Tourist visa extension

I want to extent 3 month tourist visa expiring on 12 December 2018.  I’m a UK national.

Travel Agency in Saigon has agreed 1 month extension for 80 USD.

Seems one month extension lasts until 12 January 2019. However, if I need to stay in Vietnam for a further two weeks or so. i.e. 26 January 2019, can I arrange another extension or do I need to do visa run?

The info here (travel agent website) says we can extend 'ongoing visa for a maximum of 02 times'. However, the same webpage also says we can visit an Immigration office and get it done ourselves. I seriously doubt this.

Anyway, was wondering if anyone has extended tourist visa two times.

Travel Agency in Saigon has agreed 1 month extension for 80 USD.

$80 seems a little high for a one-month extension. Have you checked with other agents to get other quotes? Of course, I could be wrong.

can I arrange another extension or do I need to do visa run?

Check with your visa agent and/or other ones. Only visa agents know what is possible at a given time.

Anyway, was wondering if anyone has extended tourist visa two times.

In my experience with extensions, which was several years ago, only one extension is possible. Again, I could be wrong.

For information about visas, you should contact at least two different visa agents (if not more) to see what they say and compare.  Asking other foreigners is not very useful, because we only know about our own visa situation and maybe that of a couple of close friends.

The people who know are the local Vietnamese who provide visa services.

johnross23 :

Travel Agency in Saigon has agreed 1 month extension for 80 USD.

$80 seems a little high for a one-month extension. Have you checked with other agents to get other quotes? Of course, I could be wrong.

can I arrange another extension or do I need to do visa run?

Check with your visa agent and/or other ones. Only visa agents know what is possible at a given time.

Anyway, was wondering if anyone has extended tourist visa two times.

In my experience with extensions, which was several years ago, only one extension is possible. Again, I could be wrong.

For information about visas, you should contact at least two different visa agents (if not more) to see what they say and compare.  Asking other foreigners is not very useful, because we only know about our own visa situation and maybe that of a couple of close friends.

The people who know are the local Vietnamese who provide visa services.

I just got off the phone with travel agency, then saw your post.

Asked her if extension two times can be done. She wasn't sure, needed to check. so confirmed and called me back.

She confirmed it Can be done. After first extension (done in HCM centre), I can contact her again in January and arrange second extension (also done in HCM centre). However, she couldn't give me a price for second extension as it may have gone up/down by then.

BTW, I checked with a second travel agent. He quoted double the price for 1 month extension. i.e. 160 USD. Also, 320 USD for 3 month extension.

1st travel agent couldn't tell me cost for 3 month extension ('she said it will be expensive'), I imagine it will be around 160 USD.

Sounds good although the price sill seems a bit high.  Maybe it's because its "high" season?

Anyway,  this certainly illustrates how fluid the visa situation is here. What's 'true' today may not be 'true' tomorrow.

This why forum memners can't really realistically give advice about visas.

johnross23 :

....This why forum memners can't really realistically give advice about visas.

No. No. not asking john Q. public for advice on visas. You do realise that some staff working for visa agencies are forum members on here. They can read our post and contact us privately.

Anyway, if a non-travel agent forum member had done a second extension recently, they could have said 'yes, it was possible' and I could have contacted them to ask for their travel agent contact details etc.

So, I think you are not looking at the bigger picture here.

I think JohnRoss is just trying to point out that in any given question on this forum, one can find virtually any answer.
In any case, I ened up paying about $300US for a visa run for a New ONE Year Visitors' visa.

Wxx3 :

I think JohnRoss is just trying to point out that in any given question on this forum, one can find virtually any answer.
In any case, I ened up paying about $300US for a visa run for a New ONE Year Visitors' visa.

I believe you are a U.S Citizen. the one year visitor/business visa is only available for U.S citizens.

THis is the reason I included my nationality on the OP. It dosen't mean your post is not useful, on the contrary, someone with U.S passport looking for a one-year visa will find it immensely useful.

BTW, agent number two (Vietnam Visa Expert SUNVIET) told me that extension is more expensive because I had arrived by Land border (not via airport). However, another agency told me that even if I had arrived at Tan Son Nhat Airport the extension cost is 160 USD for 1 month. (the same price as Vietnam Visa Expert SUNVIET had quoted before).

