Visas are crucial documents for almost everyone wishing to travel to the Communist Republic of Vietnam. They enable the Vietnamese government to identify travelers as they come into the country. Visas are also essential for diplomatic reasons - identifying the purpose of a visit, for example. While a Visa allows you to enter Vietnam, it is not the only document you have to obtain when you’re travelling there. This article is rich in information about the process of obtaining Vietnamese travel Visas.
The best place to start when looking for a Vietnamese Visa is their consulate in your home country. Traditionally, Vietnamese Visas are single entry Visas. If you plan to leave Vietnam for another country without first returning to your country of residence, you must complete an application for a multiple visit Visa. While it’s also possible for you to process a Vietnamese Visa on arrival there, it’s always best to do so before travelling. Even a small glitch or error on your documents could create trouble with the Vietnamese authorities, who take such things extremely seriously.
There are several reputable companies who can help visitors receive Vietnamese Visas before they travel. While these companies reduce your load as far as the application and follow up process is concerned, they can be costly. As an unregulated market, you might also risk being conned by unscrupulous “briefcase” Vietnamese Visa companies who are only out to swindle you of your money - without providing legitimate help.
Getting the Right Type of Visa
Unlike some countries, Vietnam isn’t lax about its Visa applications. For example, Vietnamese immigration departments take the type of Visa very seriously. You can only engage in activities for which you’re granted a Vietnam Visa. Any slight deviation from the original Visa application reason will render you open to communist government scrutiny and the harsh realities that accompany it.
So far, the following popular Visas can take you to Vietnam.
Vietnamese Tourist Visas
Vietnamese tourist Visas are granted for a maximum period of one month. Traditionally, these Visas are single entry Visas. However, they can be extended after the maximum period expired when you’re already accepted there.
These are some of the most easily obtained Visas, because they are sponsored at the government level. Diplomatic Visas basically don’t accrue charges. However, these Visas need a strict verification of the visitor’s identity from the accredited organization sponsoring the visit.
Business Visas and Others
Business people can get Visas for a period between 3 and 6 months, depending on the local requirements. Apart from the regular Visa requirements, business Visas require that travelers have local sponsors before one can completely qualify for one.
Solving Vietnamese Visa - Related Problems
Vietnamese government authorities are strict at enforcing Visa requirements and rules. They’re particularly firm about using your Visa only for intended purposes. You cannot use a tourist Visa for business, and neither can you use a business Visa to do charitable work. You must change the status of your visas each time you want to change your purpose lest you fall in trouble.
In the case of lost Visas, surviving in Vietnam can be challenging unless you take the right steps. If you lose your Visa or passport, you must apply for replacements immediately. However, you have to be patient, because the Vietnamese government needs between three and five working days (in addition to the day of application) before they can issue a replacement visa for you. This means that you should contact your country’s consulate for help in case of an emergency before the lost Visa is replaced.
Overall, getting a Vietnamese Visa is the first step you should take before travelling. While you can obtain a Vietnamese Visa easily with a valid passport, a Visa exemption document or a written approval letter may be required upon arrival, depending on your circumstances. It’s also important to note that some fees do apply with each Visa processing (this may change from time to time). Other requirements include yellow fever vaccinations, among others. Nonetheless, considering the strict code with which the Vietnamese government treats Visa applications, abiding by the rules and tips above can make the whole process go quite smoothly.