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!
OFFICES ADDRESS AND OPENING TIMES:
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.
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Very helpful information! We will try to get our visa here in Sihanoukville!
Thank you! We were not sure how it would work before getting there, but eventually were pleasantly surprised for the efficiency! Go for it, we can absolutely recommend!
Hi thanks for the helpful article. I am arriving in Sihanoukville 9am on a Friday. I plan on going straight from airport to the embassy. I hope I can get the visa the same day but if not would I have to wait until Monday then?? Any info much appreciated!
I am not sure whether the consulate is open on Saturdays or not. My advise in this case is to go straight there as you’re planning; then if they are open on Saturday you will be able to collect your visa the day after, otherwise you may want to option for the fast service for a small fee (I believe 5 or 10 usd), and get it done for the same day, if you don’t want to wait until Monday.
Hope this works, good luck!
I am from South Africa. i have come from Vietnam and am now currently in Malaysia and would like to go back to Vietnam but from what I have read, it seems as though it is more expensive to apply at a Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia.
Would anyone be able to clarify this please?
we have no experience about applying at a Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia, however when flying straight to Vietnam instead of crossing land borders, it’s easier to apply for a visa on arrival.
You can apply for a visa on arrival by clicking here https://booking.vietnam-visa.com/step1.html ,it takes just a few minutes. Insert your data, confirm your dates, and you will receive via email all documents you need to show at the border office at any Vietnamese International Airport to get your visa approved.
Let us know if you need more info!
Thank you for this information, this post answered our question perfectly! 🙂 We are in Cambodia now and want to go to Vietnam by bus in a few weeks. So we will do the visa in Sihanoukville as well.
You are welcome! Enjoy the good vibes in Sihanoukville!
Very good info and relevant to me. I am renting a place in Phu Quoc for six months and I have to renew my Visa because it expires on the 18th of April. So I’m going to follow your recommendations.
On Monday 17th of April I will go on the Superdong ferry from Bai Vong (8am) to Ha Tien (9:30am). Then I will try DIY to go the 7km to the NAM/CAM border crossing (Xa Xia /Prek Chak). Get my NAM visa/passport exit stamp and walk to the CAM border entry. Get a CAM Visa (1 month US$30+5) and entry stamp. Then try another DIY to go thru Kampot to Sihanoukville.
If i allow 4 hours from Ha Tien to SNK I could/should?? be at the NAM Consulate by the afternoon opening at 2pm.
Question 1: The USD$55 you paid for the NAM visa? Was that USD$50 for a 3 month Multi Entry visa? and USD$5 fee for “express same day service”?
I want a 3 month multi-entry. If i can wait for normal service, will it be USD$50 and no ” express fee”?
Q2: You mention it may be possible to get a visa “extension” in DaNang. (That is where I am going after Phu Quoc). How long might the extension be for, and what would it cost?
sounds like you have planned it well!
Question 1: we applied for a 3-month single entry visa, they just told us 55$ and we agreed. I believe express same day fee is around 10$. Multiple entry is more expensive, perhaps somewhere around 75-85$ I’d say.
For sure the 50$ visa is only for a single entry, multiple entry will be more expensive.
Question 2: Visa extension are super expensive compared to what you get: we once got a 1-month extension of our 90-day visa, and it cost us 60$. Took about 4-5 working days to get it. The more you pay, the faster they do it for you. I heard about some 3-month visa extensions, but I’ve never seen anyone getting that, must be very expensive, probably better to exit and re-enter the country.
I am sure about 1-month extension, you will need to get in touch with some agencies and the price will be between 60 and 80$ normally.
Now at an apartment in danang.
Where in danang to get the visa extension?
Thanks in advance!
the only way to get visa extensions is through Vietnamese agents who will do the procedure for you. You can ask some hotels if they provide the service, or search through the Facebook group “Danang Hoi An Expats”, you may find some solution there.
Visa extension is quite expensive, I’ve seen some extensions from 60-70$ for 1 month, personally never seen a 3 month extension but some say over 150-200$. Some people also do Visa-runs to Laos from Da Nang, leaving in the morning and coming back in the afternoon to get a new Visa, you can search for that in the Facebook group as well.
Best of luck!
Hi Could you tell me please how long they give you to use the visa
when you make the Visa request you must specify your arrival and leaving dates, so you’ll have to use it specifically between them.
Hello!! Thanks for the info was so useful.
Question: Do you know if the vietnam visa that you get in Cambodia you can use it either to cross the border by bus or direct flying? It is possible for both uses??
Yes I believe you can use it for both. The visa you get in Cambodia just needs to be stamped by the officials, so any border is good.
Enjoy your travels!
Hello, WE are in Sihanoukville tomorrow before heading to Koh Rong, and the back to Sihanoukville. Can we apply for Visa and the collect 5 days later?
yes you can do that. Just make sure you tell it to the officers, and have a photocopy of your passport when you travel around.
Enjoy Koh Rong!!!
Thankyou. Just realised we return on a Saturday when consulate closed
Is it safe leaving passport with travel agents to process visa?
Ah that’s a shame. We personally never tried in Cambodia but I would say it is safe. Go for a bigger agency i.e. sponsored by some hostel or hotel and rated online on google and trip advisor.