VISA: Miracle or Mistake?

Hello One and All-
I recently arrived in Dang Nang and was able to get my US citizen one-year multiple entry visa in about ten minutes at the airport. An easy process. So, then I dutifully waited in line with other arriving passengers to get through immigration. All went smoothly, and the officer stamped my arrival date in the passport. Then he filled in the area saying "permitted to stay until..." with a date one year from my arrival. From what I had been told, I expected the officer to write in a "permitted to stay until..." date equal to ninety days from arrival, not one year! I asked the man to clarify. I told him I was under the impression that I needed to leave the country in ninety days to abide by the terms of the visa. He replied, "No, you don't have to leave. You can stay for one year." I should add that the officer was not a rookie. He was a middle-aged man who probably had worked for Immigration for many, many years. He also spoke good English so there was no misunderstanding. I wanted to discuss this further, but there was a long line, so I left quietly and passed through immigration.
So what happened? Did Vietnam visa regulations change while I was airborne to Da Nang? Did the Immigration officer simply take pity on me?
If anyone can shed some light on this I would appreciate it! It's tempting to stay one year in Vietnam without making a border run. But if this is just one big error, I don't want to get slapped with fines for overstaying. Nor do I want to be barred from re-entry because of violating the rules!!! Thanks!!!

Hi DB,

I'll be doing the VOA at TSN airport in a couple days. I'll let you know what happens there.

Mark

I would be checking with immigration in Da Nang. If you still have to exit every 90 days and dont, they will fine you or blacklist you. Just because it says 1 year, dont trust it them as the problem will be yours, not the immigration guy.

Hello Everyone:

It's not a mistake!  He was nice to provide the service at the airport without an up charge?  Be thankful!  All US citizens can get 1 year multiple entry visa.  Which means you will still need to follow the 90 day rule. Just leave for the day across boarder and come back..  Not a real big issue.  Just make sure to leave to Laos and China or anywhere ..  The you can come back another 90 days.  That simple...

I don't get why it's called a 1 year multi-entry if you need to leave every three months. I got a VISA for people with a VN spouse and it's a 6 month multi-entry, I don't need to get out after 90 days as far as I know.

WillyBaldy :

I don't get why it's called a 1 year multi-entry if you need to leave every three months. I got a VISA for people with a VN spouse and it's a 6 month multi-entry, I don't need to get out after 90 days as far as I know.

The 1 year means you can come back for free (no stamping fee) for 1 year but I believe you still need to leave every 3 months. I thought it was every 6 months but that might be a different visa.

miggiechan :

Hello Everyone:

It's not a mistake!  He was nice to provide the service at the airport without an up charge?  Be thankful!  All US citizens can get 1 year multiple entry visa.  Which means you will still need to follow the 90 day rule. Just leave for the day across boarder and come back..  Not a real big issue.  Just make sure to leave to Laos and China or anywhere ..  The you can come back another 90 days.  That simple...

The mistake he is asking about is the officer saying he doesn't have to exit after 90 days, in which he does have to.

I think I will go ahead and assume that the officer made a mistake. If the line at the airport weren't so long, I would have made more inquiries, but that seemed impossible at the time.

To the best of my knowledge, there are two types of one-year visas available to Americans: business (DN) and tourist (DL).

When the one-year tourist visa was introduced about 3 years ago, the policy was that your were supposed to leave every 3 months and this date was written under your stamp. However, the policy wasn't strictly enforced. One guy i knew overstayed the stamp date unintentionally by about a month (he didn't know). He tried to fix this problem but it was Friday afternoon and his flight was booked for Monday morning. He went to the airport and nothing happened.

So, either you have a one-year business visa or perhaps they have changed their policy regarding one-year tourist visas due to too much confusion.

What did your visa agent have to say about this?  Ultimately, regarding visa issues, the agents know (or can check), while the expats can only guess.

johnross---
I never thought about asking my visa agent to get an opinion. I will do that! Thank-you for the suggestion. If we, as a team, can confirm that leaving the country every 30 days on a tourist visa is no longer mandatory, this will bring a smile to the face of many expats!
D~

With a DN/business visa you don't have to exit/re-enter every 3 months. I'm basing this on my own personal experience/the fact that I've never had a problem with Immigration when I've done visa runs.

With a DL/tourist visa you do have to exit/re-enter every 3 months.  I'm basing this on what I've read on the internet.

This is correct. Us citizens can get a DN one year business multi entry visa and stay for 364 days. No border runs required. The first entry was noted with a date 1 year later by the immigration. I have travelled alot and each time I returned the same date was added. I stayed longer than 90 days several times. This dn 1 year business visa is only available to us citizens, and does not permit you to work here. I reapplied by email and they fedexed me my new one year DN to my apartment here in 5 days, for the real price. I do have to leave or course before my current dn expires, and return when my loose leaf new one begins. Good reason for a week vacation somewhere, thus extending my total stay by the length of time between visas.