So, I agree with johnross23 that we should contact at least two different visa agents (if not more). I ended-up asking 5. The best price I received was 85 USD for 1 month extension (PM me if you wanna know the agent - not you Wxx3 - you already have 1 year visa).

In the end, I've decided to give-up the extension and am opting for a visa run to Moc Bai border instead.

:whistle:

:rolleyes:

HenryJo :

In the end, I've decided to give-up the extension and am opting for a visa run to Moc Bai border instead.

OOOKKK, that's what I did and it's still going to cost you.

Wxx3 :
HenryJo :

In the end, I've decided to give-up the extension and am opting for a visa run to Moc Bai border instead.

OOOKKK, that's what I did and it's still going to cost you.

If I was staying for just one month more, would have probably opted for extension.
I've now applied for 3 month invitation letter for moc bai border.
This way I don't have to apply for second extension (for which the pricing is not yet known).

Deleted.  Info no longer needed.

Hi Henryjo,

I'm afraid I can't offer specifc advice, but have you tried going through the normal, official channels? I admit it's very hard unless you have a Vietnamese speaker to help you, and it's likely to involve a lot of running around, but it will be a lot cheaper than the rip-off agents who provide these services where you still have to run around a bit. Maybe that's not helpful in your case if you're in a hurry.

I've had to do the Moc Bai border run once because my work visa had expired (the business closed down), and I couldn't get a new visa based on my Australian wife's work visa. A drawn-out event. Never again.

It's shameful how Vietnam still makes visas so difficult. I suppose it's the Party wanting to maintain control over everything, and providing make-work activities for government employees. And yet they're keen to promote tourism and make it easier for visitors. How does that work? Visa on arrival as the big breakthrough? Ha! Add 1.5 hours to your arrival time to get the necessary approval to go through immigration if there are a few other airplanes at the same time.

Other ASEAN countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia (depending on passport) provide three-month visitor visas free of charge on arrival; others like Cambodia and Laos do so on arrival for a fee in crisp US dollars. Vietnam remains the odd one out.

Anyway, good luck with your extension. The country and its people are worth it :-)

I am still finding the most cost effective and vastly more pleasurable than dealing with the Moc Bai officials is to take an AirAsia flight in the morning to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and return the same day in the late afternoon for USD $72.
An VOA approval letter from www.vietnamvisapro.net for a 3 month single entry visa costs USD $15 and the stamp duty is still only USD $25 which you pay when you land back at Tan Son Nhat airport.
Total cost is USD $112 and you get to stay another 3 months.
Nok Air does a similarly cheap return flight to BKK for USD $72 but to get those cheap prices it's the last flight of the night both ways which means a night in BKK to be added to the cost as well as taxi fares to and from the old airport in BKK.
Still worth it in my book.

HenryJo :
Wxx3 :

I think JohnRoss is just trying to point out that in any given question on this forum, one can find virtually any answer.
In any case, I ened up paying about $300US for a visa run for a New ONE Year Visitors' visa.

I believe you are a U.S Citizen. the one year visitor/business visa is only available for U.S citizens.

THis is the reason I included my nationality on the OP. It dosen't mean your post is not useful, on the contrary, someone with U.S passport looking for a one-year visa will find it immensely useful.

BTW, agent number two (Vietnam Visa Expert SUNVIET) told me that extension is more expensive because I had arrived by Land border (not via airport). However, another agency told me that even if I had arrived at Tan Son Nhat Airport the extension cost is 160 USD for 1 month. (the same price as Vietnam Visa Expert SUNVIET had quoted before).

So, I agree with johnross23 that we should contact at least two different visa agents (if not more). I ended-up asking 5. The best price I received was 85 USD for 1 month extension (PM me if you wanna know the agent - not you Wxx3 - you already have 1 year visa).

In the end, I've decided to give-up the extension and am opting for a visa run to Moc Bai border instead.

