Visa. Laugh or cry. A precautionary tale.

A short while ago I did the usual visa run to Cambodia as per the 6 month requirement ( despite the fact I have a 5 year Exemption visa which is a misnomer in itself ) At the time I was advised to renew my passport as it was full of stamps with no room left for any more. So, off I went back to England, at some cost I might add, spent 3 weeks there and obtained a fresh 100 page passport. On my return to HCM, despite having my old passport with me, I was refused entry as my 5yr exemption visa did not match the number on my new passport. Needless to say that after some heated discussion I walked through immigration anyway having refused to join the rather extensive queue at the visa desk. Detained I explained the problemand to give the officer in charge credit, he took my passport, went to the visa desk and promptly returned with a 30 day visa ( $20 fixed it )
The next day I went to the ministry, explained the situation, paid a further $50 and hey presto, a new 5yr exemption visa.
My fault I guess in that I had not foreseen the problem of mismatched passport/exemption visa numbers despite having been here many years and knowing only too well that any excuse to claim more money would obviously be exploited.
I guess smiling is the best option here . .. . and a few well placed dollars of course.

Those border police pay for those jobs, hence why they will fleece you at any given chance. I suggest a TRC over the VEC, a lot less hassles and no need to do border runs.

Colin . . . Am quite happy with things as they are and have only had problems of my own making. The 5yr EV suits me for other reasons. But thanks for the comment.

Not sure if you can get the paper visa, but I always got the paper visa, even the 1 year visa they gave me was a paper visa and the reason I got it was the fact my passport was full.  I never had a problem with the paper visa.

I had a similar problem with a 1-year US tourist visa, only I got a new US passport here in HCMC and the trouble occurred when I tried to leave to go to Dubai.  The passport control officer held me back because the Vietnam visa was on my old passport, and signaled for someone to come over, but no one came for a while while she processed several other people, so I pushed back in line and made enough fuss that she left her booth and took me to the other agent.  He spoke English and told me they will let me leave but that I will have to get a new visa when I return.

When I returned I tried to go through passport control on the hope that they would let it pass, but they made me go to the VOA area and I had to wait, not too long, while they made me a new visa with the same end date.  I was worried that I would have to pay another $135 USD, which I didn't have, but they only asked for a relatively small amount, I forget how much.  $10 or $20, I think.

Paul. You were lucky you did not have to wait long and you got away cheap, monkeys here can be a real pain sometimes.

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