Do you need a Vietnam visa? Here how we managed to get one.
[In this article we explain how we got our Vietnam Visa in a neighbouring country i.e. Cambodia, CLICK HERE IF YOU ARE FLYING STRAIGHT TO VIETNAM or CLICK HERE TO JUMP TO VIETNAM VISA ONLINE APPLICATION]
For some countries in Europe like Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and since July 2015 Germany, France, Spain, Italy and UK too, it’s possible to enter Vietnam without any visa if the stay is up to 15 days. By crossing the land border or if you want to fly to any international airport in Vietnam, at customs you’ll get a stamp showing the date by which you have to leave the country.
But what if you want to stay longer?
Until a short time ago, apparently, it was possible to get a 6-month Vietnam visa, but nowadays the option is only between 30-day or 90-day single or multiple entry visa.
We wanted to stay longer than 90 days, so we tried to get info about the possibility to extend the Vietnam visa or exit the country after 3 months and re-enter with a touristic visa for 15 more days. The law in Vietnam is not clear, it can even change more than once during a single year. Eventually, we managed to obtain a 1-month Visa extension, thanks to a dear Vietnamese friend we met in Barney’s Danang Backpackers Hostel! The locals are always the best help when it comes to bureaucracy.
Since we read it is recommended to leave your homeland already with a visa for Vietnam, we contacted the Vietnamese consulate in Turin, the closest to us. They told us they can’t release visa for more than 90 days, without giving us any suggestion to stay longer. Besides the cost for a single entry 90-day visa is 170€, plus 40€ more to get the visa in less than 10 working days. A robbery!
Reading other blogs, we found travellers that got a Vietnam visa in Cambodia, and extensions directly in Vietnam. Considering our plan to visit Cambodia before crossing the border, we contacted the Vietnamese embassy in Phnom Penh (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the consulate in Sihanoukville (email@example.com), both cities we would have visited.
From the embassy in Phnom Penh the confirmation arrived: it’s possible to get a 90-day visa for Vietnam taking one working day for processing (and without any other tax) at 50$…a great gap in times and costs compared to our Country!
From Sihanoukville they invited us to visit the consulate to get information, but after the confirmation from the embassy in Phnom Penh we were pretty sure it worked the same way, maybe even faster since it’s in Sihanoukville that visa are processed.
And so it did. At the consulate in Sihanoukville at 9am, in 10minutes we filled in a module with our data and a passport-format photo, and paying 55$ our visas were ready in the afternoon. And all this through safe and official channels.
In Siem Reap we found many agencies offering procedures to get the visa for Vietnam, but we preferred going through the consulate. And everything worked perfectly fine.
If you are not travelling through a neighbouring country, but you are flying directly to Vietnam instead, your option is to apply here for a visa on arrival, which means that you can ask for a visa applying online and get it at any Vietnamese airport. After entering the necessary data, you will receive a letter of approval in a few days. Bring the letter with you and deliver it with a document you’ll have to fill in. After paying a fee at the airport, you’ll easily get your visa for Vietnam!
This was our experience, if you have any question, please contact us!
Address and opening times of the offices:
Vietnamese Embassy in Phnom Penh: 436 Preah Monivong Blvd.
Opening hours: from 8 to 11,30 am and from 2 to 5 pm.
Vietnamese Consulate in Sihanoukville: 310 Ekarech Street.
Opening hours: from 8 am to 12 pm and from 2 to 5 pm.