Not exactly true, I got a one year Multiple entry tourist visa from the Vietnamese Embassy in Bangkok last month, 6600 baht  but they are reviewing the one year Multiple entry Tourist visa (METV) Jan 2019 so they may not be available any longer after 010119,  I got one last y[color=#1d218f]ear from the same place

just wonder how difficult it is to go to Immigration and do it yourself like we do in Thailand for Thai Visa extensions??  I haven;t tried in Vietnam yet because I have had back to back one year MET Visa's
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tunnelrat69 :

Not exactly true, I got a one year Multiple entry tourist visa from the Vietnamese Embassy in Bangkok last month, 6600 baht  but they are reviewing the one year Multiple entry Tourist visa (METV) Jan 2019 so they may not be available any longer after 010119,  I got one last year from the same place

It's not true if you don't read the post and comprehend it fulyl (or at least the jist).
The 1 year visa you talk about is available for U.S passport holders. It's not available for U.K passport holders. Which is what I was saying in my post.

just wonder how difficult it is to go to Immigration and do it yourself like we do in Thailand for Thai Visa extensions??  I haven;t tried in Vietnam yet because I have had back to back one year MET Visa's

Please try it and report back how you got on. I'd be great to hear from you.

DirtyPierre :

I am still finding the most cost effective and vastly more pleasurable than dealing with the Moc Bai officials is to take an AirAsia flight in the morning to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and return the same day in the late afternoon for USD $72.
An VOA approval letter from www.vietnamvisapro.net for a 3 month single entry visa costs USD $15 and the stamp duty is still only USD $25 which you pay when you land back at Tan Son Nhat airport.
Total cost is USD $112 and you get to stay another 3 months.
Nok Air does a similarly cheap return flight to BKK for USD $72 but to get those cheap prices it's the last flight of the night both ways which means a night in BKK to be added to the cost as well as taxi fares to and from the old airport in BKK.
Still worth it in my book.

take an AirAsia flight in the morning to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and return the same day in the late afternoon for USD $72.

When did you take these flights?I've been able to book airasia flights to KL and back (SGN) for around 80 USD in Nov 2017. Now it's a lot more expensive I find. (I use skyscanner to check) Can you post the details (cost, departure times etc.) of the flights that you found for 72 USD.

You are right. dealing with border officials can be a pain. But so can dealing with airport security. e.g. cannot carry more than 100ml water.

If you do Moc Bai border run you're probably taking a lot more risks on vietnamese roads. As for cost, my best run has been at a cost of around 80 USD. THats including Cambodia visa (32 USD), Vietnam visa stamping fee (25 USD), VIsa letter (18 USD - slightly higher for border crossing invite letter than airport letter), 100k VND fuel for bike. This was when I was staying in Thu dau mot (so relatively closer to the border).

If you have to travel further it would invariable add a hotel stay for 1 night. Decent hotel would cost 10 USD.

HenryJo :
DirtyPierre :

I am still finding the most cost effective and vastly more pleasurable than dealing with the Moc Bai officials is to take an AirAsia flight in the morning to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and return the same day in the late afternoon for USD $72.
An VOA approval letter from www.vietnamvisapro.net for a 3 month single entry visa costs USD $15 and the stamp duty is still only USD $25 which you pay when you land back at Tan Son Nhat airport.
Total cost is USD $112 and you get to stay another 3 months.
Nok Air does a similarly cheap return flight to BKK for USD $72 but to get those cheap prices it's the last flight of the night both ways which means a night in BKK to be added to the cost as well as taxi fares to and from the old airport in BKK.
Still worth it in my book.

take an AirAsia flight in the morning to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and return the same day in the late afternoon for USD $72.

When did you take these flights?I've been able to book airasia flights to KL and back (SGN) for around 80 USD in Nov 2017. Now it's a lot more expensive I find. (I use skyscanner to check) Can you post the details (cost, departure times etc.) of the flights that you found for 72 USD.

You are right. dealing with border officials can be a pain. But so can dealing with airport security. e.g. cannot carry more than 100ml water.

If you do Moc Bai border run you're probably taking a lot more risks on vietnamese roads. As for cost, my best run has been at a cost of around 80 USD. THats including Cambodia visa (32 USD), Vietnam visa stamping fee (25 USD), VIsa letter (18 USD - slightly higher for border crossing invite letter than airport letter), 100k VND fuel for bike. This was when I was staying in Thu dau mot (so relatively closer to the border).

If you have to travel further it would invariable add a hotel stay for 1 night. Decent hotel would cost 10 USD.

