ getting there in the morning, going back in the late afternoon?
Is there a map/easy directions to get to the Embassy in Bangkok on the site?
Is the service reliable in the sense the visa is ready when they say or is it often ready later?
#1 karyn has been a member since 10/6/2006. Posts: 30
The best place to go for this info is to the horse's mouth at the Vietnamese embassy in Bangkok. You'll see on their site there are the opening hours, and you can even download an application form -- wouldn;t it be great if you could download the visa!
It is my understanding that the visa starts to run out from the day it is issued -- so it is a good idea to get it as close to your intended arrival date as possible.
Re same day service, best to check with the embassy -- just give them a call.
I've always found them to be on time -- when they say it will be ready, it always has been.
Hope that helps!
Are you sure about that -- or perhaps have the regulations changed?
My last visa to Vietnam was February this year (category C1) -- visa issued on 09/02/06 in Phnom Penh, I entered via Hanoi (Noi Bai) on the 15/02/06 and was allowed to remain in Vietnam until 11/03/06 -- 30 days from when the visa was issued -- not 30 days from the day I entered.
I know the regulations often change forwards & backwards, and I also know PP is not the best place to issue Vietnam visas, but I'm positive I've seen many examples with visa windows. Looking forward for backpackers experiences at the moment.
#5 ReneHanoi has been a member since 3/7/2006. Posts: 54
The biggest hassle are the immigration guys, particularly the ones who can't read too well.
In theory the entry and exit dates are the window and must not exceed 90 days for a 30 day visa.
The 30 day period is **supposed** to start sticking on the day you enter.
Note that the glorious high-security visa is not what counts - it's the stamp and the writing in your passport that counts so **verify** the writing with the immigration guy before you leave his desk.
Ground crossings are notorious for scams, now that VN consuls require your passport to be in their possession when issuing visas it has stopped one scam.
If there are problems you can easily get your visa modified or endorsed for multiple entry or extended stay for around USD$25 through any travel agent in HCMC, Da Nang or Ha Noi. Do not go to the Internal Police yourself - they don't want to see you as they have a hard time collecting 'tips'.
#6 DakLak has been a member since 28/8/2006. Posts: 57
For my most recent trip, I obtained my Vietnam visa in the UK as I didn't have the time to pick one up whilst in Bangkok. I was able to apply up to 6 months in advance - I actually applied 2 months in advance, and was able to specify the start date for the visa. When I entered Vietnam, I was given 30 days from this start date.
My previous trip, I obtained my visa in Phnom Penh and was also able to state a start date, and again was given 30 days from this and not the date the visa was issued.
I've not come across a visa window for Vietnam though - I had to state a start date and was given 30 days from this, and if I entered the country later than this date I had 30 days minus however many days after the start date I'd entered. I did get visa windows for Cambodia and Laos.
I would go with the advice though about getting your visa as late as possible simply so you can specify your start date as accurately as possible and not miss out on valuable days in a great country.
I'm flying into Hanoi to start my trip. Can I get my visa at the airport in Hanoi? Is that recommended?
#8 jcrowder has been a member since 30/6/2006. Posts: 4
You can only get your visa at the airport if you have pre-arranged to do that with a Vietnamese travel agent. The vast bulk of people arrange their visas beforehand.
FYI: I obtained my Vietnamese Visa while in Phnom Penh on a 7 week trip via SE Asia. My husband obtained his via the London Embassy (we are Irish and there isnt a Vietnamese Embassy in Ireland - we have to work via London and as I was travelling so much in advance I didnt have a week in which I could do without my passport in order to get the visa via London).
We arrived 2 days ago at HCMC and he was given a 30 day Visa; I was given just 15 days - they stated it was because mine was issued in Cambodia!! (which means I have to try and get it extended in Hoi An as it runs out 4 days before I leave Vietnam).
#10 IslandfielderTrish has been a member since 25/12/2006. Posts: 2
I'm just trying to apply for a Vietnam Visa here in the UK i've printed the form , but I need to know how much to enclose and the office is closed for the day, anyone know the current cost of a 30day visa bought direct from the embassy in London??
