How to Extend a Visa in Vietnam: A Complete Guide
Vietnam is a popular choice for family vacations due to its low-cost options and wide range of attractions. To make the most of your time and experience Vietnam’s beauty, it is crucial to be familiar with the visa extension procedure. Before we delve into that, let’s go over some essential details about visas in Vietnam.
- Vietnamese visas generally allow stays of 15 to 30 days. The specific duration depends on your nationality.
- Visa extensions allow you to remain in Vietnam longer than your original visa period. Extensions are usually granted in increments of 1 month.
- Extensions must be applied for before your original visa expires. Overstaying visas can result in fines or even deportation.
- Extensions can only be applied for within Vietnam at an Immigration Department office.
Now let’s look at how to extend your Vietnamese visa:
Table of Contents
Step 1: Gather required documents
To extend your visa, you’ll need:
- Your valid passport
- Original visa
- Immigration extension form
- Temporary residence card
- 2 passport photos
- Extension fee payment
Step 2: Submit an extension application
Applications are submitted at local Immigration Department offices. You must apply at least 3-5 days before your original visa expires. Expect to wait 1-3 days for processing.
Step 3: Pick up passport with new visa
Once authorized, you may collect your passport containing the visa extension stamp. Remember to confirm the revised date of departure.
With some advance planning, extending your Vietnam visa is a straightforward process. This allows you to spend more time immerging yourself in Vietnam’s captivating scenery, culture, and cuisine.
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What is a Visa?
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In English language: A visa is a formal authorization allowing temporary entry into a different country. Visas are typically granted as imprints or labels affixed within passports.
Travel visas allow visitors to enter a country for purposes such as tourism. Travel visas are very common, so the application process can be lengthy due to high demand.
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A tourist visa allows visitors to enter a country for a limited time for tourism purposes. It sets the length of stay allowed. Tourist visa holders cannot work or conduct business. Tourist visas are easy to obtain nowadays through electronic visas.
When Will You Need a Visa?
In general, you will need a visa when visiting a foreign country that does not have a visa agreement with your home country. Visa requirements allow governments to screen and approve travelers before they enter. If the country you plan to visit has no visa arrangement with your homeland, obtaining a visa beforehand is essential. Some key considerations:
- Check visa policies between your home country and destination. Visa-free travel is common between nations with special agreements.
- Research visa types. Tourist, business, student – requirements vary. Choose the appropriate visa for your trip purpose.
- Apply early. Processing times range from days to months depending on consulate workload. Avoid denied entry by securing your visa in advance.
- Have required documents ready. Passport, photos, return ticket, bank statements may be needed to apply.
While visa rules are complex, the takeaway is simple: if no visa waiver exists, get the proper visa before departing to avoid problems. Advance planning and preparation ensures your entry permission is secured.
Differences Between an Immigrant and Non-Immigrant Visa
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The primary distinction between an immigrant visa and a non-immigrant visa lies in the intended duration of stay in the destination country. An immigrant visa bestows permanent resident status to the holder, whereas a non-immigrant visa permits a temporary stay for a specific timeframe.
Some key differences:
- Immigrant visas lead to permanent residency and eventual citizenship. Non-immigrant visas do not.
- Immigrant visas allow you to live and work permanently in the host country. Non-immigrant visas usually restrict employment and length of stay.
- Obtaining an immigrant visa is a much lengthier process with quotas and eligibility requirements. Non-immigrant visas are easier to obtain.
- Immigrant visas allow unlimited entries to the host country. Non-immigrant visas may restrict the number of entries or require departures between stays.
- Violating the terms of a non-immigrant visa can result in deportation and bans on re-entry. There are no such risks with immigrant visas.
- Immigrant visas grant access to social services and benefits in the host country. Non-immigrant visas do not.
The type of visa depends on your purpose for visiting the country. Those looking to stay temporarily should apply for a non-immigrant visa. Permanent moves require an immigrant visa. Understanding the difference is crucial for legal compliance.
How to Extend a Visa in Vietnam
There are two main options for extending your visa in Vietnam.
The first is a visa extension. This allows you to stay in Vietnam without leaving the country. You’ll receive a new exit date stamp in your passport.
The second is a visa renewal. This provides a completely new visa page and stamp in your passport. Visa renewals tend to cost more due to the fees for new visa stickers and stamps.
The Vietnam Immigration Office decides whether you get a visa extension or renewal. Their decision depends on your current visa status.
Step-by-step guide to extending or renewing a visa in Vietnam
Extending or renewing a visa in Vietnam involves a few straightforward steps. The process is as follows:
- Prepare the required documents. You’ll need a visa extension form and your passport/travel documents.
- Submit the documents to the immigration office. Keep the receipt to collect your passport later.
- After about 7-10 working days, return with your receipt. Pay the visa fee, sign for your passport, and collect the result.
The immigration office operates six days a week, from Monday to Saturday. It typically takes about 1-2 weeks to complete the entire visa extension procedure, starting from document submission to receiving the final decision. It is important to gather all necessary paperwork in advance. By adequately preparing, you can ensure a seamless experience when extending your visa in Vietnam.
Where is it possible to prolong my visa for Vietnam?
There are Immigration Management Departments in Vietnam’s three largest cities where you can extend your visa. The addresses are:
44 – 46 Tran Phu Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi
78 Le Loi Street, Thach Thang Ward, Hai Chau District, Da Nang
333 – 335 – 337 Nguyen Trai Street, Nguyen Cu Trinh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
To extend your visa, it is necessary for you to visit one of these offices in person. Remember to carry your passport, current visa, filled application form, photographs, and the payment for the extension fee. Normally, the procedure takes approximately 5-7 working days.
Vietnam visa extensions allow travelers to prolong their stay beyond the original visa validity period. The available extension durations are typically 15 days, 1 month, 3 months, or 6 months, matching the initial visa lengths. The extension eligibility and fees vary based on the original visa type obtained. For instance, 1-month and 3-month tourist visas can currently be extended up to 1 additional month. However, extension policies are subject to change, so checking with visa agents beforehand is recommended.
By learning the Vietnam visa extension process, travelers can rest assured their Vietnam holiday plans will go smoothly. With the ability to extend visas, Vietnam’s beautiful sights and experiences can be enjoyed stress-free. Don’t forget to use Traveloka to conveniently book flights, hotels, and activities for your Vietnam adventure!