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Chinese passport holders – Who can and cannot obtain Vietnam visa on arrival

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Vietnam – in neighborhood of China has long become a favorite destination of Chinese for a short escape from their country. And with the booming development of internet, visa on arrival to Vietnam which is applied online is much preferred by Chinese.

But the question is among Chinese travelers to Vietnam, who can apply for visa online and who cannot? This question will be dealt with in this post.

For others, visa on arrival to Vietnam is for those who travel to Vietnam by AIR. But for Chinese, it’s a little bit different. It is for Chinese passport holders to travel to Vietnam also by AIR from a country/territory OUTSIDE China mainland.

Otherwise, Chinese citizens need to obtain a Vietnam visa via the local Vietnam embassy in China or in any third country which is convenient for them.

Following is brief procedure to obtain a Vietnam visa on arrival for Chinese recommended by Vietnam-visa.cn:

Step 1: Going online at https://booking.vietnam-visa.com/step1.html, fill out the form with required information including visa information, contact details and applicants’ details;

Step 2: Review the information again to ensure no mistake and then make payment for service fee;

Step 3: Receive visa approval letter via email within 2 working days (for tourist visas) or even quicker with urgent/super-urgent service. The Vietnamese visa application form (also known as entry and exit form) will be also attached to this email.

You then need to print them out, complete the form, prepare 2 passport-sized photos and attach one on the intended area on the form.

Step 4: Present your original passport and approval letter to the airline upon departure to get on board and then after landing at Vietnam airport, head to the visa upon arrival counter (Hanoi or Khanh Hoa), or Landing visa counter (Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang), show the original passport, approval letter together with the completed Vietnamese visa application form, and the photo and also stamping fee to get visa stamped onto your passport.

It is process easy for Chinese, isn’t it? But we would like to confirm once more that it is for Chinese flying to Vietnam from a foreign country/territory outside the China Mainland.

Should you need any further information, please feel free to contact https://vietnam-visa.cn/ which is a local site of Vietnam-visa.com, specially developed to assist Chinese travelers to obtain visa to Vietnam.

 

South Africans – Who need Vietnam visa and Who don’t

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Do you know Vietnam visa requirements for South Africans now? If not, let’s refer to this post in which this issue will be clarified.

1. Cases of no visa need

There is one place in Vietnam that requires no visa to visit for South Africans and others as well. It is Phu Quoc Island of Vietnam.

Conditions to get visa exemption there:

  1. Their passports must be valid for at least 06 months since their entry date; and
  2. They must travel directly to Phu Quoc Island from a foreign country or territory outside Vietnam.

2. Cases of visa required

Except for those falling in paragraph 1, South African passport holders need a valid visa to visit Vietnam for any purpose of visit.

How to apply for Vietnam visa for South Africans?

As a holder of South Africa passport, you now have two ways to obtain a visa for Vietnam: either obtain it at Vietnamese embassy (in either South Africa or a third country), or apply online for a visa on arrival.

Below is guide to get the Vietnam Visa for South Africans?

Vietnam Visa on Arrival

Visa on arrival is said very convenient as it allows you to apply online for visa approval letter and then to pick up full visa at Vietnam international airport. Its whole process is as follows:

  1. Complete the online form for visa approval letter;
  2. Pay for service fee;
  3. Receive approval letter via email together with Vietnamese visa application form (formerly entry and exit form and print them out.
  4. Show the visa approval letter at departure airport to get on board, and get visa stamped upon arrival at Vietnam airport by showing original passport, visa approval letter, completed Vietnamese visa application form, 2 passport-sized photos and stamping fee.

The process to get visa approval letter normally takes 2 working days.

Note: Visa on arrival works for air travel only. And it is available in 4 international airports in Vietnam, including Noi Bai airport (Hanoi city), Tan Son Nhat airport (Ho Chi Minh City city), Cam Ranh airport (Nha Trang city) and Da Nang airport (Da Nang city).

