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Vietnam forum

Vietnam transit visa

Posted by shann on 10/1/2008 at 07:50

We will be travelling around Vietnam for 2 weeks or so (obviously will need a single entry visa for this) and then heading onto Cambodia and Laos for about 3 weeks.

On our return journey back to NZ we will be flying from Laos and then transferring planes in Hanoi to connect with another international flight. We won’t be leaving the airport so does anyone know whether the single entry visa is sufficient or will we need a multiple entry visa? I can't seem to get a definite answer from the consulate. Thanks!

#1 shann has been a member since 10/1/2008. Posts: 2

Posted by CatBa on 10/1/2008 at 13:49

Posted from within Vietnam.

This 'transit visa' doesn't really exist and the exact procedure is dependent upon your carrier with VietNam Airlines getting the best option - free entry into VietNam to stay over at a hotel. Your passport is retained by them.

Additionally, the VietNam visa situation is in a bit of a state of flux as new provisions are being introduced. Yet furthering the situation is the particularly close relationship between the Lao and VN governments where the latter gives the former all sorts of breaks (and aid).

The key to the transit is whether you booked the ticket as a continuous journey or bought two tickets for the journey - i.e. Laos to VietNam and VietNam to New Zealand.

The final determinant is the length of the stop over (transit) in the airport.

If you have two tickets, purchased separately by yourself, I suggest that you check the Immigration Desk in Ha Noi's Noi Bai airport on arrival and before you enter VietNam. This is the counter where people pick up a Visa-on-Arrival (prearranged) in the Arrivals Hall.

The key thing is whether the air carrier from Laos to Ha Noi will let you board without a valid visa.

If you are forced to get a multiple entry endorsement (just a stamp and a couple of signatures) it will cost you about USD$20 and take a few days. Shop around, especially in Ha Noi. The Immigration Offices will not deal with you once inside the country as they haven't figured out how to ask you for a bribe.

Before surrendering your passports (if you buy an endorsement) I suggest you photocopy your passport data and VN visa pages so you can get accommodation! The visa fees can be paid in Dong - the government will accept Dong or US Dollars in settlement - so ignore travel agents demands for dollars, they are just out to make some extra money from currency exchange. (I always buy visas with Dong for visiting friends).

The last people to get accurate advice from is the consulate in NZ as they are often the last to hear of the latest visa changes.

#2 CatBa has been a member since 5/3/2007. Posts: 349

Posted by shann on 11/1/2008 at 07:43

Hey, thanks very much for the advice.

We will have two separate tickets on the way out but are planning to book the flight from Laos to Hanoi when we are in Laos. Stopover hopefully won't be any longer than a few hours. From what you have said it definitely sounds better to sort it out when you are there rather than trying to do it from NZ


#3 shann has been a member since 10/1/2008. Posts: 2

Posted by CatBa on 1/3/2008 at 05:40

Posted from within Vietnam.

I have spoken to immigration and they advised as long as you remain AIR SIDE and are leaving ON THE SAME DAY AS ARRIVAL in Ha Noi there is no need for a transit visa.

This information was obtained from HCMC but should be valid in Ha Noi, too.

#4 CatBa has been a member since 5/3/2007. Posts: 349

Posted by redgum on 2/3/2008 at 08:16

just a question for catba, i have read that you can obtain tourist visa on arrival from australia, but i contacted the vietnamese embassy here & they said no. I have a travel agent in vietnam tell me they can organise for me? which one is correct?

#5 redgum has been a member since 24/1/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 26

Posted by CatBa on 4/3/2008 at 06:28

Posted from within Vietnam.

Vietnamese embassies and consuls in many countries discourage people from getting a visa on arrival as it affects their local currency income and reduced income requires they purchase currency for expenses.

Of course you can get a visa on arrival - contact Joe Vu Phan at < > or Skype < joephanvu > is a Travel Agent (bonded) that I use.

The process is simple. Send the contents of the data page of your passport to him, along with your home address and telephone number and he will submit your name to the Police (everything comes under this term).

Within a week you will get an approval (the visa authorisation office is swamped) letter which has a signature and rubber stamps on it.


Airlines occasionally require you to sign a waiver form as the database they use - based in Holland - lacks pre-approved visa information.

On arrival in HCMC, Da Nang or Ha Noi you go to the visa office (located in the arrivals halls) and present your letter. After 5-10 minutes your name will be called and they will require payment in Dong or Dollars and you are away!

Use it all the time for visitors coming over to see me,

Pre-arranged visas are also available through SOME land entry points.

