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> VISA AND PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS FOR VIETNAM
travelparadissa
post May 14 2008, 03:00 AM
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VISA AND PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS FOR VIETNAM

Passports

Most nationalities are required with a passport with a validity exceeding 6 months after the date of entry, to enter Vietnam.

Day trippers from the bordering countries of Cambodia and China bearing identity cards may enter Vietnam for specified purposes such as agriculture or business.

Vietnam recognizes, and accepts, seamen's documentation for entry as ship crew.

Passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the date of arrival required for all visitors to Vietnam.

Visas

Foreigners usually require a valid visa to enter VietNam; citizens of member countries of the ASEAN that have agreements with Vietnam are not required a visa for entry for a period not exceeding 30 days.

Vietnam visa conditions generally mirror those imposed upon the Vietnamese Nationals of the travellers' home country (tit-for-tat).

Visas are required for all except:
(a) nationals of Bulgaria, Cuba, Japan, Korea and Romania;
(cool.gif nationals of Singapore, Laos, Malaysia and Thailand for 30 days;
© nationals of the Philippines for 21 days;
(d) transit passengers continuing their journey within 72 hours, proved holding valid return or onward tickets.

Notes when arriving in Vietnam
All visitors have to complete an entry card and customs form which will be given during the flight for customs and immigration processing. Once processed, you will be handed back one copy of this form. Do not loose this as you will need it again for exit formalities.

For those passing over a landborder, these forms can be obtained at the border check point.


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starlagurl
post May 14 2008, 08:52 AM
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Good to know, thanks.


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travelparadissa
post Jun 4 2008, 03:32 AM
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You're very welcome, starlagurl.


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travelparadissa
post Jul 8 2008, 01:24 AM
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Dear Marton,

You don't need that Certificate when obtaining a Visa to Vietnam.

You can't get a visa upon arrival, only when you have already made contact to a local travel agent and they have had every document necesarry for your entry.

Let me know if you want to have a visa on arrival. We don't offer that service but we know reliable places where you can make contact to.

In advance, welcome to Vietnam, Marton.


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faithfog
post Nov 16 2008, 04:25 PM
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Below is my original post, but since then I have found out more information from www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/ (which,by the way, has MUCH livelier and current postings than travelpod). ANYWAY... I found out that the Visa Approval form/letter is what you apply for from Vietnamese travel agencies before you fly to Vietnam, so that you can get a visa when you arrive in Vietnam (rather than getting a Visa before you go). Apparently, when you board a plane for Vietnam you have to have either a visa in your passport or a Visa Approval letter, which you show at Vietnam's immigration and then pay and get your visa. This is not explained at all on the official VN diplomatic websites.
Here is one thread site that talks about this and gives links to agencies where you can get your Visa Approval letter: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thre...sageID=14030408?

MY ORIGINAL POST:
I am in the process of getting my Vietnam visa by mail from the Consulate in San Francisco, and I noticed on the Vn Embassy visa process website, listed along with the visa applicaton form, the fees, the photo, etc., something called a "Visa Approval Form." They don't explain what it is but just say: "A visa approval may be obtained through the applicant’s host or sponsor in Vietnam. The host or sponsor in Vietnam must contact the Immigration Department, Ministry of Public Security (approval number begins with 121A or 121B or 121C) or the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam (approval number ends with LSXNC.kv) requesting this approval to be sent to the Embassy for the visa issuance.

The TDS (Trav.Doc Sys)website regarding visa requirements also mentions it and says "Usually issued by the Consulate for $40.00."

I saw nothing on the visa application form about this extra document, but it doesn't sound as if it's a substitute for visa. Does anyone have any experience or info. on this "visa approval" thing?

The Vietnam Embassy visa webpage is: http://www.vietnamembassy.us/consular_services/visa_info/
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starlagurl
post Nov 17 2008, 02:18 PM
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Hmmm...when are you going? Did you find this out second hand? I always say it's best to contact the embassy directly before you go, just so that you are completely informed about customs and immigration procedures.


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faithfog
post Nov 17 2008, 10:36 PM
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Hi Starlagurl - Well, yes, I guess it was "second hand' info that I got off that Thorntree posts, but there were many posts that indicated my conclusion is correct. As I said in my post, the Embassy site wasn't any help because it didn't tell you what the "Visa Approval" letter was for -- it just told how you could get one (and, you're right, I could have called the Embassy and found out exactly what the deal was). But the posts on the Thorntee site -- if you read them -- make it pretty clear the Visa Approal (and then the VOA once you get to Vietnam) is an alternative to getting the Visa from your home country's Vietnam consulate, and is favored by some because you don't have to send your passport in, as you do when you get the actual Visa from the Vietnam Consulate before leaving for Vietnam.

I'm leaving for Saigon from Seattle on Jan 12th.

I was surprised when I did a "Visa Approval" search on Travelpod' that nobody had brought this up, whereas it was a huge conversation in some Thorntree forums.
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starlagurl
post Nov 18 2008, 10:11 AM
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I'm glad you started the discussion on it then.

Let us know what happens when you get to Vietnam. I have never been, but I know a few of our regulars have, not sure why they haven't chimed in yet.


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faithfog
post Nov 20 2008, 09:02 PM
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Okay, I'll certainly have a bunch of things to report on once I get to and back from Vietnam. I'm traveling alone most of the time but am signed up for a 17-day organized bike tour from Saigon to Hanoi (under auspices of spiceroads.com), so I've also been reading all I can on these posts and threats about biking in Vietnam.

I'll add to this Visa thread if I find out anything interesting that has not already been said.

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starlagurl
post Nov 21 2008, 10:29 AM
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That sounds like a fantastic trip. Definitely looking forward to hearing about everything that happens. Will you be writing a blog we can follow?


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vnttn
post Nov 27 2008, 04:35 AM
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I have come to VN twice, and I applied for Vietnam Visa at

http://www.vietnam-visa.com

This website let you apply for Vietnam Visa Online with fast, reliable and cheap way!
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faithfog
post Nov 27 2008, 11:44 PM
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Thanks, vnttn, for the additional info on applying for a visa.

Starlagurl - Yes, I expect I'll write a blog of my trip , esp. if I think I have information that would be edifying or interesting to other travelers. I don't go until January 12th. Thanks for the encouraging words.

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