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Vietnam Consulate General in San Francisco

Posted by sic8vita8est on 17/6/2010 at 06:07

Hi, I know there are a lot of visa threads here already but I wasn't finding what I needed . . .

I guess my question is, what is the deal with the Consulate General in San Francisco? I was told thats where I needed to send for my Visa (I'm flying into Hanoi so I can't pick up the Visa in another country).

I sent away my application and passports to San Fran along with the fee listed on the Vietnam Embassy website. The website says it is $30 for 1 month/multiple entry.

Now they have contacted me and say it is $85 for 1 month(and thats only single entry!). They still haven't let me know what it is for 1 month/multiple entry, but I'm not looking forward to the answer.

I honestly am feeling like this is a scam. Does it cost more to be processed in San Francisco? What is going on??

#1 sic8vita8est has been a member since 8/6/2010. Posts: 7

Posted by daawgon on 17/6/2010 at 11:28

I know that it's fairly expensive when you use the consulate. If you can get that passport back, I would use VOA (Approval Letter) - you then get the actual visa at the airport in Vietnam. I've been there 3 times and I always do this. You can use this agency in Hanoi for the VOA:

charges with VOA: $15. for Approval Letter + $25. at Hanoi airport

this agency lets you pay for the letter in person at their office in Hanoi - cheapest way! You need new USD bills for the airport fee

#2 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,152
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Posted by marikazabina on 24/6/2010 at 13:13

i live in sf and went to the consulate in person to get my visa a few weeks ago. before going, i looked at the website, talked to someone on the phone, and everything/everyone said the fee was $85, which is what i paid. i didn't get the feeling it was a scam. mine is one month, single entry; i don't know about multiple entry costs.

best of luck.

#3 marikazabina has been a member since 24/6/2010. Posts: 2

Posted by BanhMi on 8/7/2010 at 13:57

Posted from within Vietnam.

I decided to play it safe and pay the big bucks to get a real visa in my passport before I left, even though when I called the consulate in sf they gave me the best evidence I could ask for about the validity of VOA by insisting "No work, no work, you buy here!"
Unfortunately the 3 month multiple entry visa they issued me had a clerical error on it, so I ended up at the VOA desk anyway where they cancelled it and issued me a one month single entry.
I have been in contact with sf and it seems they are willing to reimburse me for the second visa I need when I return home, but when all is said and done, I wish I had just gone the VOA route.

#4 BanhMi has been a member since 5/4/2010. Posts: 12

Posted by Dayvit78 on 9/7/2010 at 09:22

Posted from within Vietnam.

I don't think it's a scam, but I think they're not very professional. They also made a clerical error on my visa, giving me an "other" instead of the "business" visa I needed, even with the letter from my company right there.

And while I was there, a Vietnamese guy (obviously from an agency) came in and processed about 50 passports at one time, so they do the agency route ok.

#5 Dayvit78 has been a member since 7/11/2009. Posts: 6

Posted by sic8vita8est on 18/7/2010 at 10:15

Thanks for the responses, I thought I'd give an update.
I ended up having to pay $120 a person for multi-entry/one month. I sent in the extra money, and didn't hear anything for three weeks. I finally contacted the woman who asked me for money. She didn't seem to know what I was talking about, then finally sent back the passports the next day.
So, its not a scam, but after this experience I'd definitely have to recommend going the VOA route.

#6 sic8vita8est has been a member since 8/6/2010. Posts: 7

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