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A quick guide to Certificate of Visa Exemption (VEC), Vietnam

Hello,

Situation: When I lived in Ho Chi minh City, extending my VEC for another 3 months(Now 6 months) was an easy process with the N5 form. Landlord and polic stamp plus 200k got me another stamp.

In Hanoi, doesn't seem that simple. I went to immigration today and it was pretty much a nightmare. I know about the whole tea money thing but really don't feel comfortable speaking Vietnamese even though I am overseas Vietnamese. If 200k tip would assure my extension, I wouldn't mind paying but the woman was such a b*tch to me, it didn't seem like I even had the option.

So, can anyone here verify the extension process is possible for a overseas VN in Hanoi without family, just landlord info??

peterpan75 :

Hello,

Situation: When I lived in Ho Chi minh City, extending my VEC for another 3 months(Now 6 months) was an easy process with the N5 form. Landlord and polic stamp plus 200k got me another stamp.

In Hanoi, doesn't seem that simple. I went to immigration today and it was pretty much a nightmare. I know about the whole tea money thing but really don't feel comfortable speaking Vietnamese even though I am overseas Vietnamese. If 200k tip would assure my extension, I wouldn't mind paying but the woman was such a b*tch to me, it didn't seem like I even had the option.

So, can anyone here verify the extension process is possible for a overseas VN in Hanoi without family, just landlord info??

What is your visa type currently? TT? What did the official tell you?

Hi,
I have a VEC for almost 6 month now (process decribed here: http://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.ph … 10#3456805).
I will have to restamp it for another 6 month before end of this month. Which office do I have to go to do this? I tried to find this info in the previous posts but cannot find it.
Is there anything to pay to get my VEC stamped?

NHerby :

Hi,
I have a VEC for almost 6 month now (process decribed here: http://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.ph … 10#3456805).
I will have to restamp it for another 6 month before end of this month. Which office do I have to go to do this? I tried to find this info in the previous posts but cannot find it.
Is there anything to pay to get my VEC stamped?

You will get 3 months if you stay in VN and 6 months if you do a border run. You can get 6 months in VN if you are mates with someone at immigration.

colinoscapee :

You will get 3 months if you stay in VN and 6 months if you do a border run. You can get 6 months in VN if you are mates with someone at immigration.

Thanks. But this does not tell me where to go to get 3 months. Do you know that?

Immigration dept in whichever city/town you are in.

But in HCMC, there is the one on Nguyen Du, the one on Nguyen Trai and the one on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai and I have no idea which office I should go.

From previous posts people have had it done at Nguyen Trai. I dont, I just do a quick border run to Moc Bai.

colinoscapee :

You will get 3 months if you stay in VN and 6 months if you do a border run. You can get 6 months in VN if you are mates with someone at immigration.

We don't know anyone at immigration, and our VECs say we get 6 months ("The bearer of passport number XYZ is entitled to multiple entries into Vietnam until 15/05/2022.  Duration of stay does not exceed 180 days for each entry.")

We're not planning to do a border run, but will take a trip out of the country for a week or two, then come back.  We don't need letter of approval (as mentioned on another thread) in order to have our passports stamped upon returned, do we?

Ciambella :
colinoscapee :

You will get 3 months if you stay in VN and 6 months if you do a border run. You can get 6 months in VN if you are mates with someone at immigration.

We don't know anyone at immigration, and our VECs say we get 6 months ("The bearer of passport number XYZ is entitled to multiple entries into Vietnam until 15/05/2022.  Duration of stay does not exceed 180 days for each entry.")

We're not planning to do a border run, but will take a trip out of the country for a week or two, then come back.  We don't need letter of approval (as mentioned on another thread) in order to have our passports stamped upon returned, do we?

I have a 3 year VEC and have been out of the country loads of times without having to have a letter of approval to get back in. In fact on one occasion (before the180 day rule) the Immigration Officer at TSN airport told me "Ive given you 3 months, no need to go to the police station this time. Usually they used to just give a two week stamp which gave time to go to the nick.

As with most things in VN the rules are not consistent. Most people I know on VEC's only get 3 months, mine is the same.