I spoke to the Immigration dept, and they confirmed that the officer whom I met at the airport had made a mistake when he told me I did not have to leave every 90 days. (Tourist visa). So, what is required to get a one year multi-entry business visa? Any special documentation... etc?
Thanks, Dennis~

deebee123 :

I spoke to the Immigration dept, and they confirmed that the officer whom I met at the airport had made a mistake when he told me I did not have to leave every 90 days. (Tourist visa). So, what is required to get a one year multi-entry business visa? Any special documentation... etc?
Thanks, Dennis~

Great that you sorted it out, saves you a lot of hassles and money in the future.

deebee123 :

So, what is required to get a one year multi-entry business visa? Any special documentation... etc?
Thanks, Dennis~

Basically get a company to sponsor you.  They send a letter to you stating that you are visiting Vietnam to do business on behalf of your company in the US.  Send that letter with the visa application to the Vietnam Consulate when in the US and wait for visa.  I have only applied for DN when I was staying in the US and traveling here for work so I don't know the procedure when applying while staying here.  I have since gotten a DT visa locally.  When it expires I will get TRC now that I'm married to a VN.

If you aren't working it would be tough to get a legitimate business visa, as you aren't doing business here.  There are visa agents that will give you a sponsor letter but I personally wouldn't do it.  It seems to be easy enough to get on the blacklist.  I wouldn't want to facilitate that process.

I received two back to back 1 year DN Visas, one in person at the San Francisco consulate, and one loose leaf visa by email / mail, FedExed here to Vietnam. No documents were required. Check the business, and 1 year boxes. I work remotely for a business in the USA, that benefits Vietnamese businesses. But I would agree there is some grey area here. As for agents here that sponsor you as their employee for a visa, sounds like a ticking time bomb to the blacklist. The visa can be had by email directly from the USA Vietnamese consulate for the correct price,  plus express mail, 1,3, or standard, 5 days. I paid 35$ over the actual visa price and recieved mine in under a week. Just get a tracking number.

Yes... It seems perilously easy to get a DN Visa from a visa agent in Vietnam. If your meet up with an Immigration Officer at the airport who is having a bad day, this strategy could easily put you on the blacklist!
D~

Many people are put on the blacklist  after having numerous DN visas then changing to a tourist visa.

Since I left the US a few years ago, it feels as if my entire life has been consumed by planning visa strategies!

deebee123 :

Since I left the US a few years ago, it feels as if my entire life has been consumed by planning visa strategies!

The goal posts here move often.

A friend of mine back in 2011 was told that he had to return to the point of entry to extend his visa, he was in Saigon, his entry was stamped in Hanoi.

colinoscapee :

Many people are put on the blacklist  after having numerous DN visas then changing to a tourist visa.

Why? I guess from what I read immigration does not divulge why you are blacklisted. As someone who has made lots of connections and friendships here, blacklisting would of course suck.
    And why would someone who gets multiple DN switch to tourist? To save 20$? I legitimately work 30hrs a week here, but my company is based in the USA, I am paid in the USA.  The work I do benefits vietnamese hospitality businesses greatly. On top of the millions of dong in new business I generate for hotels and restaurants, I inject 4k+usd into the local economy each month.
To clarify, why would someone switch from a DN to a tourist visa?

TubbsFugee :
colinoscapee :

Many people are put on the blacklist  after having numerous DN visas then changing to a tourist visa.

Why? I guess from what I read they do not divulge why you are blacklisted. As someone who has made lots of connections and friendships here, blacklisting would of course suck.
    And why would someone who gets multiple DN switch to tourist? To save 20$? I legitimately work 30hrs a week here, but my company is based in the USA, I am paid in the USA.  The work I do benefits vietnamese hospitality businesses greatly. On top of the millions of dong in new business I generate for hotels and restaurants, I inject 4k+usd into the local economy each month.
To clarify, why would someone switch from a DN to a tourist visa?

That was the reply from a friend who has been doing visas here for a very,very , long time. He actually asked this question to someone who is connected, and that was the reply.

colinoscapee :
TubbsFugee :
colinoscapee :

Many people are put on the blacklist  after having numerous DN visas then changing to a tourist visa.

Why? I guess from what I read they do not divulge why you are blacklisted. As someone who has made lots of connections and friendships here, blacklisting would of course suck.
    And why would someone who gets multiple DN switch to tourist? To save 20$? I legitimately work 30hrs a week here, but my company is based in the USA, I am paid in the USA.  The work I do benefits vietnamese hospitality businesses greatly. On top of the millions of dong in new business I generate for hotels and restaurants, I inject 4k+usd into the local economy each month.
To clarify, why would someone switch from a DN to a tourist visa?