Seriously, you are worried about 8 usd cost difference for a flight.

colinoscapee :
HenryJo :
DirtyPierre :

I am still finding the most cost effective and vastly more pleasurable than dealing with the Moc Bai officials is to take an AirAsia flight in the morning to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and return the same day in the late afternoon for USD $72.
An VOA approval letter from www.vietnamvisapro.net for a 3 month single entry visa costs USD $15 and the stamp duty is still only USD $25 which you pay when you land back at Tan Son Nhat airport.
Total cost is USD $112 and you get to stay another 3 months.
Nok Air does a similarly cheap return flight to BKK for USD $72 but to get those cheap prices it's the last flight of the night both ways which means a night in BKK to be added to the cost as well as taxi fares to and from the old airport in BKK.
Still worth it in my book.

take an AirAsia flight in the morning to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and return the same day in the late afternoon for USD $72.

When did you take these flights?I've been able to book airasia flights to KL and back (SGN) for around 80 USD in Nov 2017. Now it's a lot more expensive I find. (I use skyscanner to check) Can you post the details (cost, departure times etc.) of the flights that you found for 72 USD.

You are right. dealing with border officials can be a pain. But so can dealing with airport security. e.g. cannot carry more than 100ml water.

If you do Moc Bai border run you're probably taking a lot more risks on vietnamese roads. As for cost, my best run has been at a cost of around 80 USD. THats including Cambodia visa (32 USD), Vietnam visa stamping fee (25 USD), VIsa letter (18 USD - slightly higher for border crossing invite letter than airport letter), 100k VND fuel for bike. This was when I was staying in Thu dau mot (so relatively closer to the border).

If you have to travel further it would invariable add a hotel stay for 1 night. Decent hotel would cost 10 USD.

Seriously, you are worried about 8 usd cost difference for a flight.

Nope, not worried. That's how come I asked details of the flight(s). When I check now, flights to KUL and back are more expensive than 80 USD.

My apologies for the discrepancy in prices. My next nok air flight in Jan to BKK is still only $72.
My last AirAsia flight to KL in Sept 2017 had gone up from the $72 I paid in March 2017 to $78.
I used to have no trouble posting screen snaps of my bookings but no longer can upload pix. So you will just have to take my word for it.
I don't like travelling on buses in Vietnam so flying to a neighbouring country that doesn't charge for a visa is a much nicer option for me.

DirtyPierre :

My apologies for the discrepancy in prices. My next nok air flight in Jan to BKK is still only $72.
My last AirAsia flight to KL in Sept 2017 had gone up from the $72 I paid in March 2017 to $78.
I used to have no trouble posting screen snaps of my bookings but no longer can upload pix. So you will just have to take my word for it.
I don't like travelling on buses in Vietnam so flying to a neighbouring country that doesn't charge for a visa is a much nicer option for me.

No need for screen shot. I was asking only to get an idea how far ahead we need to book. e.g. 4 weeks, 6 weeks, 8 weeks in advance.

I remember reading that flights are cheaper if we book in advance.

Anyway, I've now visited the airasia website and searched for flights on 19 February. Here are my results:

Onward - Tuesday 19 February 2019 FLight leaving SGN 09:25 arriving KUL 12:25 - 42.50 USD

Return - Tuesday 19 February 2019 Flight leaving KUL 18:40 arriving SGN 19:45 - 25.75 USD

TOtal = 68.25

No idea if that's the final due. I got near to finishing the booking but the website became unresponsive.

Another good reason for doing border run by air to KUL is that the Malyasia visa dosent take up 1 page of my passport like the cambodia one.

I quite like flying, but hate the gate changes, sometimes flight delays, going through security gates (especially KUL where there are multiple), having to take attitude from some jobsworths etc...

No country has friendly immigration officials. I think it's a requirement of the job to not have a sense of humour.
And Thailand is slightly friendlier than Malaysia. Hence I alternate between the two countries for Visa runs. Here's hoping the one year multi entry Visa comes back again.

DirtyPierre :

No country has friendly immigration officials. I think it's a requirement of the job to not have a sense of humour.
And Thailand is slightly friendlier than Malaysia. Hence I alternate between the two countries for Visa runs. Here's hoping the one year multi entry Visa comes back again.

If only i was talking about immigration officials. .. i was referring to security bods at saigon and kul airports.

I've met one immigration officer at lao bao. Must have been one of the the nicest people i've ever met.

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