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Visa run to Cambodia

By September 19 I have to make my first Visa run to Cambodia. I just want to go there and come right back. I live in Ho Chi Minh City and am an American citizen living here on a five-year visa. I have no idea what the procedure is to get a visa and come right back. If someone can walk me through the whole thing I would appreciate it. what papers do I need, how long does it take to get the visa? Do I have to apply at the Cambodian embassy? HELP!

Hi there,

I have just done this trip, there is nothing to it.  Bus # 703 from Pham Ngu lao or any bus going to Moc Bai ( there are many )  The cost of the Cambodian Visa is US $ 35. 

You exit form Moc bai, go through Cambodian Immigration pay your visa fee at the counter and then do a turn around from this border post and get back on the bus to Saigon.

The bus fare is VND 230.000 one way.  The whole procedure to and fro takes about 4 hours.

Good Luck..................hd375c

Thanks.

Why are you doing a border run if you have a 5 year visa(VEC) no need,just get your passport stamped in country.

I have a five year but still have to leave and come back in every 180 days. I just don't have to keep getting visa extensions for 5 years.

Have you enquired at your local immigration. I have a VEC and dont have to exit the country every 6 months.

It's correct about the 180 days, Colin.  It says so on our VECs. 

@Lenmine:  You only need a new stamp in your passport without leaving the country, and that would cost about $30.  What we have done, and will continue to do, is taking a trip to Visa-free countries (Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, etc.) since it's more enjoyable than staying in the city and paying for a stamp.

Ciambella :

It's correct about the 180 days, Colin.  It says so on our VECs. 

@Lenmine:  You only need a new stamp in your passport without leaving the country, and that would cost about $30.  What we have done, and will continue to do, is taking a trip to Visa-free countries (Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, etc.) since it's more enjoyable than staying in the city and paying for a stamp.

So your saying you have to exit every 180 days or get a new stamp every 180 days.

If it's the latter, that's why I mentioned going to immigration and getting a stamp, saves the hassle of going to Moc Bai to do the exact same time.

It's true what you said, that it's easier to get a stamp than exit the country unless it's the person's wish to do so.  I did not disagree with you, I only repeated to the OP what you said but in a slightly different way, just in case he didn't understand the first time.  :cheers:

So, here it is, OP, from both Colin and me:  Do not bother running to Cambodia every 6 months unless you want the experience.  Just standing in line for a stamp or leaving the country on a real trip, one is simpler and the other is more enjoyable.

The way I read it is that he /she thinks they have to exit. As you know this is not the case, I think the OP should enquire about this before doing a visa run.

colinoscapee :

The way I read it is that he /she thinks they have to exit. As you know this is not the case, I think the OP should enquire about this before doing a visa run.

Yep, he thinks he must exit, which is true for everyone else but the holders of 5-year VEC.

I read an article last year that was talking about a one year stamp for VEC's, I hope they implement that.

Even if it's implemented, old VECs would certainly not receive grandfather status.

My VEC is an older version that has a 90 day exit on it, but I receive the 180 day stamp the same as the later issued VEC's.

That's great, Colin.  There's hope for all of us if the one year thing becomes reality then.

Yes you can get it stamped without leaving the country,

We just fill in a form from the local Immigration office and get it stamped by local community police and take it back to Immigration with your passport and 3 days later your passport arrives back with a 6 month stamp (it used to be 3 months) and costs $10. SIMPLE! We do it from Nha Trang

Ciambella :
colinoscapee :

The way I read it is that he /she thinks they have to exit. As you know this is not the case, I think the OP should enquire about this before doing a visa run.

Yep, he thinks he must exit, which is true for everyone else but the holders of 5-year VEC.

Ciambella, can you tell me where you got your info about holders of 5year VEC's being exempt from having to exit every 180 days?  Mine  is a 5 year with  multiple entry and  was issued in May 2016. At that time my wife was told by the immigration dept. at Nguyen Trai  HCMC that I needed to exit in order to activate the VEC. I did that with a trip to Moc Bai in July as I still had time left on my existing TT visa. The 180 days began in July. In December I took a trip to Australia and on my return on 30 Dec. had it stamped for another 180 days. At the end of that time in June I had it stamped for another 180 days, expiring 30/12/17, for $10 here at my local immigration dept at Dalat My wife was told at that time that I must exit on 30/12/17.   Sorry for the history lesson but I just wanted to make my situation clear.  Can you please relate your experience, as consistency in visa matters still has a long way to go in Vietnam.