That was the reply from a friend who has been doing visas here for a very,very , long time. He actually asked this question to someone who is connected, and that was the reply.

I certainly believe you, just trying to clarify the DN designation. I know I would need a work permit if, say, I was teaching English at a school, and receiving a paycheck/direct deposit into my bank here. The DN is still a bit confusing, to me at least. I certainly hope I am not violating any of the conditions. As I said I spend 4k+USD/ month here.

TubbsFugee :
colinoscapee :
TubbsFugee :


Why? I guess from what I read they do not divulge why you are blacklisted. As someone who has made lots of connections and friendships here, blacklisting would of course suck.
    And why would someone who gets multiple DN switch to tourist? To save 20$? I legitimately work 30hrs a week here, but my company is based in the USA, I am paid in the USA.  The work I do benefits vietnamese hospitality businesses greatly. On top of the millions of dong in new business I generate for hotels and restaurants, I inject 4k+usd into the local economy each month.
To clarify, why would someone switch from a DN to a tourist visa?

That was the reply from a friend who has been doing visas here for a very,very , long time. He actually asked this question to someone who is connected, and that was the reply.

I certainly believe you, just trying to clarify the DN designation. I know I would need a work permit if, say, I was teaching English at a school, and receiving a paycheck/direct deposit into my bank here. The DN is still a bit confusing, to me at least. I certainly hope I am not violating any of the conditions. As I said I spend 4k+USD/ month here.

There are many things here that will confuse you, this is one of them.

It left me scratching my head. :joking:

colinoscapee :
TubbsFugee :
colinoscapee :


That was the reply from a friend who has been doing visas here for a very,very , long time. He actually asked this question to someone who is connected, and that was the reply.

I certainly believe you, just trying to clarify the DN designation. I know I would need a work permit if, say, I was teaching English at a school, and receiving a paycheck/direct deposit into my bank here. The DN is still a bit confusing, to me at least. I certainly hope I am not violating any of the conditions. As I said I spend 4k+USD/ month here.

There are many things here that will confuse you, this is one of them.

It left me scratching my head. :joking:

Oh don't I know it! Thick skin from a life abroad in different locales. Not alot surprises me anymore, except news from my homeland , frankly.

I have lived in VN off and on for 8 years. There are many travel agencies who will write a letter for you to get a 1 year, multiple entry BUSINESS VISA. I learned the hard way, thinking my one-year multiple entry tourist visa meant I did not have to leave Vietnam.  I got slapped with penalties at the border and the bus almost left without me. 
Fees: $150 to the agency who will also have a staff member waiting at the airport for you to fast track (10 minutes) getting the visa stamped - paying $135.  Contact me if you want to know the easiest way to renew, one-year from your entry.

Best, Albert

Hey DB,

My one year year tourist visa VOA at TSN has to be renewed every 90 days.

.

j

WillyBaldy :

I don't get why it's called a 1 year multi-entry if you need to leave every three months. I got a VISA for people with a VN spouse and it's a 6 month multi-entry, I don't need to get out after 90 days as far as I know.

Are you sure you don't have a 5 year VEC. That enables you to stay in the country for 6 months. If so, this is not a a visa, its an exemption.

If thats what you have then you have to re-new or leave the country at the 6 month mark. If you you re-new then you will def have to leave after the 1 year mark.

avn128 :
WillyBaldy :

I don't get why it's called a 1 year multi-entry if you need to leave every three months. I got a VISA for people with a VN spouse and it's a 6 month multi-entry, I don't need to get out after 90 days as far as I know.

Are you sure you don't have a 5 year VEC. That enables you to stay in the country for 6 months. If so, this is not a a visa, its an exemption.

If thats what you have then you have to re-new or leave the country at the 6 month mark. If you you re-new then you will def have to leave after the 1 year mark.

I'm not sure if that's what I've got but sounds about right. Valid for five years, can stay up to 6 months at a time. It might not be a visa but it's being treated as a visa by airline companies so it's pretty much the same to me.

WillyBaldy :
avn128 :
WillyBaldy :

I don't get why it's called a 1 year multi-entry if you need to leave every three months. I got a VISA for people with a VN spouse and it's a 6 month multi-entry, I don't need to get out after 90 days as far as I know.

Are you sure you don't have a 5 year VEC. That enables you to stay in the country for 6 months. If so, this is not a a visa, its an exemption.

If thats what you have then you have to re-new or leave the country at the 6 month mark. If you you re-new then you will def have to leave after the 1 year mark.

I'm not sure if that's what I've got but sounds about right. Valid for five years, can stay up to 6 months at a time. It might not be a visa but it's being treated as a visa by airline companies so it's pretty much the same to me.

It is the same thing basically.

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