Useful Information

Informative articles about Vietnam visa and travelling

8

Jan, 2019


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Vietnam visa application: A complete guide

Vietnam visa application: A complete guide

By Kim Clara

Do I need a Vietnam visa?


In general, you DO need. However, in some exceptions, you don’t need a VISA if:

 

♦ You are in the list of countries granted Vietnamese visa exemption;

 

 You have spouses or children of Vietnamese citizen and granted with 5 year visa exemption;

 

 You are going to visit Phu Quoc Island for less than 30 days;

 

 You are holding diplomatic or official passports;


 You are APEC card holders;

 

 You are staying in transit area.

 

How long does it take to get a Vietnam visa?


As long as you have all necessary documents and hold a passport with at least 6 month validity, it should takes between 2 working and 7 working days to get Vietnam visa, depending on you will obtain visa at the Vietnam Embassy, E-visa or Visa on arrival, type of visa and your nationality. 

 

Note that rush service or extreme urgency is available if you obtain visa on arrival while you are approved to urgently acquire in just some special cases, upon the approval of the Vietnam Embassy in each country. No urgent processing is accepted if you opt for Vietnam E-visa. 

 

The ideal time to apply Vietnam VISA is between 15 days and 30 days before your departure so that you can avoid any mistake occurring with your visa application. Still you can apply visa too early without any issue because your visa validity is starting from your entry date issued in the visa approval letter or your visa sticker. 

 

How much does it costs?


Vietnam visa cost varies according to your visa type, duration, number of entries, your nationality and where you will apply. 


Usually, it is cheaper to get Vietnam visa on arrival, whereas the visa cost is likely higher and different from this Embassy to another. With paying the full fee of 25USD for Vietnam E-visa, it is considered as the cheapest method, however you are only allowed to get 30-day-visa with single entry, and not all nationalities are granted with E-visa.

 

Vietnam Embassy will ask you to pay one-time fee called processing fee or the Embassy service fee. When it comes to Visa on arrival, visa charges include visa service fee and stamping fee, which are paid separately.

 

Where can I get Vietnam VISA?


For Vietnam VISA, you can get it through the Vietnam Embassy in your place or at the Vietnam entry port (via any international airport or land border of Vietnam).


If you want to obtain visa beforehand at the Embassy, you should look for the Vietnam Embassy which is the most nearest for you to go or send your visa documents. If for some reason, you don’t want to or you can’t show up personally, you can use a local agency to get your Vietnam VISA. 


In case, you are living in a place where there is no Vietnam Embassy or searching for the easiest and simplest method to get VISA, you are advised to apply for visa on arrival, then pick up your visa when landing at the Vietnam Airport. 

 

What are the basic requirements for getting a Vietnam visa?


The basic requirements for getting Vietnam visa are different between the Vietnam Embassy and Visa on arrival


Applying visa at the Vietnam Embassy:

 

o Your original passport with at least six month of validity and at least one blank page;


o A recently-taken color passport photo (4x6cm) with white background


o Visa application form (directly visit the Embassy’s website to download this form)


o Flight or hotel booking might be required in some cases

 

o Visa fee in cash 


Applying visa at the Vietnam at the airport:


o Your original passport with at least six month of validity and at least one blank page;


o Visa approval letter issued by the Vietnam Immigration Department. Apply this letter by following this link: https://vietnamvisavoa.com/en/apply-online


o A passport sized photo taken at least 6 months recently. 


o Stamping fee in cash, highly suggested to pay in USD to avoid low exchange rate. 


o Vietnamese visa application form

 

Importance: All requirements are listed above are necessary but not sufficient for obtaining a Vietnam VISA. This is because depending on type of VISA you are applying for, you will have to submit some additional documents.


Note that for the applicant is newborn baby, the VISA requirements are different. Click here to learn more about this. 

 

What are the different type of Vietnam VISA?

 

Here is the complete list of Vietnam visa types.

 

Category 

Description

Durations

NG1

Issued to those who are members of delegations invited by Secretary General of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam, President of Vietnam, Chairperson of National Assembly of Vietnam, Prime Minister of Vietnam

No more than 12 months

NG2

Issued to those who are members of delegations invited by the Standing Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Viet Nam, the Vice State President, the Vice President of the National Assembly, the Deputy Prime Minister, the President of the Central Committee of the Vietnamese Fatherland Front, the President of the People's Supreme Court, the Prosecutor General of the People's Supreme Procuracy, the President of the State Audit; members of delegations invited by Ministers and equivalents, the provincial and municipal Party Committee Secretary, the People’s Council Chairman and People’s Committee Chairman of cities and provinces under the central administration.

No more than 12 months

NG3

Issued to those who are members of diplomatic and consular missions, representative offices of international organizations under the United Nations and inter-government organizations; and their spouses, children under 18 years old, and their maids.

No more than 12 months

NG4

Issued to those who work with diplomatic and consular missions, representative offices of international organizations under the United Nations and inter-government organizations; visitors of diplomatic and consular missions, representative offices of international organizations under the United Nations and inter-government organizations.

