How should I renew my 30 day visa?

Hi,

Okay so I already posted about my visa woes in the thread titled "Top notices for Vietnam visa" (because that's where I originally got advice on how to get my tourist visa) a couple of weeks back but got little response so will try again with my very own thread.

I'm a U.S. citizen here visiting but thinking about trying to stay here long term (I don't need to work here to do this, as long as I live relatively cheaply).

While in the U.S. I paid a website called vietnamvisaDOTcom for an approval letter for 3 month single entry (didn't plan to go nowhere else in these three months and still don't) visa on arrival.

But for reasons I do not understand when I paid at the visa counter I was only given a 30 day visa (one guy said my letter wasn't the right one, he said "not original one", the website I used sent me an email attachment and said just print it out, it had approval for 3 month visa on arrival from Vietnamese immigration for me and one other person).

I protested but to no avail.

So now what?

Do I need to renew every 30 days now or can I get a 90 day visa once this one expires? Do I have to leave the country (bus to Cambodia and back?) to do it?

One more question...if I take a language course at uni or a school like VLS...would that entitle me to a longer term student visa?

Thanks in advance to all who reply. :)

One more thing. My visa does say B3 which I guess is supposed to be business visa right? It says b3 but only valid for a 30 day period from April to May.

I just checked the 90 day single entry (approval letter for) visa on arrival on the website. I did not say I was here for business...

*confused* :|

You can go some travel agencies i Pham Ngu Lao street, Q1 and extend your visa.
If you want to stay here long term better take one TRC (Temporary Resident Permit) for 1 to 3 years which allow you to stay and travel abroad.

Any of those tiny little 'hole-in-the-wall' travel offices in District 1, Pham Ngu Lao area (Bui Vien Street) should be able to easily extend your Visa for another 30 days - they'll probably charge you somewhere around 50 dollars or 1 million VND.  It might also be possible to extend it another 2 or 3 times after that as well.

I would inquire with them about getting a new 3 month Visa.  That may cost somewhere around 100 dollars thru any of those places. Please note the actual cost of the visa extension is much less than that, however, you pay a slight premium for their service.

To my knowledge, a Temporary Residence Card is only available to those with a work permit, registered business, or who are Board Member of a company in Viet nam, - or by way of a family member sponsor (spouse or child). I haven't ever heard of anyone receiving a Temporary Residence Card without meeting one of the conditions noted above. 

You might be able to get some kind of long term student visa if you were enrolled at a local University.  This I am not sure of though. You should check with a University like RMIT.

AmericanEnglishVN :

Any of those tiny little 'hole-in-the-wall' travel offices in District 1, Pham Ngu Lao area (Bui Vien Street) should be able to easily extend your Visa for another 30 days - they'll probably charge you somewhere around 50 dollars or 1 million VND.  It might also be possible to extend it another 2 or 3 times after that as well.

I would inquire with them about getting a new 3 month Visa.  That may cost somewhere around 100 dollars thru any of those places. Please note the actual cost of the visa extension is much less than that, however, you pay a slight premium for their service.

To my knowledge, a Temporary Residence Card is only available to those with a work permit, registered business, or who are Board Member of a company in Viet nam, - or by way of a family member sponsor (spouse or child). I haven't ever heard of anyone receiving a Temporary Residence Card without meeting one of the conditions noted above. 

You might be able to get some kind of long term student visa if you were enrolled at a local University.  This I am not sure of though. You should check with a University like RMIT.

Yeah, that's a 'small' knowledge :D
My husband got a 3 year TRC and we travel abroad together to check it's legality. It's fine with a 650 USD. Also one of his acquaintance  knew from him this and obtained from same company.
You don't need a work permit. Just give them 4 photographs of yours and PP.One Miss. Ha. Her office is at Tran Hung Dao, Q.1.

Your husband would qualify as a 'spouse' so what I said is correct:)

AmericanEnglishVN :

Your husband would qualify as a 'spouse' so what I said is correct:)

He didn't applied for PRC yet, because of his TRC.
Please try to understand what is PRC and TRC.