Visa at the embassy of Vietnam

If you wish to obtain the visa in this way, you can contact the Vietnam Embassy in South Africa or at any embassy or consulate of Vietnam close to your place. You need to prepare the following documents to submit to the embassy:

  1. Original Passport (with at least 06 month validity from date of entering Vietnam)
  2. One completed application form for a Vietnam visa (Contact the embassy or consulate for this form)
  3. One passport sized photo of 4×6 cm (attached to the application)
  4. Visa fees (Cash, Money order or Bank cheque) payable to “The Embassy of Vietnam”
  5. Prepaid return envelope, if you plan to receive your visa by mail

* Sometimes, Flight return ticket and Hotel booking reservation or tour itinerary are required. Please check these information with the embassy or consulate of Vietnam where you want to apply the Visa.

Full information about Vietnam visa for South Africans can be found at https://vietnam-visa.co.za/.

 

3 options for Singaporeans to stay in Vietnam for more than 30 days

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All Singaporeans currently do not need a visa to Vietnam if they just stay in the country for no more than 30 days provided that their passport is valid for at least 6 months since their arrival date.

What if they wish to stay in Vietnam for more than 30 days?

If this is the case, Singaporeans may have 3 options as follows:

  1. Enter Vietnam with visa exemption and get it extended in Vietnam.
  2. Enter Vietnam and stay there for 30 days, leave it and then come back.
  3. Apply for long-term Vietnam visa to enter Vietnam.

Which should be your choice?

Here, we will make a brief comparison between these options:

1. Regarding cost

When getting into Vietnam with visa exemption, Singaporeans shall have to pay no fee. But, when getting visa exemption extended, it costs a rather big amount of money, around US $200 or even more.

When getting into Vietnam with visa exemption and then leaving the country when it expires and coming back, it costs around over US $150 for traveling forth and back.

When entering Vietnam with a long-term visa (for example 3-month single entry visa), the cost is much less, it is around US $59 with visa on arrival.

2. It takes long

In case you get Vietnam visa exemption extended, it may takes you up to 7 or 10 working days to complete. Leaving Vietnam and then coming back also takes you a few days. While, obtaining a visa for the whole trip will be much quicker.

3. It is difficult

The process to get Vietnam visa exemption extend is quite complicated. You will need to submit your original passport with the current visa for Vietnam and other documents to get your work done. The process to leave Vietnam and then come back also takes time to reserve your tickets, arrange your work, while the process to obtain a visa to Vietnam is quite simple.

So, what should be better for Vietnam visa for Singaporeans staying in the country for more than 30 days: entering Vietnam with visa exemption and then get visa extended in Vietnam, entering the country, and them leaving it and coming back or getting a visa for the whole trip.

 (Source: https://vietnamvisa.sg/3-options-for-singaporeans-to-stay-in-vietnam-more-than-30-days/)

 

3 reasons to obtain Vietnam visa for UK travelers to Stay in Vietnam for more than 15 days

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 in case they wish to stay in Vietnam for more than 15 days, obtaining a valid visa before the trip is highly re

As reported by Vietnam-visa.co.uk, from July 1, 2015, all UK citizens to Vietnam will need no visa if:

  1. Their passport is valid for at least 6 months from their arrival date;
  2. Their arrival date does not fall within 30 days from exit date of their last visit with visa exemption.

In case their arrival date falls within 30 days from exit date of their last visit with visa exemption, a visa is required. But in case they wish to stay in Vietnam for more than 15 days, obtaining a valid visa before the trip is highly recommended. They should not enter Vietnam with visa exemption and then extend their stay while they are in Vietnam for the 3 reasons as follows:

1. It costs more

If a 1-month single entry visa on arrival to Vietnam for UK passport holders just costs around US $45, extension of visa exemption for another 15 days may cost up to US $100 to US $200.

2. It takes long

In case you get Vietnam visa exemption extended, it may takes you up to 7 or 10 working days to complete. While, obtaining a visa for the whole trip will be much quicker.

3. It is difficult

The process to get Vietnam visa exemption extend is quite complicated. You will need to submit your original passport with the current visa for Vietnam and other documents to get your work done.

So, what should be better for Vietnam visa for UK staying in the country for more than 15 days: entering Vietnam with visa exemption and then get visa extended in Vietnam, or getting a visa for the whole trip.

How to obtain a Vietnam visa for Uk?