Wouldn't it make more sense to take your question directly to the immigration office? To me, that would seem more reliable than anecdotal advice from a travel site.

I have a 5 year and just get a 6 month stamp.

you can keep getting stamps, I do I have been here over a year

I have a VEC ,and while I use to be able to renew it at my local immigration office each time, that is no longer the case. I now can only get it done one time each year, for the second one I must exit the country and re-enter.

If toi have a valid multiple entry visa, there's no problem. Visa to Cambodia at the border costs you $35 and return to Vietnam is just a stamp at the border. No documents needed and just a few minutes.
If your visa is expired and you need a new visa to Vietnam, it's more complicated. You need 2 photos for coming back to Vietnam, about $150 for new visa and stamp, filling a form at the entry birder, etc.
There are people who can help tou fill the form and get your visa and yiu pay them about $10 and it takes a couple of hours.

If your 5 year visa is expired, you would better get a visa on arrival before you go. You can go to 94-96 Nguyen Du street, at the entry of the building turn right and ask for Bella. She will help you for the letter and you just pay $40 at the Vietnam border for stamp.

Diazo :

I have a VEC ,and while I use to be able to renew it at my local immigration office each time, that is no longer the case. I now can only get it done one time each year, for the second one I must exit the country and re-enter.

That is the information my wife was also given at my local immigration, so Ciambella got my attention when he said holders of a 5year VEC are exempt from having to exit.  Lets see if he gives some detail to support that.

Steven Marshall :

you can keep getting stamps, I do I have been here over a year

How many stamps have you received so far?   Diazo and I  have been given advice that only 1 stamp is given per year after which time we must exit and re enter.  Were you told differently?

Yeah the rule seems to be that you have to exit after a year. One stamp extension, then exit after the extension has expired. But hey, rules aren't very uniformed here,lol.

We arrived last Feb, had one extension in August, didn't have to leave the country.  Right after that, we started on a trip and we're still out of Vietnam at this moment.  Since we won't be back until Nov, our next stamp would be on or before May 2018.   From what immigration told us in August, we can simply turn in our passport (in person) for another stamp.  I'm only repeating what they told me.  It may or many not happen the way they said, only time can tell.

The rules are hit and miss and depends on the prevailing winds of the day. All that has been said in this thread could be outdated by 4 pm today. Then too, every office has their own set of laws and their own set of rules. If you go in the morning the winds maybe in your favor, in the afternoon when they have already given their 3 hours of work it might be different.
  When they came out with these new visa rules they asked me " why don't you just let us convert it to a TRC ( from a VRC). I said I would think about it. Went back a week later and it could not be done.

@ Ciambella
  Yeah they told me the same thing. Problem was they did not look in my passport and see that the had stamped it once for the year. And they are always asking me why do you come down when you still have 3 days on your visa. So the next time I went down on the day it was to expire. Oh, you must leave the country they say. Thank goodness I still could arrange transportation to the border. But yours at the very least will get a fresh stamp when you return from your trip ( and for free) that will allow you to get at least one at your local immigration office. Then in May of the following year do not be surprised if they tell you you must leave.
  Me, I stopped fretting about it and plan a golfing outing in another Asian country or some sort of trip. And I get them all upon my return st no charge. That is this week. I wish I could count the number of times the visa rules/laws have changed.

If I don't want to exit and reenter the country every 6 months, I have the option of applying for repatriation.  Not precisely what I want to do though since spouse and I don't like having our finance scrutinized by the government here.

Taking a trip somewhere every 6 months is not a hardship, we would rather do that than applying for permanent residence status.  It's our original plan anyway when we decided to move here -- not to live permanently in VN, but to have a base for our travel in Asia, Australia, and Oceania.

so far 5 stamps this time I will get a 6 month stamp but I have a 5 year visa

I always send my passport to them, I never talk to them. I send it to HMC a few days I get it back. If you have a 5 year vise you can pay for a stamp every time if you want to. are leave and get stamped ,it's up to you , But get a vise company to do it. Do not go yourself , they have friends lol,

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