Once you really start travelling Vietnam, you will soon come to realize that 30 days is not even close to being enough. You’ll then want to extend your visa. And here is how you can do it.
First, those nationalities that don’t need a visa…
If you are from any of these 23 lucky countries, then you are able to enjoy Vietnam for a specified period of time without having to bother about a visa.
14 days visa-free entry: Brunei, Myanmar
15 days visa-free entry: Belarus*, Denmark, Finland, France*, Germany*, Italy*, Japan, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Spain*, Sweden, The United Kingdom*
30 days visa-free entry: Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand
21 days visa-free entry: The Philippines
90 days visa-free entry: Chile
* Countries marked with asterisk are granted visa exemption until June 30th, 2018 only.
Source: Vietnam Immigration
If you’re from Chile, you’re lucky! You get a whole three months of visa exemption. The other 22 nationalities are lucky too, but we are pretty sure you’d want to spend more time in Vietnam than the exemption allows you to. In this case, you can easily apply for a visa renewal at any of the main Immigration Departments located in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang. You cannot opt for the extension option as this is not available for you. Visa renewal can be a little costly though, so what would be better for you is to initially apply for the appropriate tourist visa that will grant you a stay for one month/three months, with single or multiple entries. This will certainly be more convenient, cheaper and save you a lot of hassle and time.
Applying for a tourist visa
You have the option of applying for a one month/three month, single/multiple entry visa which can be further extended in Vietnam. To apply, either visit the nearest Vietnamese embassy or consulate near you, or you can pre-arrange a visa approval letter through an agency online and then get your visa sticker when you arrive at the port of entry. For eligibility and instructions, you may check VOAVietnam, a trusted visa agency.
Note: Because requirements for visa applications vary so much depending on many factors, it is advisable that you contact the Vietnamese embassy or consulate directly to ask them for the most up to date information relevant to you. Give them your nationality and travel details and ask them to provide you with the best visa option you can apply for, the required documents, and the fee.
Extension of a tourist visa
Extending your visa will mean you will be able to stay longer in Vietnam without leaving. The duration of allowed extension will depend on the visa you have already obtained. If you wish to extend your visa for a period of one month, your current visa must be one for a month or longer. The fee will be approximately US$60 – US$155, depending on your nationality.
If you wish to extend your visa for a period of three months, then your current visa must be one for a three-month long stay. The fee will be approximately US$180 – US$310, depending on your nationality.
Many agencies can help you deal with this process, and VOAVietnam is one of them. This can also be done directly at the Immigration Department. Along with your application you must submit copies of your passport bio page, current visa, immigration stamp, last date of entry, port of entry and details of your current accommodation(s) in Vietnam. Extension will take around five to seven working days.
Note: Only a limited number of nationalities are eligible to apply for an extension, and the requirements change accordingly as well. Contact the Immigration Department in advance and ask.
Unfortunately, the Vietnamese government has temporarily stopped extending visa for all nationalities. Instead, you have to now leave Vietnam, apply for a new visa and then re-enter the country.
Renewal of a tourist visa
Visa renewal is similar to extension, however only eligible for those who are granted visa exemption upon entry. The maximum length of time you can renew your visa for is three months only. You can upgrade your current one-month visa to one of three months, or from a single-entry visa to a multiple entry one. The cost for renewal is US$200 (one month, single), US$330 (three months, single) and US$350 (three months, multiple). These values are subject to change depending on your nationality.
A similar set of documents must be handed over, but it is always best to contact and ask ahead.
Immigration Departments of Vietnam
Vietnam Immigration Department (A18) in Hanoi
40A, Hang Bai Street, Hanoi, Vietnam, +84 439 345 609
Vietnam Immigration Department (A18) in Da Nang
7 Tran Quy Cap, Da Nang City, Vietnam, + 84 7511 382 3383
Vietnam Immigration Department (A18) in Ho Chi Minh City
161 Nguyen Du, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, +84 838 299 398