Should I buy return ticket if I will get a visa in Saigon?

Hello fellas,

I end up in this forum because I have diffulties in contacting Vietnam consulate/embassy in Indonesia. None of them answer my e-mail and their English is limited.

In January 6th I will travel to Vietnam.
Upon my arrival me and my French fiancé will go to the consulate to give Declaration of Concubinage. After that, my visa will be issued by my fiancé's company to the embassy.
But right now, it has not been issued yet.

My question is, regarding the situation at the moment.
1. Should I buy a return ticket to show the immigration officer at the airport?
2. If yes, is the return ticket should be from departure to origin country OR any country leaving Vietnam.

Your help is much appreciated on this topic

Thanks a lot!

See this thread for discussion of return tickets. No one yet has said it was required in Vietnam immigration, even though the originating flight check-in counter may say it is.

An alternative suggestion I have read on a Philippines forum, where return tickets are enforced, is you could buy a one way discount ticket to get here. Then either a second one-way ticket on AirAsia (cheap) from here to anywhere, departing before your visa expires, that you throw away. Or, a second expensive-one-way full-fare ticket with refund to anywhere, and then get it refunded after.

Hi Gobot,

Thanks a lot for the advice. I am now considering it, I think is better to throw some money on a flight than risking denied in the airport

You wont be denied but its best to get the round trip.... one way is risky in PH also in vietnam in my opinion.

Make sure you have your visa and everything ready already

Thanks Davis,

But round trip Ho Chi Minh - Jakarta cost too much. Do you think it's safe if I just buy a single ticket out of Vietnam like to Singapore maybe?

Well you are doing at your own risk.... Its possible but its best to do all proper research or i can try look it up.... but try to book your ticket in advance it will be cheaper than buying last minute.

Thanks Davis,

I'm doing the research and look for cheap flights now


You definitely don't need a round trip ticket if you are flying one way.
The airline lingo used is an "onward ticket" which means a ticket that demonstrates your ability to leave the country, and go anywhere, before your Vietnam visa expires. Go online to your airline website and chat with someone to confirm this.

But I still don't believe is it necessary.
The last time I was asked whether I had an onward ticket, at the departure counter last March in Taipei flying Vietnam Airlines to SGN, I just said that after I arrive in Saigon, I am taking a bus to Cambodia, which I was, and she said "Ok".

Hi Gobot,

It was good that Vietnamese Airlines trusted you without seeing any real ticket, maybe it has something to do with your origin country haha.

And yes! I also just read somewhere that Onward doesn't necessarily an airplane tickets. To confirm this I have asked AirAisia as my airline is it possible to provide a bus ticket from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh.
They will most likely answer it tomorrow, wish me luck!

I mean, I really really look for the cheap way. Of course refundable tickets can be an alternative but it can take up to one month and having that much money being locked its not really nice

Well, I should not be saying these things here, but you can do *anything* at HCM airport concerning visas as long as you have some cash to distribute. That's all I'll say on the matter but I'm speaking from experience. So my suggestion is to buy one way only but have US cash on you (100$+) just in case...

Hi thanks Willy,

But carrying $100+ is not really convenient for me...
I just wish an onward bus ticket to Cambodia will work. Otherwise I'll buy any cheap ticket from HCMC to my origin in  Jakarta.

So I will have to be there early in case anything happen...

(Finger crossed!)

Yes, u should book the return ticket , otherwise you will get problem in ceck in counter in jakarta, they won't  let u fly if you dont book return ticket, it happen to me last time n i need too book last minute return ticket to singapore , u can book return ticket to another country destination as you want as long as u prove if u out of vietnam before a month.

Hi Anika,

Your statement here a bit confusing me I am sorry.
You said it is necessary to have a return ticket but you mention about any ticket going out from Vietnam before visa expires... That's an onward ticket no? 😂
Is that what you mean?


Ok soooo
You booked a last minute ticket out of Vietnam to Singapore.
So they don't require you to have a ticket back to Jakarta right?

(It's good to have Indonesian comment here. Thanks Anika)


I have booked a ticket from Vietnam to Cambodia, hope itll work.

Thanks a lot everyone!

