Vietnam visa information

Informative articles about Vietnam visa and travelling


Feb, 2020

Vietnam visa information 5566 view
Get the complete information about Vietnam visa run

Get the complete information about Vietnam visa run

By Vietnamvisavoa

What is Vietnam visa run?

Vietnam visa run is a term to refer a trip towards nearby countries with the purpose of resetting your duration in Vietnam where you want to remain longer. Regardless of given with Vietnam free visa or visa stamp to legally stay in specific duration, once their visa is going to be expired, they are seeking to get a new stamp to come back by the land border or the airport. And, that where Vietnam visa run comes out. 

Why should you choose visa run?

Cut down on Vietnam visa cost: Staying back Vietnam by taking visa extension before your visa is expired, is fairly expensive, especially if you need to extend up to 3 months more. A visa-run journey to the border where you can immediately go back and forth Vietnam is just for a fraction of the price. 
Easy travel: Vietnam is located in the center of the ASEAN region which means the flight from Vietnam to other countries in the region is extremely cheap. You can fly to Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar or Singapore with cheap tickets. Besides, the sum of money you spend on visa run trip is not too much. In high season, you can choose one of the airlines and get the best deal for your trip. 
Explore a new place: get a Vietnam visa run is a chance for you to discover culture is another ASEAN country. This experience can make your visa run more fun and enjoyable. In other hands, you have an additional trip with a cheap cost for accommodation and food.
Fantastic beaches in Thailand, the great Angkor Wat in Cambodia, and new touristic mystery in Myanmar or shopping paradise in Singapore are waiting for you. You only need to arrange a few days, a small sum of money and enjoy your visa run in one of the countries in the ASEAN region.

How to apply for Vietnam visa run

There are two methods of getting a visa run which you either get a visa at the Vietnam land border or the airport 


Steps to get Vietnam visa run through land border
Step 1:  Finalize most closest and convenient land border you will pick for visa run. 
Step 2: Find an agency to arrange a via approval letter. An original visa approval letter has to be received before moving to the border. 
Step 3: Go to the border. If you can reach the border by booking a bus or private transfer. Getting there on your own motorbike is another option if you want to take a little adventure 
Step 4: Exit Vietnam and enter Laos/Cambodia/China. Just need to show your passport to get an exit stamp for Vietnam side and head off to the Laos/Cambodia/China Immigration Office. 
Step 5: Exit Laos/Cambodia/China and re-enter Vietnam. To return Vietnam, first you need to get an exit stamp from a chosen country by giving the officer your passport and also a visa invitation letter for Vietnam. Again, just present the letter with your passport and fill out a form to get a new visa stamped by the Vietnam Immigration Officer. 
Step 6: Take the bus (or whatever transport you want) to return. 

What documents should bring on for visa run through land border?

Here is the list of documents for Vietnam visa run: 
• An original visa approval letter with red stamp
• Vietnam visa stamping fee in cash: it depends on which type of visa
• 02 passport sized photos
• Vietnam visa application form: you can take this form at the border then fill it out
• Original Passport 
• Round trip bus ticket
• Visa to the country (Laos/Cambodia/China) or visa fee if you can get it on arrival.
Depending on your nationality and which country you will leave for, the documents required for that visa is different. You can sort it out in advance at its Embassy or Consulate in Vietnam or opt for visa on arrival. Luckily, Laos, Cambodia or Thailand offers visa on arrival to most of citizens where you can easily to arrive at the border to get it done there. 
Land borders to get Vietnam visa run to China

• Mong Cai / Dong Hung: Mong Cai border is located 176 km from Ha Long and 327 km from Hanoi. From Dong Hung on the Chinese side, you can get to the border within a short distance.


• Lao Cai / Hekou border: From Kunning on the Chinese side, you can get to Lao Cai and eventually Sapa. This border gate doesn’t offer visa on arrival. Citizens from Australia or some countries in Europe can buy one-month Chinese visa on the Vietnamese side. In any case, check your visa status before coming to the border.


• Huu Nghi Border (Lang Son, Vietnam) – Pingxiang (Nanning, China): this is the most popular crossing in the far north where travelers can reach there by bus or train from Hanoi. 