Maybe due to your Vietnamese heritage is the reason you get 180 days, also the rules may have changed AGAIN. My VEC is over three years old, many things change in 3 years in VN.

colinoscapee :

Maybe due to your Vietnamese heritage is the reason you get 180 days, also the rules may have changed AGAIN.

It must have been one or the other, as you said.  Thank you, Colin.

I'm ignorant about Visa of any kind.  The agency in California did it for us for $80 each, and I thought it was a good thing until I read later on several websites that it can be had for free.  :(

Spouse got the same thing (5-year VEC) but I guess it's because he's married to me.

No letter needed for new stamp is good.   Thanks, Matt.

Spouse got the same thing (5-year VEC) but I guess it's because he's married to me.

Well, he is a very lucky man.😀

Since Dec 2016 the rules for VEC  is 180 days.

Mine was issued in 2014 and has 90 day limit, I doubt the green monsters will give me 180 days.

My is also from 2014 an I get everytime since Dec 2016 180 days from the nice guy?????? I think everybody get the same

Ciambella :

The agency in California did it for us for $80 each, and I thought it was a good thing until I read later on several websites that it can be had for free.  :(

Actually $80 is not bad.  My VEC that my wife got for me at Nguyen Du Street cost $20 US according to the stamp on it although I am pretty sure she paid in VND.  The Viet Embassy in the US website is a little cagy and does not list the fee but I read on another site that it may be a low of $50 and a high of $100.  The agent may be paying the $50 price while individuals pay $100.  That leaves only $30 and your agent had two package fees to the consulate. (I am assuming you were not living in SF.)  The consulate requires a prepaid USPS Express mail envelope which costs $23 for the return.  (I am assuming you were not living in SF.)  My experience in Honolulu is that these Vietnamese travel agents get quick service from the consulates too because they establish a relationship.  Of course they saved a little by doing two at once so they might have discounted your husband's, but overall you did not get that bad a deal.

We lived in Orange County, but they sent ours to Houston!  Why, I don't know.  SF would have been the most logical choice.  The stamp on the Visa says Tong Lanh Su Quan (Consulate General) Houston. 

Maybe their brother-in-law's sister's fiancé's cousin works there and gives them a discount.  They have a affiliate here in Saigon, on Cu Lao St in Phu Nhuan.

My VEC that my wife got for me at Nguyen Du Street cost $20 US according to the stamp on it .

VEC is free. I didn't have to pay anything for it.
On my VEC the stamp reads "Mien Le Phi".

senwl :

VEC is free. I didn't have to pay anything for it.
On my VEC the stamp reads "Mien Le Phi".

That's what I read on several sites, and that's why I was bumped that it cost us $80 each. 

Still, looking back, I didn't have to do anything except giving our passports to the agency and they took care of everything.  For loose VECs, I wouldn't even need to hand over the passports at all.  I didn't have to go to the Consulate, standing in line, and dealing with people whose attitude I may resent,  or applying over the Internet and worrying whether the documents were lost in the mail, etc.

There's always a price for convenience, so stop complaining, Ciambella !

I expressed my passport to the VN  office in New York in Nov 2016 and got three months only but I stayed 34 days in VN. I paid visa fee of $110 and also enclosed an self-expressed envelope.

I was surprised how effective the New York office was. The whole process took five days and my passport returned. I called and the counselor was very polite. I had no difficulty nor delay.

I like to take care of all the visa and documents before I travel. That is why I did not do the
airport  application to get visa at airport in Vietnam. One reason is I could get there at VN Airport  and they could say we have changed the rules. That is a developing country and I don't trust anything to be consistent or to be in order like it is in USA or elsewhere. So I always get all legal paperwork in place then I fly. That always eliminate any uncertainties and that has always worked well for in all my travels. No difficulty. No immigration issues. No hassle. I prefer to pay more money to get all paperwork in place before I fly wherever I want to go than to get there and face difficult immigration issues.

Excellent advice from an apparently experienced traveler.

Libhero :

I like to take care of all the visa and documents before I travel. That is why I did not do the airport  application to get visa at airport in Vietnam. One reason is I could get there at VN Airport  and they could say we have changed the rules. .... I always get all legal paperwork in place then I fly. That always eliminate any uncertainties and that has always worked well for in all my travels.