No more than 12 months

LV1

Issued to those who work with committees, agencies under the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Viet Nam, the National Assembly, the Government, the Viet Nam Fatherland Front, the People’s Supreme Court, the People’s Supreme Procuracy, the State Audit, the ministries, ministerial and governmental agencies; the provincial and municipal Party Committees, the People’s Councils and the People’s Committees of cities and provinces under the central administration.

No more than 12 months

LV2

Issued to those who are coming Vietnam to work with social-political organizations, social organizations, Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry

No more than 12 months

ĐT

Issued to those who are investors in Vietnam and foreign lawyers work in Vietnam

No more than 5 years

DN

Issued to those are coming Vietnam to work as free workers. Read more about how to obtain  Vietnam business visa

No more than 12 months

NN1

Issued to those who are the Head of representative office of international organizations, foreign non-government organizations in Vietnam

No more than 12 months

NN2

Issued to those who are the head of foreign representative offices, branches of foreign businesses; representative offices of foreign economic, cultural, and other specialized institutions in Viet Nam.

No more than 12 months

NN3

Issued to those who are working partners of international NGOs, representative offices, representative offices, branches of foreign businesses; representative offices of foreign economic, cultural, and other specialized institutions in Viet Nam.

No more than 12 months

DH

Issued to those who come Vietnam to intern or learn

No more than 12 months

HN

Issued to those who come Vietnam to attending meetings, seminars or conferences

No more than 3 months

PV1

Issued to those who are reporters, journalists settle and work in Vietnam 

No more than 12 months

PV2

Issued to those who are foreign reporters, journalists work in Vietnam for a short time

No more than 12 months

Issued to those who are working for a company in Vietnam

No more than 2 years

DL

Issued to those who intend to go Vietnam  as tourists. Read more about how to apply for Vietnam tourist visa 

No more than 3 months

TT

Issued to those who are spouses/children under 18 years old of people holding Vietnam visa categorized LV1, LV2, ĐT, NN1, NN2, DH, PV1, LĐ or foreigners who are parents/spouses/children of Vietnamese citizens 

No more than 12 months

VR

Issued to those who come to Vietnam to visit  relatives or for other purposes

No more than 6 months

SQ

The head of a competent Vietnamese visa granting agency abroad is eligible to grant up-to-30 day visa for foreigners who enter Vietnam for the purpose of market survey, tourism, visiting relatives, health treatment in the following cases:

No more than 30 days

A person who has working relations with the competent Vietnamese visa granting agency abroad and his spouse and children or a person who applies for Viet Nam visa at the request (in written form) of a competent agency under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the host country;

A person who holds a guarantee diplomatic note issued by the diplomatic missions or consular agencies based in his country of residence.

 

 

Can I extend or change type of visa once I enter Vietnam?

 

Yes you can require to extend your VISA at least 7 days before the date of expiration of your VISA. However, there is no guarantee that your extension request is accepted because it depends on your nationality, your current status of visa, the document you will provide.

 

The Law states that type of your VISA can not be changed or converted into another one when you are already in Vietnam. If you want to change type of visa, you have to exit Vietnam.

 

What happens if I overstay my visa?

 

According the Immigration Law, warning or penalty shall imposed on overstaying. Normally, a penalty of 10-15USD per day shall be imposed on illegal residence.  In the following is estimated amount of penalty for each specific overstaying case:  

 

1. Overstaying up to 10 days fine: 1,250,000 VND (55 USD) is a common penalty;

2. Overstaying up to 1 month: 4,000,000 VND (175 USD) is a common penalty;

3. Overstaying from 1 to 3 months: fines of about 10,000,000 VND (440 USD)

4. Overstaying one year: the penalty is more than 16,000,000 VND (700 USD) and forced exit, restrictions on entry and exit and prohibited within the specified period.

 

As usual, Vietnamese law are somehow vague to identify what “serious case” is. Therefore, you are highly suggested to give an attention on your visa and should exit Vietnam before the VISA expires. In case you overstay unintentionally, please look for a reliable visa agency to solve your visa problem to avoid being blacklisted by the Vietnam Immigration Department.

 

How do I read a Vietnamese visa?

 

With respect to the image as above:

  1. Visa No.: Your visa number – a red letter with number printed on the upper-middle side of your visa page.
  2. Visa category: For example, DL VISA is tourist visa, DN VISA is business visa, LD VISA is working visa (see the table above for reading the explanations of each category);
  3. Validity date: the duration you are allowed to stay in Vietnam, which is valid from your actual arrival till exit date in your visa approval letter;
  4. Single/multiple entries: the number of times you can enter and exit Vietnam with same visa. “Single” means that you only have one time to enter and once you exit Vietnam, your visa becomes invalid. “Multiple” means that you can enter and exit Vietnam as many times as you wish as long as your visa is still valid and don’t overstay;
  5. Issued to the holder of passport No.: Your passport number;
  6. Issued at: the place where the VISA issued; Issued on: the date which the VISA is issued.

 

What VISA must be converted into a Temporary Residence Card? How to do so?

 

Be aware that working visa (LD) is only type of Vietnam visa which is allowed to convert into Temporary Residence Card. Your company, school or organization you are working in Vietnam should help you to do so.

 

In order to get Temporary Residence Card, along with working visa required, you need to apply for work permit if you are employed by a company or Investment Certificate if you are investor.

 

 

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