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Business Visa ... Do I need it? or can I get by with a tourist visa?

Hello.

My wife and I will be taking a trip to Vietnam next month for 30 days. The reason for the trip is for us to go to work with our potential business partners to sign a partnership deal, find a location for our restaurant in HCM and start building the business up.  We don't have a company formation as of now.

Should we try and get the 1 year business visa? or should we get the 3 month multi-entry tourist visa instead since it's easier? If we should get the 1 year business visa, do I ask our future business partners to write us a recommendation letter?

If we decide to get a 3 month tourist visa instead, will this not allow us to conduct any sort of business while we are in Vietnam? Such as, signing a lease and opening a bank account?

Please help!

From the research I've conducted, most foreigners who take part in work activities inside Vietnam are on a tourist visa. Unless you are partaking in some detailed employment I wouldn't worry about it. But, in order to open a bank accout you must present a copy of your employment contract

You don't need an employment contract to open a bank account!

Are you business partners Vietnamese.... they should be able to best advise if they are and you may also find that the US Consulate could give you advice too, however, in the first instance I believe a 90 day multiple entry will suffice giving you some flexibility even well reputed and established companies such as banks will have foreigners on multiple entry visas conducting business and also if you business partner(s) are locals they will have the advantage on tackling all the documentation requirements for business start -up.... good luck with the adventure...

Like Deepsix says, you don't need an employment contract or work visa to open a bank account..........I have two accounts and am not employed.

There is now a Multiple Entry/Exit one year tourist Visa, you can get, but only at a Vietnamese Consulate, so if where you live has one, go there first.  I survive well on the three month multiple entry/exit visa myself, but when I go to Hawaii next month will apply for the one year tourist.

FYI  I tried to extend my 90 day tourist 'visa on arrival', I was told at Immigration that it could not be done, I had to get a valid Visa before entry into Vietnam.   Good Luck with your venture.

Protect yourself and get a business visa. A business visa may have a slightly higher cost but provides more flexibility. I have been here, off and on, with a business visa (DN Type) for more than 2 years. Your potential business partners here should be able to provide you with a letter or you could use a visa agent. About $150 USD (I think less) for letter from visa agent, which is in addition to stamping fees. If you partners cannot provide a letter surely they could find a better price (than you or I) from an agent.

The letter can be written for you to pick up the visa upon arrival or written to the local (to you) Vietnamese Embassy for processing. A printed color copy of the letter will be needed where you have visa processed, I have never needed an original.

Don't risk or complicate a business deal for something simple.

I am not an expert and visa laws change here frustratingly often.

You can apply visas in DN type (visa for business trip: 3 months/ 6 months/ 1 year).
Visa allow you resident in Vietnam with limited time, it is not relate with setting up company/ open bank account/ etc...

If you need to help in applying visa online, you can send sms to me, i'll help you apply it easy and quick.

j5uh :

Hello.

My wife and I will be taking a trip to Vietnam next month for 30 days. The reason for the trip is for us to go to work with our potential business partners to sign a partnership deal, find a location for our restaurant in HCM and start building the business up.  We don't have a company formation as of now.

Should we try and get the 1 year business visa? or should we get the 3 month multi-entry tourist visa instead since it's easier? If we should get the 1 year business visa, do I ask our future business partners to write us a recommendation letter?

If we decide to get a 3 month tourist visa instead, will this not allow us to conduct any sort of business while we are in Vietnam? Such as, signing a lease and opening a bank account?

Please help!

Hi

If your partner have a company, with business licence and seal, they can apply an immigration invitation for you.

What is business visa have better:

- Longer validation (maximum 1 year)
- Cheaper. Cause you do not have to pay "sponsor service fee" to the tourist agency to invite you. While your partner's Vietnamese company can invite a foreigner to enter Vietnam for free. You only have to pay for the Visa.
- Not difficult than tourist visa at all.
- Look cooler :D

However, if your partner is just an individual, he/she could not invite you in. And the tourist visa is not that risky. As long as you are not working, making business to receive any income here in that time so it is fine.

J5uh:  I see that you are in Houston.  In that case you are lucky because you can deal with the VN consulate on a walk in basis.  The embassy and consulates are almost universally described as impossible to deal with from a distance (either phone or mail) but if you are there it will be a little harder for them to ignore you.  If I were in your shoes, I would go there and apply for a DN visa which is described by both 7Steven and VanKhanh Ho as superior and not much more difficult to obtain.   You are cutting out the middlemen too and just paying for the visa.

I have seen many posts that say that you can open a bank account with a tourist visa.  I don't disagree with them but I do know that it is not universally true.  What if your partner prefers a bank that won't let you be on the account with a tourist visa?  Be safe and get the DN.

Hi guys,

As Van Khanh Ho mentioned, now  you can get 1 year visa and you dont have to prove that you are working in Vietnam. Last week I got 1 year DN visa for a lady and she doesnt have any work contract with any companies. What I just need is her passport copy, she gets visa letter for 1 year and get stamped visa at Vietnam Airport. Things seems simple but fee is not cheap. And as Van Khanh Ho said, if you could provide legal dossier of a Vietnamese company, the price will be reduced.

The fee for one year multiple business visa for Australian is US$ 470/person

You need

- Your passport copy
- Date of arrival
- The place you want to get visa stamped: At airport or at embassy

David Boyd :

The fee for one year multiple business visa for Australian is US$ 470/person

You need

- Your passport copy
- Date of arrival
- The place you want to get visa stamped: At airport or at embassy

Wow, that expensive? Its USD135 at law. Maybe it includes other services? Or maybe it is different between countries?

I'd love to know where you can get a 3 month business visa letter for $150 please. I've been quoted twice that!!! I've been here for about 3 years on 3 month & 6 month tourist visas but want to exchange it to the business visa. I live n HCMC.

The good news is, I found out that since my wife's parents were born in Vietnam, that she qualifies for a 5 year visa exemption and I qualify since  I'm married to her. :) This is awesome!

I went to a local travel agency in town (Houston, Texas) and they did all the application process for us for $300 for 2 people. Glad this worked out!

That is great.  It is amazing that VK travel agents in the US do this kind of service so well and for smaller or no fees above the visa cost than the visa agents within Vietnam charge.  Of course they make money on the tickets but that is expected.  The 5 year VEC should also overcome any possible problems with banking.  Another small bonus, depending on how long your first stay is, may be that the VEC may enable you to buy one way tickets rather than round trips which would expire uselessly.  (Translation: single rather than return  ;) )

A lot of the above shows just how much margin and variation there is in third party handling of visa matters within Vietnam.  Of course the sellers are taking advantage of the fact that many if not most of those seeking such visas are not using them for their stated purpose.  That is to say they are neither tourists or businessmen but simply seeking long term residence, usually to work.  Of course the industry is aided by the opaque and constantly shifting government positions, but if you have a legitimate reason to seek more than a 90 day tourist visa you should consider trying to get it directly and not paying what VanKhanh Ho so discreetly called the "sponsor service fee."  In my opinion, this young lady has consistently given good advice without commercial motivation.  She is worth paying attention to.

Hi
You should get a long term business visa first.  ask your partner to sponsor you for that.
The amount of dollars you are investing counts for that.
Beware of local partners unless you know them and trust them 300%. Because the end looser will be you.
Do not take a tourist visa you cannot open a bank account any do any thing with business.
plus changing to business visa you must go back to USA and reapply or through a mission outside Vietnam which will be complicates and time consuming.
Do the right thing go through the proper channels.

Peter Donut
Hanoi

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