Land borders to get Vietnam visa run to Laos


• Tay Trang Border (Dien Bien, Vientam) – Sop Hun (Laos): This border is frequently picked up by foreigner visitors who are currently travelling around Northern region of Vietnam when it comes to visa run through the land border. If you decide to start your journey from Sapa, it is easy to take a bus from Sapa – Dien Bien Phu and then from Dien Bien Phu you will take another bus to reach the border. It’s quite a long journey but trade off with a beautiful and natural landscapes to enjoy. 
Tay Trang Border
Tay Trang Border
• Cau Treo Border (Ha Tinh, Vietnam) – Nam Phao (Borikhamxay, Laos): It is convenient to get a bus to reach this border from the town of Lak Xao, then you can get to the other side within walking distance. This border crossing is so far the favorite choice for most travelers. From the border on the Vietnamese side, the nearest town, Vinh, is located 100 km away. And a Vietnamese visa need to be arranged in advance.
Cau Treo border
Cau Treo border
• Lao Bao Border (Quang Tri, Vietnam) – Dansavan Border (Savannakhet, Laos): the Lao Bao border is used to be the first and most popular border crossing that opens for international tourists in the Center part of Vietnam. Those who want to go to Hue and continue exploring the Central of Vietnam often choose this checkpoint to enter Vietnam. Also, foreigner visitors can easily go for visa run by buses to Lao Bao border from Da Nang because they go on a regular basic. 
Lao bao border
Lao Bao Border

Land borders to get Vietnam visa to Cambodia


• Moc Bai Border (Tay Ninh, Vietnam) – Bavet Border (Svay Rieng, Cambodia): it is a popular place to get an instant visa on arrival from Saigon. Daily buses are available from Saigon to Moc Bai with a price of roughly $2 to $12. You can get visa on arrival at both Moc Bai (for those who want to enter Vietnam) and Bavet (for those who want to enter Cambodia).  

• Kaam Samnor / Vinh Xuong: From Chau Doc, Vietnam you will cross Ving Xuong border to get to Phnom Penh on the other side. This riverine crossing offers both slow and fast boat service. Hang Chau and Blue Cruiser are the two most popular boat operators.

• Phnom Den / Tinh Bien: Tinh Bien is located in the middle of Ha Tien and Chau Doc. If you are not a fan of boats, heading to Tinh Bien is an alternative worth to consider. There are buses leaving Ha Tien to the border and the price is affordable. On the Cambodian side, transport is a bit expensive and you should be careful not to get ripped off.

• Prek Chak / Xa Xia: It is possible for you to enter Vietnam from Cambidian side at Prek Chak/ Xa Xia checkpoint with a valid Vietnam visa in hand. You can also get Cambodia visa on arrival at this crossing. From Kep, the nearest town, you can take a motorbike to the border and it costs around $7.



Flying in and out of Vietnam can still be regarded as a Visa Run because you still need to reach the border and come back in. However, the rules and its procedure is slightly different from those that you do visa run through the land border.

Steps to apply visa run through airport 

Step 1: Acquire a visa approval letter in advance by submitting your visa application form online. A copied version of the letter is suggested to keep along before leaving for the airport. 
Step 2: Go the airport and prepare to exit. You will get an exit visa stamp on your passport
Step 3: Enter and exit a chosen country. 
Step 4: Re-enter Vietnam through the airport. Once landing at the airport, you need to visa counter to submit: your passport, a copy of visa approval letter, 2 passport-sized photos, visa application form and pay the stamping fee. Congratulation! Your visa run trip is completely successful.
Best countries to do visa run by airlines
Thailand: First on the list of place for Vietnam visa run is Thailand – purely because it is very close enough to Vietnam and offers heap of cheap flights that you literally go back and forth in the same day. Having been offered with free visa and visa on arrival to Thailand, this destination is favorably taken by most of visa runners when they want to reset their Vietnam visa. So it is super easy to get in!
Malaysia: There are a plenty of cheap non-stop flights offered from Malaysia to Vietnam and vice versa. Besides, the country also provides E-visa and Visa upon arrival that you can process your Malaysia visa online easily. This country has become one of the most popular stops for many visa runners to Vietnam.
Singapore: Of the most favorite destinations for foreigners who want to get a Vietnam visa run, Singapore is just far from Vietnam within 2-hour flight. Not only does this country allow you to apply visa online, but it also offers a lot of budget airlines you are spoiled for choice. 

Is Vietnam visa approval letter is same or different between the airport visa run and border visa run?

The answer is YES. How different is it? Let’s see the details in the table below:

Visa approval letter for the land border

Visa approval letter for the airport

Original visa approval letter is required

Just a print of visa approval letter is required

Allowed to enter through only the land border approved in the visa approval letter.

Allowed to enter through any international airport of Vietnam. But, it is not accepted if entering by road or sea.