No you should have a return flight... As your only tourist. Same as Philippines

Goodness me , why waste money on a ticket when it is not at all necessary . Just tell them that you are leaving Vietnam overland at a yet to be decided departure point . It is none of the airlines business what you do , it is an immigration matter . And I can tell you. , the immigration here could not care less

Nesinesines :

January 6th I will travel to Vietnam

Ok, Ines, Jan 7 now, how did your travel go? Hope it went well!

And to wrap up this thread, what happened? Were you told by the Jakarta check-in clerk you needed to have, for SGN immigration :
- return plane ticket?
- onward plane ticket?
- onward bus ticket ok?
- didn't ask you?

And, at SGN immigration, importantly, did they ask to see a ticket out of the country?

Hello Gobot and everyone

Yes I have arrived in Saigon.
I dressed very neat and smile a lot during the trip.
AirAsia officer DID NOT even ask for any ticket no matter if its onward/return.
How come? -> I think because I did the web check in, process is faster in the airport. She knows I'm going to Saigon and handed me 2 boarding passes (CGK - KL, KL - SGN)

However I was a bit concerned when there's a security check when we were about to get into airline. But the officer only ask how long will I stay.

Arrived in Saigon, I went to ASEAN Immigration clearance. So I smiled, very polite, and the officer didn't even bothered to ask ANY question.

I'm glad I only purchased a bus ticket to Cambodia which cost me $15. Ticket is I refundable but I can change the date up to one year so its a good deal :-)

Thanks everyone!


Hi Ines,
Sorry for late in reading your questions. As an Indonesian, we do not need any return ticket. just make sure you have place to stay (hotel or other place). Also for visa you get 1 month visa on arrival without need any fee.
In case you want to apply visa more than 1 month, you can ask for sponsored letter from travel agent.
Anyway, it is good to know that you can visit vietnam without problem. In case, you have any question just pm me. Will do my best to assist. (No fee, No hidden agenda)
Selamat datang di Vietnam!


In case you have leisure time and want to see other expat. You can come to expat gathering as follow:

It's a brand new year.Let us meet up and get to know new friends and catch up with familiar faces.This month gathering  will be held on a Saturday.
Details are as below

                   Date: 16/1/2016 Saturday
                Venue: Highland Coffee
                            181 Ham Nghi, , District 1   (opposite Ben  Thanh market nearby the
                                                                               petrol station)
                    Time: 4 pm- 6pm

When you reached Ben Thanh Market , the Highland cafe is at the opposite across  the big roundabout nearby the petrol station.
Please go upstairs and look for "Welcome" sign.
Flash your friendly smile and say 'Hi' to everyone
Order your beverage and pay at the counter.

As usual , some of us would proceed to dinner together and  night out ^^
Location will be announce soon
Please bring extra helmet if you are coming with your bike .
See you all again


Risky?  I've been going to VN at least 10 times in the last 5 yrs and never had a problem getting a cheap flight out.  On the other hand I bought a RT this last time and ended up staying longer and it cost me more to extend the return date on Eva Airlines.

Hi Mateen,

In case for ur safety u better have an open ticket. Little bit expensive but you can book suitable date for you.

Cheers mate.

I had a problem leaving Australia for Vietnam last year with a one way ticket (the return half of a round trip ticket from HCMC to Sydney and back), when the check in person at Sydney airport couldn't find a current Visa for Vietnam in my passport.

She was telling me that I couldn't board the flight as I had no onward flight ticket from HCMC and no current visa (my usual 3 month visa had expired whilst I was on the island of Funafuti). I had to get my passport back from her and open it at the five year Residence Permit page, before she would issue me a boarding pass for the flight to HCMC. So, better to be safe than sorry.

Yes, each country has different regulation. You better be prepare than sorry about it later.

I saw an interesting comment here.  Someone said you need a return ticket same as the Philippines.  Did you mean same as going to PI, or that Phil. airlines require a roundtrip ticket from PI to VN?

Just wondering

Nothing like bumping up an old thread, but here goes:

I am flying back to the UK for Christmas and have already got a flight booked, now, ideally what I want to do is just book the flight back to Vietnam with no return, is that allowed? I'm on a business visa...

If you have business Visa for one year or 5 years, then you no need to have return tickets while you are entering to Vietnam. Last time I had five years visa and Immigration did not ask me the return ticket when I come to Vietnam. I think with your nationality that's not matter

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