#11 bruceygreenbeans has been a member since 27/2/2007. Posts: 5
As of August last year, the cost was £43 including return by special delivery. £38 if you are picking the visa up yourself. The visa takes 5 days to process and you have to pay by postal order or bankers draft, not cheque...
Hope this helps.
Thanks mate, just sent it. Hope I get it back with 2 weeks!
#13 bruceygreenbeans has been a member since 27/2/2007. Posts: 5
Thanks mate, just sent it. Hope I get it back with 2 weeks!
#14 bruceygreenbeans has been a member since 27/2/2007. Posts: 5
Hi everyone, I'm trying to figure out how much of a pickle I am in. I made a mistake on my Visa application and indicated that I arrive on Apr 28 when in reality it's Apr 27 that my flight is arriving. The visa office is closed now here in Beijing for the holiday and I won't have enough time to have it adjusted/reissued before I leave. To make matters worse, there aren't any other seats on VA for the next 6 days.
I arrive in HCMC in the late afternoon, anyone know if they're going to give me a very hard time about entering a day before my Visa is in effect?
#15 tkim3 has been a member since 25/4/2007. Posts: 2
Unfortunately, I think you are in deep pickle, sorry...
I know immigration aren't concerned if you enter after the date indicated, they just shorten the length of stay appropriately.
However, as far as I'm aware they are very strict over entering before your visa is valid. I don't know for sure, but if they check your visa when you go for your flight, they may not allow you to board the plane with an invalid visa as they know immigration will refuse entry and the airline can get fined for such things.
You may be able to get an express visa in 1-2 days... but otherwise, I don't know what to suggest except going on standby for a later flight.
The Vietnam Immigration Department are quite strict - i once got woken in the early hours of the morning at a guesthouse in lao bao (border with laos) by the vietnamese immigration police doing random spot checks on everyones visa length and validity... they sort of kicked my brother awake and he was about to really loose it until he looked up and noticed the uniform!
thanks for the info Mark. I have gotten a wide variety of feedback from different travel agencies. Everything from "good luck" to shouldn't be a problem. In the end, I'm having a new visa reissued for arrival.
#17 tkim3 has been a member since 25/4/2007. Posts: 2
I'm off to SEAsia for a 6 week holiday, landing in Ho Chi Mihn on 26-Feb'08, then leaving Vietnam (Hanoi to Lubang Prabang) on 18-Mar, then re-entering Vietnam (Siem Reap to Ho Chi Mihn) on 6-Apr to fly back to Australia.
Questions - 1. Will this be classed as a multi-entry Visa; 2. Will I need a 3 month tourist Visa; 3. Do I apply for this Visa before leaving Australia; 4. Any other advice with regards this Visa requirement will be apprecited.
Many thanks for your responses...
#18 ozscott has been a member since 21/1/2007. Posts: 18
Hi fellow globetrotters
I'm in Siem Reap. Will be arriving in Phnom Penh soon. Can anyone tell me what it takes to obtain a Vietnamese visa there. Do I need to visit the Vietnamese embassy or can my guest house or travel agency handle it? What are the reputable travel agencies that handle this kind of job?
#19 aegbi has been a member since 21/10/2007. Posts: 1
Does anyone have a good/safe suggestion on a travel agency in HCMC that can deliver a pre multiple entry visa to Vietnam with minimum charge? I have asked some and they give me different prices...
Thanks for your help
#20 natsimoes has been a member since 5/6/2007. Posts: 2
I have just travelled from laos to Vietnam and I had the same worries as you. I found that definitely the easiest and cheapest way to do it was to take a visit to the Vietnamese embassy in pakse. They did it on the spot for 40$( which I believe is the cheapest in laos) and they allow you to set the start date meaning that you won't eat into valuable time in Vietnam.
The only problem with this embassy is the fact that no tuk-tuk driver in town knew where it was, but just go to the Champasak Palace hotel and walk 5mins from there.
#21 roddycun has been a member since 1/5/2010. Posts: 2