Issued in the format of Vietnamese language only 

Issued in the bilingual format (Vietnamese and English)

A private visa approval letter

A sharing visa approval letter

Vietnam visa approval letter for border run
Sample of Vietnam visa approval lettter for the border run
Vietnam visa approval letter for the airport run
Sample of visa approval letter for the airport run

Cost of Vietnam visa run

After getting through its process, it’s time to break down all cost of visa run, here are the essential expenses that you need to spend for your visa run adventure: 
1. Vietnam Visa fee: Visa fee is included visa service fee and stamping fee that will depend on your type of visa, nationality and processing time. Check Vietnam visa fee price 
2. Flight ticket: The flight ticket is fairly affordable to travel from Vietnam to neighboring countries by air. You can easily select a couple of cheap airlines such as Vietjet, Jestar, AirAsian to book your flight at the cost of 50-80usd/way for Thailand or Malaysia.
3. Bus ticket: You check the bus fare for each common routine in the following: 
► Ha Noi – Cau Treo border: 450,000-500,000vnd/way (direct bus)
► Ho Chi Minh – Moc Bai border: 300,000-400,000vnd/way (direct bus)
► Sapa – Tay Trang Border: 800,000vnd/way included Sapa – Dien Bien and Dien Bien to Tay Trang (indirect bus)
► Da Nang – Lao Bao border: 300,000-400,000vnd/way  
4. Visa fee to chosen country: Depending on which country you will exit for visa run, this expense costs you from zero to a certain amount of dollars. If you pick up Laos, Cambodia to go with, the visa fee is expected around 30 to 35 USD. For Thailand visa, it costs around 50-60 USD. However, the visa cost for each country is different among the nationalities; processing time and visa duration as well. 
As the bellow is processing fee for Laos’s visa on arrival based on the nationality just for your reference

Affghanistan: $40

America: $35

Austria: $35

Bangladesh: $40

Belgium: $35

Canada: $42

China: $20

Denmark: $35

England: $35

Finland: $35

Greece: $35

India: $40

Italy: $35

Ireland: $35

Nepal: $40

Norway: $35

Nederlands: $35

Pakistan: $40

Portugal: $35

Sri Lanka: $40

Spain: $35

Switzerland: $35

Sweden: $31

Turkey: $35


Additional expenses: Hotel, transfer, food, etc. need to be added up in your list of expense if you want to spend some more days to visit and explore your chosen country before heading back Vietnam. 

Quick Tips to have a good journey for Vietnam visa run


  • Get your stamped out of Lao, Thailand, Cambodia or whatever country you choose for Vietnam visa run: To re-enter Vietnam,  you have to show the Vietnam Immigration on the way back a stamped visa which a chosen country you do visa run unless you shall be denied.


  • Take an original Vietnam visa approval letter with you with a red stamp if you re-enter through the land border: it is compulsory for those are planning to get back Vietnam through the border. A copy of the visa letter is only accepted if you take a flight back to Vietnam.


  • Bring your passport sized photos:  you have to submit photos as well for Vietnam visa stamped at the border/the airport. The Immigration Officer will charge you around 5-10usd per each photo. Not only Vietnam side, you might be asked for photos for visa to Laos/Cambodia/Thailand, etc. It’s better to get yourself a bunch of photos in Vietnam that costs you around 70,000-100,000vnd


  • Go with US Dollar in cash: To pay for visa stamping fee at the border/the airport, US currency is highly recommended if you don’t want to end up to pay more due to low exchange rate given by the Immigration Officer.


How to apply Cambodia, Laos and Thailand visa for Vietnam visa run


1. Thailand visa

Visa Exemption
Thailand’s visa exemption policy and bilateral agreements allows visa free stay for -
− 90 days to nationalities of 5 countries (South Korea and other).
− 30 days to nationalities of 57 countries (US, UK, Japan and most of Europe).
− 14 days to nationalities of 02 countries (Cambodia and Myanmar). 
Tourists eligible for visa free stay must carry original passport*, confirmed onward ticket and financial means for stay in Thailand.
Visa on arrival 
Thai visa on arrival
Thai visa on arrival
Thailand allows visa on arrival to citizens of 19 countries for stay up to 15 days for touristic purpose.
Tourist Visa from Thai Embassy
Nationalities who are not eligible to enter Thailand under the visa exemptions, visa on arrival and e-visa schemes are advised to obtain visas with the Royal Thai Embassy prior to their visit. Applicants can apply for 30 or 60 days, single or multiple entry visa from the embassy.
Documents Required:
 Passport*
 Confirmed flight ticket for onward/return journey.
 Proof of financial means (10,000-20,000 baht per person/40,000 baht per family).
Additional documents for Visa on Arrival or applying at Embassy:
 A copy of passport.
 Application form 
 One recent 4X6 cm photograph.
 Confirm hotel booking to notify the address in Thailand.
 Visa fee of 2,000 Baht in cash.
For a single entry stay of 15 days, nationalities of 21 countries can obtain e-visa. In 2- days, the online visa will be sent to the provided email address, if visa is approved. For getting a e-visa, applicants must hold:
 A passport* from any eligible country.
 A credit/debit card.
 An email address. 