Yes, I know what they are:

TRC - Temporary Resident Card

PRC - Permanent Resident Card

Hi Nam,

I ever applied visa on arrival for my friend same as urs. "3 months single entry" means ur approval letter is valid for 3 months and each stay is 30 days only( but u can go to Vietnam only one time). I don't think that with language course, u can apply for long term visa. Why don't u ask some visa broker for ur issue?

Good luck
Miaa

miaa.tran :

Hi Nam,

I ever applied visa on arrival for my friend same as urs. "3 months single entry" means ur approval letter is valid for 3 months and each stay is 30 days only( but u can go to Vietnam only one time). I don't think that with language course, u can apply for long term visa. Why don't u ask some visa broker for ur issue?

Good luck
Miaa

Oh so approval letter is good for 3 months but I have to renew every month (hat's weird because they said it was for 90 day visa on arrival)...So does that mean it is cheaper to renew than it would be if just got the approval letter for 30 days?

Where do I need to go to renew? Someone suggested a travel agency...why should I have to do that? I'm here. Shouldn't I just be able to go to some immigration office or something? My visa is only good until the 19th so I need to do this this week. Someone please advise (CHEAPEST way, and I would prefer 90 days not having to renew every month).

You are supposed to apply for the extension at least 7 days prior to the expiration date of your Visa.  Sure you could go down to Immigration on your own and fill out the paperwork yourself but its certainly a lot easier to have a travel agency do it for you.  It shouldn't cost more than 50 bucks for another extension thru them.  They may even be able to get you a new 90 day Visa if you show them that letter and explain what happened when you arrived.  Just walk around Bui Vien street and you'll see several of these travel agencies who advertise Visa Extensions on their signboards.  Go and talk to a few different ones.  I would get this handled quickly as you are less than 7 days out from your visa expiration date.

Oh I didn't even know about the 7 day requirement (I applied for and got the approval letter for visa on arrival just a few days before coming here)...I'll go tomorrow I just hope they are honest with me about what they can do and don't just take my money.

If I can't get it within 7 days what can I do? What if I just go to Cambodia (I don't want to because my friend says it's 8 hours each way by bus and I just don't want to go) and come right back? Will they give me another tourist visa then or is that not guaranteed?

I think you'll be fine (key words being "supposed to"). I doubt it will be an issue if you let the travel agent handle it for you.  I don't think it will come down to you needing to do a border run.

Nam_ :

Oh I didn't even know about the 7 day requirement (I applied for and got the approval letter for visa on arrival just a few days before coming here)...I'll go tomorrow I just hope they are honest with me about what they can do and don't just take my money.

If I can't get it within 7 days what can I do? What if I just go to Cambodia (I don't want to because my friend says it's 8 hours each way by bus and I just don't want to go) and come right back? Will they give me another tourist visa then or is that not guaranteed?

Better you should contact some travel agents for renewal. If you go immigration office, sure they will say something and avoid you and then your visa extension period will expire. If expire you should remit some amount as fine for overstay and also they can reject your extension application, but will instruct you to leave Vietnam within a short time. All of us know well how immigration "King" behave to tourists!

Thank you all. I found a number for a travel agency near Bui Vien street. I had my friend call and we went down there before 8 this evening. The travel agent said it takes a few days but I'm fine because I started the process before the expiration date (hope so).

She took my passport and said she would have the visa (stamp...I decided to just pay $25 for 30 days for now) by next Wednesday.

Thank you all for your help.

Since I have your attention I want to ask about another matter. I notice questions by many people who like myself don't work here but want to stay long term. Many are saying well the three month tourist visa can only be renewed once. And the thirty day tourist visas can only be renewed X number of times as well...

But are those limitations people are listing continuous or accumulative?

For example say I decide to continue to stay here but I make around four trips to the U.S. per year with durations ranging from two weeks to two months and am willing to make weekend (and sometimes longer) trips to neighboring countries such as Thailand and Laos as well?

Would I then in theory be able to stay most of the time for a period of one year, two years or longer or do they eventually stop issuing a person tourist visas due to accumulative length of stay in the country?

Again thank you all! :)

New topic