I absolutely agree.

I recently applied to have my 5 year VEC renewed via the Vietnamese Embassy in London.
The total cost was £19 which included the return postage.

I was pleased to find that on each visit I can now stay for 180 days rather than the 90 days as was shown on my old certificate.

There was absolutely no hassle in the whole process.

I hope this information maybe of interest to someone.

colinoscapee :

Mine was issued in 2014 and has 90 day limit, I doubt the green monsters will give me 180 days.

Mine was issued in May 2016 and has a 180 day limit.

Please send this post to me so I can Print... I think will be very helpful... Thanks... good post

Dr. B
District 12, HCMC

Why not simply highlight the text, then cut and paste into a word or text document?

Beware! If you need to get a new passport because you ran out of visa pages in the one that contains your VEC go to immigrations and have a new VEC sticker put in the new passport. I was told that I could just carry both passports and present them both. The old one that has the VEC sticker attached, and the new one with no sticker. But the first time I tried to re-enter Vietnam I was denied because my new passport did not contain the VEC. You will notice in the upper right portion of the VEC that it is connected to your passport by the passport number. This is what they hung their hat on.

Who gave you the wrong information? A friend or someone behind a desk?

I was in a similar situation two weeks ago. When I flew in from overseas the airline checked my passport for a Vietnam visa and were satisfied that the VEC in my old passport recently cancelled but connected to my new passport was OK to travel. At HCMC immigration stated that they would not accept that but I was granted a 15 day stay as I am a British citizen. The visa for the country that I work in was in the old passport and was accepted OK when I returned from Vietnam. I am in the process of getting a VEC in my new passport.

Update on my previous post. I just picked up my new pass[port with a new VEC valid for 5 years.
Multiple entries each entry valid for 6 months. time taken less than one week and minimum documents required. - Marriage Certificate original and copy, two photographs my passport - old with VEC and new passport plus my wife's Vietnamese passport.

Just to confirm, if I leave the country for a few days and get a stamp then when I return, my VEC automatically resets right and I get another 180 days?

thunder_god :

Just to confirm, if I leave the country for a few days and get a stamp then when I return, my VEC automatically resets right and I get another 180 days?

Correct.

colinoscapee :
thunder_god :

Just to confirm, if I leave the country for a few days and get a stamp then when I return, my VEC automatically resets right and I get another 180 days?

Correct.

Awesome thanks!

Hello,

I read your post - ''I recently applied to have my 5 year VEC renewed via the Vietnamese Embassy in London.
The total cost was £19 which included the return postage.

I was pleased to find that on each visit I can now stay for 180 days rather than the 90 days as was shown on my old certificate.

There was absolutely no hassle in the whole process.

I hope this information maybe of interest to someone.''

Can you explain more. How long did the process take? Do you have a contact email address?

Thanks for your time and advise
Regards
Andrew

Has anyone received a VEC in the last month that was issued in Saigon. A guy I know said he was only given 90 days on his and the officer said the laws have changed.........yet again.

:o

Hi,
Can anyone let me know where I can find a copy of application for 5 year visa exemption and guarantee form for Vietnamese association in English?  Thank you in advance.

Username :

Hi,
Can anyone let me know where I can find a copy of application for 5 year visa exemption and guarantee form for Vietnamese association in English?  Thank you in advance.

http://www.xuatnhapcanh.com.vn/c31t604- … et-nam.htm

I don't suppose I have a snowballs chance in hell,  but...

Could I get a one year biz visa tied to a WP that I no longer work at changed to a VEC?  I'm not married just baby with VN passport.

I have two passports if it helps.

Would be grand if I could without the visa trip.

MasterofDisaster :

I'm not married just baby with VN passport.

It may be kind of a long shot but item 13 of Mau NA9 asks for "Supporting documents to prove the eligibility for a Visa Exemption Certificate".  Perhaps a copy of your child's birth certificate and passport would actually suffice.  I posted elsewhere that the child would have to sponsor you but apparently that is not correct.  You sign your own application.  Budman1's link will take you to the bi-lingual document but a more direct way is simply Google search for Mau NA9.

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