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Visa Guide to Vietnam 2020

Like any other country in the world, visiting Vietnam is subject to visa approval. Getting a visa for Vietnam is not very difficult as there are 79 countries citizens of which can get visa on arrival, 45 countries tourists from which may get an e-visa, and 24 nations do not even need a visa to enter Vietnam.

vietnam visa 2020

Entry to Vietnam without Visa
Vietnam has five categories of free visas, which allow maximum stay without a visa. They are: 

•    Less than 90 days
•    Less than 30 days
•    Less than 21 days
•    Less than 15 days
•    Less than 14 days

Chile is the only country to which Vietnam grants less than 90 days of visa-free stay. Countries like Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore get less than 21 days visa-free stay in the country.  For the UK, Spain, South Korea,Sweden, Russia, Japan, Norway, Italy, Germany, Finland, France, Belarus and Denmark, the duration of visa-free stay is less than 15 days. Only Brunei and Myanmar can get a less than 14 days visa-free entry to Vietnam. Nationals of these countries desiring to stay more than the stipulated period should apply for the visa extension.

The citizens of the USA who are of Vietnamese origin can apply for a 5-Year Visa Exemption. The same applies to foreigners married to Vietnamese citizens. For them, the period of visa-free stay is less than 90 days.

Visa on Arrival
Vietnam allows visa on arrival to 150 countries of the world. The facility of visa on arrival is available for air travel only. The steps to apply for a visa on arrival are as follows:

•    An online application is an essential mandate for receiving an approval letter. The process may take 3-5 business days.
•    For urgent visa on arrival should go through the rush processing, which takes 8 hours to issue a letter of approval.
•    Once the approval letter arrives via email, one needs to take a printout of the message and keep the hard copy.
•    The passenger should have a passport with a minimum of 6 months validity from the date of arrival at Vietnam and two passport size photos for stamping the visa.
•    The stamping fee of either $25 or $50 should be kept handy.
•    The tourist needs to carry all these documents along and present them at the international airport in Vietnam to get a visa stamped on the passport.

Points to be remembered:

•    Children traveling with adults need a separate visa.
•    The visa fee should pay in USD, and credit cards are not acceptable.
•    The visa fee depends on the length of the stay and the frequency of multiple entries.

E-visa for Vietnam:
Vietnam allows 45 countries to secure e-visa to travel to the country and stay up to 30 days. The electronically generated visa must obtain two days before the journey begins. Tourists should use the official e-visa site to apply for the same or can apply through reputed travel agents. The supporting documents required for the application are as follows:

•    1 passport size photograph
•    Copy of passport with at least 6 months validity
•    Online payment of $25.

The tourists can enter the country within the validity of the visa.  Hence, it is vital to plan accordingly. 

Visa through Vietnamese Embassy:
In case the traveler does not belong to a country where Vietnam offers any of the said visa facilities, such a traveler can get visa service from the Vietnam embassy of nearby countries.  One may also apply for a visa via an embassy if he or she wants to have the visa ready before time.

The steps to be followed to apply for a visa via embassy are as follows:
•    Prepare documents – a passport with at least six months validity, 2 passport size photographs taken not more than one year of the date of application.
•    Visa fee in USD.
•    Self-addressed return envelope with a postage stamp.
•    Visa application forms - NA2 visa application form available at an embassy or downloaded from the official visa website and an entry/exit form for visa on arrival.

The visa application fee will vary according to the country and the citizenship of the applicant. Hence, it is advisable to consult the local embassy about the fee before applying for a visa. 
Applicability of different visas on other modes of travel:
Apart from air travel, tourists can also enter Vietnam by road, rail, or sea. For these modes of travel, a full visa is mandatory, which means tourists cannot travel with an e-visa (visa on arrival).

Extending Vietnam tourist visa:
If the tourists want to prolong their stay in Vietnam, they can apply for a visa extension for a maximum of three more months just by paying the fee and getting the extension stamped in the passport before the expiry of the stay. Tourists can extend the stay twice; that is, the visit can be prolonged by at most six months. 

The application is subject to filling up the NA5 form, which can download from the official website. The duly filled form should submit to immigration offices located in different parts of the country. These offices are open Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 11:30 am and 1:30 pm to 5:00 pm. On Saturdays, these offices are open during 7:00 am-11:30 am.
The visa processing will take about 5-7 working days for a one-month extension and ten working days for a three-month extension.

Immigration offices in Vietnam:
1.    Hanoi: 44-46 Tran Phu, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi.
2.    Da Nang: 7 Tran Quy Cap, Da Nang
3.    Ho Chi Minh city: 196 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Ward 6, District 3, Ho Chi Minh city.  

Overstaying in Vietnam:
Overstayis strictly prohibited in Vietnam, and it costs hefty to the offender. It is similar in the case for non-payment of the visa fee. Overstay fine is$30-$60 per day and is payable at the time of leaving the country.

Types of Vietnam visas besides tourist visa:
•    Meetings/conference (3 months)
•    Foreign workers/employment visas (2 years)
•    Working with Vietnamese authorities (12 months)
•    Investor visas (5 years)
•    working with Vietnamese business (12 months)
•    Chief Representative Office in Vietnam
•    Head of ProjectOffice for foreign NGO (12 months)
•    NGO staff, Representative Office (12 months)
•    Student/internship (12 months)
•    Diplomatic visas (12 months)

Foreigners must apply for a visa 15 days before they start working in Vietnam. The employer should apply it to the provincial Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA). It will take about 10 days to process the visa.

The eligibility for a work permit:
•    The applicant must be 18 years of age
•    The person must be in good health to meet the job requirements
•    The individual must be the stature of a manager, executive director, or expert possessing technical skills and knowledge essential for the job.
•    The person should not have a criminal history or facing any criminal prosecution or any criminal punishment in Vietnam or abroad.

Foreigners may not require a work permit in case of the following:
•    If the duration of the stay in Vietnam for employment is less than three months;
•    If the person is a representative of a limited liability company with two or more partners;
•    If the person is a proprietor of a limited liability company with only one delegate;
•    If the person is a representative of the board of a Joint Stock Company;
•    If the person entering Vietnam to sell products and services;
•    If the person enteringVietnam for less than three months to solve an emergency or technologically complex situation,which Vietnamese experts or foreign experts currently in Vietnam are unable to resolve, and which could affect production;
•    If the person is a lawyer, then the person is eligible for a professional permit;
•    If the person is the head of representative office/s, chief of project office/s or member of the foreign non-government organization in Vietnam;
•    If the person is an official of the World Trade Organization;
•    If the person entering Vietnam to offer consulting services to research, and other programs that use Official Development Assistance (ODA)

Temporary Residence Card (TRC):
The Ministry of Public Security, Vietnam issue Temporary Residence Card (TRC) to foreigners who are working in senior management positions with a work permit of one year or more. It is valid for one to five years, depending on the type of visa. 

Permanent Residence Card (PRC):
Foreigners can get PRC if they are working for Vietnam and honored by the government. If an expatriate resides in the country for three or more consecutive years and has a spouse and children who are Vietnamese citizens with permanent residence in the country, he or she is also eligible for PRC. When the head of a ministerial or government agency recommends foreign scientists or experts, then they will be conferred with PRC.

Conclusion:
Being one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in South East Asia, Vietnam offers affordable and flexible visa facilities with a nominal processing fee. The visa on arrival is one of the easiest options for tourists who want to visit Vietnam and enjoy the tranquility. Vietnam is a tourist-friendly nation, and holidaying in Vietnam is one of the best experiences you can enjoy in your life.

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