At the moment, all UK passport holders may have two ways to handle their Vietnam visa application as follows:

  1. Apply for visa at Vietnam embassy; OR
  2. Apply for Vietnam visa on arrival.

This information is provided by Vietnam-visa.co.uk.

 

2 valuable Lessons regarding Vietnam Visa from Kate

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Kate – a traveler blogger have had 2 valuable lessons regarding Vietnam visa after she was almost banned from entering Vietnam. Such lessons are:

  1. Check your Vietnam visa closely right after receiving it from the visa issuer. If there is even a tiny error on the visa, get it fixed before you arrive. If the slightest thing is off about it, from a misspelling to a date error, you might not be able to get in.
  2. Get your visa by yourself if you can.

And why did she have such lessons? Let’s listen to her story which happened in 2011.

“If you thought my border crossing from Laos to Cambodia was problematic, it had NOTHING on my crossing from Laos to Vietnam!

Vietnam is one of the few countries in Southeast Asia that requires a visa in advance – you can’t get it at the border.  So I ordered it from a travel agency in Vang Vieng.  An agent traveled to the embassy in Vientiane and got my visa for $50.

When I got my passport back, I was met with a shock:

The visa start date was correct (January 16, 2011), but the end date was in 1900 (February 16, 1900)!

Obviously, this was a mistake on the part of the Vietnamese embassy in Vientiane.  So I figured that they would realize their error at the border and let me in.

The bus trip from Vang Vieng to Hanoi was to take approximately 30 hours.  While I heard plenty of warnings about this trip, I decided that I didn’t want to spend extra money on a flight, and at the very least it would be an experience.

The trip began with a 90-minute delay, which we spent sitting in the hot sun.  Three hours later, we were in Vientiane.

The ride was interesting.  Local men slept in the aisles.  Vietnamese music videos played nonstop.  I immediately regretted not bringing more food, having merely one roll of Oreos to last the 30+ hours, and curled up to sleep.

Twelve hours into the journey, we arrived at the border. After three months of warmth and sunshine, it was my first taste of chill – cold, gray, rainy weather.

We made our way into Lao immigration and presented our passports.

Then I was called forward.

“You will not be stamped,” the man said.  “This visa is not valid.  You must go back to Vientiane.”

I nearly fainted. “The Vietnam embassy made this error.  You understand, yes?  The start date is correct!  It was their error!”

“Go to the Vietnam side and talk to them.  But we cannot stamp you.”

I was nearly in tears.  As we drove through lovely Vientiane, I had regretted not spending any time in the Lao capital.  Had my wish become a self-fulfilling prophecy?

I ran the 500 meters to the Vietnamese arrival office.  It was so foggy that I couldn’t see beyond right in front of me, and rain was soaking through my brand-new Vang Vieng: In the Tubing hoodie.

Upon arrival, I explained the situation to the border guards.  And so began the most frustrating part of the ordeal: the guards would look at my passport, smile, and slowly, slowly, slowly walk between the offices, all without communicating with me.

It was torture.

I begged.  I pleaded.  I cried.  I would have slipped a nip if it would have helped my case.

I found a friend of mine from the bus – Alex, a 19-year-old guy from the UK .  “If I don’t make it through, could you please take my bag to Hanoi Backpackers?” I asked him.  “It’s the bright blue one.  I’ll be there as soon as I can.  Within a few days, surely.”

Alex, the wonderful guy that he was, readily agreed.

But it ultimately wasn’t necessary – eventually, one of the guards handed me a piece of paper:

“$25 if you pay for new visa. Or return to Vientiane.”

Thankful to have American money on me, I dug out $25 and handed it over.  Within thirty minutes, I had a fresh visa in my passport and was stamped into Vietnam.  I was so full of gratitude, I nearly kissed the guards.

As thankful as I was, there was still one problem – I had no exit stamp from Laos. And with my bus about to leave, I didn’t want to chance it.  I got on the bus and left without the exit visa.”

That’s her story. Have you ever encountered the same issue.

So now, remember to check your visa when it is issued in order to avoid any unexpected issue and extra cost.

From Vietnam-visa.com: For those who travel to Vietnam by air, we highly recommended applying for Vietnam visa online for more convenience and simplicity.

 
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