#6 CatBa has been a member since 5/3/2007. Posts: 349

Posted by harri8 on 3/6/2008 at 10:56

thanks for this thread - I thik I am am having the same issue as others but cannot sort it out so am hoping someone here can help. Basically, I am flying EVA air from Vancouver to Ho Chi Minh. I had then thought that I would get a ticket on Tiger air from HCMC to Singapore but I cant work out if I need a visa for Vietnam to do this. I think I do because I need to collect my luggage from EVA air then check into Tiger air, which means I would have to go through immigration and customs, I think. I can get little help from the Vietnamese embassy in Canada - they tell me variously that I dont need a visa as long as I stay in the airport, then they say as long as I stay in transit - but as far as I know, the actof getting my luggage and checking in again necessarily takes me out of transit - or does it? Neither EVA, Tiger nor the Embassy can give me an answer - can anyone help? It consts about 300 bucks to get a visa here, or at least one that is processe in time (I am flying on an Australian passport and need to leave in two weeks).

#7 harri8 has been a member since 3/6/2008. Posts: 1

Posted by paradissatravel on 7/6/2008 at 16:16

Posted from within Vietnam.

NO VISA IS NEEDED for transit. Enjoy your coffee at the airport, buddy.

#8 paradissatravel has been a member since 7/6/2008. Posts: 14

Posted by perryinvancouver on 25/1/2009 at 14:38

Hi guys, particularly shann and harri8 - can anyone confirm that they had a transit through a Vietnamese airport recently with 2 different flights/carriers and did NOT need a Visa?

I am Canadian and will be going to Taiwan, then going to HCM City for a visit (I have a Single Entry Vietnam Visa for this portion). From HCM City I will then be taking the standard Mekong Delta - Cambodia tours that end in Siem Reap . From Siem Reap I fly back to HCM City on Vietnam Airlines around 2:30pm then want to take a China Airlines flight out of HCM City at 5:20pm on the same day.

When I am stopping over in HCM City as part of my trip out of Siem Reap and back to Taiwan (again, on 2 different carriers/tickets) is this just a transfer and does not require a Visa?

Please let me know as I hear the rules are always changing. Thanks.

#9 perryinvancouver has been a member since 25/1/2009. Posts: 1

Posted by coplin on 15/3/2009 at 13:57

Hi -
My family will be staying in KL for a week and decided to go to HCMC for a day to have a look arround courtesy of some cheap Air Asia fares. We arrive at 8am and depart at 7pm and want to do a day tour. We will be travelling on Australian passports. Can anyone advise if this would qualify for a transit Visa or whether we need a 1 month tourist visa? My kids are 3 & 5 with their own passports. Does anyone know what the current rates are for adults and kids for the visa we need? Should we apply through Canberra or apply on arrival?
Any hep would be appreciated.
Many thanks

#10 coplin has been a member since 15/3/2009. Posts: 1

Posted by violets on 12/7/2011 at 06:15

I'd be surprised if the airline from Laos will let you on board if you have no Vietnamese visa- they get fined if you arrive illegally. Last time I did that trip, the people in front of me in the queue were not allowed to board because they had no Vietnamese visa. If you miss your flight, you'll miss the one from Hanoi as well. I wouldn't take the risk to save $20.

#11 violets has been a member since 6/7/2009. Posts: 151

Posted by kjeevan_kumar on 12/8/2011 at 11:00


I know this is asked about but I didn't find clear answer, I am flying from Luang Prabang to Hanoi in Lao Airlines and immediately take a flight from Hanoi to Singapore in Tiger Airways. Do I need a transit visa for Vietnam?


#12 kjeevan_kumar has been a member since 12/8/2011. Posts: 1

Posted by alshda on 6/9/2011 at 16:41

Hi all

I emailed the Vietnamese Embassy in London about this issue, as I am looking to arrive back in Hanoi via Air Asia after my original visa has expired, in order to catch a Southern China Airlines flight on elsewhere.

The embassy has told me: "If you just enter Vietnam for transit flight and staying at the aiport then you are not required for visa"

That is all they have said, so I have replied asking for clarification regarding using different airlines and how long I can spend in the airport between flights.

#13 alshda has been a member since 6/9/2011. Posts: 2

Posted by catspaw on 30/6/2012 at 03:07

I traveled from HCMC to Bangkok and had to reapply for another single entry (visa on arrival) as I left my bag on the other side of the immigration check.
My ticket from HCMC to Bangkok was purchased separately. So another visa.
I almost didn't get on the flight back to HCMC to catch my flight back to the US as they checked my visa status at the airport in Bangkok. FYI. My visa on arrival was processed in a day.


#14 catspaw has been a member since 30/6/2012. Posts: 1

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