2. Cambodia visa

Visa Exemptions
Tourists holding a passport from Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, or Vietnam do not need a visa to enter Cambodia for between 14 and 30 days depending on the country. However while entering, tourists must carry their original passport (must be valid).
Visa on Arrival and E-visa
Cambodia visa
Cambodia visa on arrival
Citizens of all other nations apart from Afghanistan, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, or Sudan are eligible for applying Visa on Arrival or e-visa to enter Cambodia. Visa on Arrival or e-visa allows eligible tourists - a single entry stay for 30 days for touristic purpose only. 
 For visa on arrival, tourists are required to have a passport*, 30 $ in cash and immigration card.
 For e-visa, tourists need to fill the required details on Cambodian E-visa portal and pay a fees of 36 $. Getting an e-visa takes 3-7 days. 
Tourist Visa from Embassy of Cambodia
One can apply for a tourist visa from nearest Embassy of Cambodia, if applicant is a ineligible for obtaining an E-visa or Visa on Arrival.
Documents Required:
 Visa application form 
 A passport*
 A copy of Passport.
 One recent 4X6 cm photograph.
 Hotel bookings.
 Return ticket out of Cambodia.
 Visa fees: 36 $ in cash.
With this, embassy may ask for a “letter of invitation”, so tourists are advised to confirm accordingly.

3. Laos visa 

Visa Exemptions
Citizens of 10 countries including South Korea and Russia are allowed to stay visa free for 30 days in Laos. Citizens of Japan, Switzerland and Luxembourg are allowed for visa free stay of 15 days and Brunei and Myanmar are allowed for 14 days of visa free stay. The only requirement, it to carry a original passport* while entering into Laos.
Visa on Arrival and E-visa
Laos Visa
Laos visa on arrival
Citizens of all other nations apart from few Asian countries and central African countries are eligible for applying Visa on Arrival or e-visa to enter Cambodia. Tourists who are ineligible to obtain visa on arrival or apply for e-visa can visit nearest embassy of Laos to get a tourist visa. Visa on Arrival or e-visa allows eligible tourists - a single entry stay for 30 days for touristic purpose only.
For e-visa, applicant needs to fill the required details on Laos E-visa portal. Once again, the amount to be paid depends on applicant’s nationality. Getting an e-visa takes 3 days. 
For getting a visa on arrival or from nearest embassy of Laos, tourists are required to provide:
 Application form.
 A passport*.
 Two recent photographs (3cmx4cm).
 Visa fee in USD or Thai baht (amount depends on applicant’s nationality and place of application).
 A copy of itinerary.
While applying at embassy, applicant must confirm required documents, processing time and fees from nearest Laos Embassy.
*For applying a visa, applicant’s passport must holds at least 6 months validity from the date of travel and two empty leafs.


The other alternative options for Vietnam visa run

You might wonder if you don’t want to do visa run, there is any other options you can take with. Here are two methods you can take into consideration:
► Visa extension: This method is considered to be taken by those who are impossibly to leave Vietnam somehow and prefer to extend visa without exiting. However, the cost of visa extension is more expensive than doing visa run in most cases. Another downside of extension is that you are only allowed to grant with single entry.
► Visa renewal: For those who wish to stay in Vietnam before their visas are expired and need a multiple entry for their future trip out of Vietnam, this option is very ideal but the most expensive alternative among. 


FAQs on Vietnam visa run 


Q: Can I exit and enter Vietnam in a day for visa run?

A: Yes, you can. With visa run purpose, you can exit and enter Vietnam immediately and do not need to wait for any specific time to come back. Just highly recommend to prepare all visa documentation for Vietnam visa and visa to a country you are leaving for


Q: What should I bring along with me to get Vietnam visa run?

A: There is a list of documents you have to prepare for Vietnam visa including as bellows:
   ♦ Visa approval letter
   ♦ 02 passport sized photos
   ♦ US Dollars in cash for stamping fee
   ♦ Original passport
   ♦ Vietnamese visa application form
The form of visa approval letter is different depends on which entry port you are going through. If you are planning to come back Vietnam via road, you have to take an original version of visa approval letter. A printout of invitation letter is only accepted in case you are obtaining visa via Vietnam International Airport.

Q: How many times you can do Vietnam visa run?

A: You can do Vietnam visa run whenever your visa is expired without any issue. In the other words, there is no limited times. However, in order to avoid going for visa run every 1 or 3 months, you can apply for 6 months or 1 year business visa.

Hopefully, all of the details in this article can help you to arrange a success visa run trip. You have many potential destinations around Vietnam to get the best deal. To have the best choice, you can choose your favorite country or somewhere you haven’t been before. 
Thanks to this, you can make your list of destination longer and have an extraordinary experience in a short trip. In addition, Vietnam has some cheap airlines such as Vietjet Air, Jetstar Pacific Airlines, and Air Asia, you can save money considerably. Therefore, you don’t need to be worried about the visa run procedure. 
You can contact us via email at or phone number + 84 969 255 515  if you need help in the course of doing procedure of visa run
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