Why You Might Extend/Renew Tourist Visa Effective Before July 1st 2020

As almost everyone who wants to remain in Vietnam (on a tourist visa) understands by now, after July 1st 2020, any length of tourist visa extensions/renewals and new tourist visas will be limited by a 30 day "permission to remain"/"Được phép tạm trú đến" stamp in your passport.

Immigration (some offices; not all) will reportedly extend your visa by 30 days if you are not planning to leave the country.

However, visa agents can still process your application for a 90 Day visa extension.

According to my trusted visa agent in Hanoi, if the 90 Day extension of your tourist visa is processed AND approved by immigration prior to July 1st, 2020, then you will also receive a 90 Day permission to stay stamp in your passport, in accordance with current regulations which don't change until July 1st 2020.

To be clear, this legal "loophole" is not spelled out that way on any government website; understandably so.

So my only recommendation for you to receive confirmation of this is to contact your trusted visa agent.

If you choose the 90 day extension/renewal before July 1st 2020, you should then have permission to stay in Vietnam well into September, 2020, before you will need to extend/renew under the regulations which go into effect on July 1st 2020.

Again, contact a government authorized visa agent to confirm.

Makes sense.

Expect to see further changes to Visa Policy here.   Those 30 day DLs were drafted way before the Virus hit.   

Now it’s a totally different ball game.  Have you noticed a swing of the pendulum back in favour of the Tourist.  Before we had the $350/400 visa extension/extortion game,,,then after foreign embassies got involved we have the $10 DIY 30 day extensions,,,now we’ve got the stay till 30th June deal with NO penalties provided you entered after March 1st.

What’s next...they’ll give us free Pho to stay.  Every single expat I know that is looking at shifting to the new apartment buildings has been offered discounts of up to 40% to stay.   

A contact who works with immigration here says they’re starting to realise that “ maybe” nobody will bother coming given all the restrictions, quarantine, airline delays & uncertainty.  Plus,,,,financial risk since Travel insurance won’t cover anything virus related now. It’s a known pre existing event.

There’s a very good chance they’ll be looking at empty hotels for ages & the loss of airport landing taxes costs them a packet.  I flew in mid March & only ONE guy on passport control.   The place was deserted.

Staff are being stood down.  My lady friend is a “party” girl & government worker,,,her department has laid off 75% of staff.   That’s getting common in govt departments now.    There’s some worried people in Immigration at the moment.   

No border traffic , No jobs.

We could be seeing a revision of the Visa policy. 

Besides,,Bali has a great retirement visa system. $800 PA, renewable in country & after 5 years you can get a permanent resident permit.

Phillipines also has good options for retirees,  Cambodia is cheap as chips $290 PA , no documentation required & renewable in country.  Cambodia is not everyone’s cup of tea.......but a lot of retirees here do sweet f[at]ckall with their days anyway.   

Plenty of options out there.

Ontheroad57 :

Expect to see further changes to Visa Policy here.   Those 30 day DLs were drafted way before the Virus hit.   

Now it’s a totally different ball game.  Have you noticed a swing of the pendulum back in favour of the Tourist.  Before we had the $350/400 visa extension/extortion game,,,then after foreign embassies got involved we have the $10 DIY 30 day extensions,,,now we’ve got the stay till 30th June deal with NO penalties provided you entered after March 1st.

But as the US Embassy points out, the "stay till June 30th" extensions are for people planning to leave the country by June 30th.

Those are stopgap measures to keep those who are leaving from technically overstaying.

If a person intends to stay, those stopgap extensions do not apply to them.

So if a person has a tourist visa expiring on, say, June 7th, and they wait until June 20th to apply for an extension TO STAY in Vietnam, they will be considered to have overstayed their visa and will be subject to fines AND the possibility that their extension request will be denied, causing them to receive an immediate order to leave.

A lot of people are saying the same things about how important the tourist is, but don't forget that these new restrictions are to curb illegal employment and criminal activities.

There is no indication that the government is going to back away from that.

On the contrary, just yesterday someone posted in another thread an interview with a top immigration officer.

He was quite clear about the plans for the government to crack down hard beginning on July 1st.

Ontheroad 57 maybe you're right but for me, it's a no-go, bought land with my girlfriend in Hoi An. I'll decide to put some cards in her hand but will keep the jokers.  :D. The party will be after the construction of our house. I've just to decide what kind of visa: TRC or VEC and for those in a steady relationship on a tourist visa, it's maybe the moment to go for it.

From a US Embassy Hanoi email today, about news that affects all expats:

RED text is highlighted by me, not the Embassy
----------------------------------------------------

Update to Government of Vietnam Policy Regarding Extension of Temporary Stay for Certain Foreigners - U.S. Embassy Hanoi and U.S. Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (July 1, 2020)

Location: Vietnam

Important Information for U.S. Citizens:

The Government of Vietnam announced it will extend its policy of automatic extension of temporary stay for foreigners in certain qualifying groups with plans to depart Vietnam through July 31, 2020.

U.S. citizens and other foreign nationals who entered Vietnam with a visa exemption certificate, e-visa, or tourist visa on or after March 1, 2020, will be granted an automatic extension of stay through July 31, 2020, and may exit Vietnam during this period without having to apply for an extension of stay.
U.S. citizens and other foreign nationals who entered Vietnam before March 1, 2020, may be considered for an automatic extension through July 31, 2020, provided that they can provide proof that they have been stranded in Vietnam due to COVID-19 mandatory quarantine, treatment, or other reasons beyond their control by presenting an exit letter from their Embassy or consulate about their situation.  They must present these documents upon exiting Vietnam.
U.S. citizens and other foreign nationals who do not fall under the above-mentioned categories, or who otherwise violate Vietnamese laws and regulations, will be subject to the penalties imposed by the Vietnamese government and its authorities.

U.S. citizens are reminded that they must declare their temporary stay with Vietnamese local authorities and complete a health declaration form during the extension period in accordance with local regulations.  The U.S. Embassy Hanoi and Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City cannot ask local authorities to give individual U.S. citizens special treatment or exemptions from local laws.  U.S. citizens are responsible for directly addressing immigration-related problems with Vietnamese immigration authorities, such as overstaying a visa, visa extensions, visa renewals, and new visa applications.  Questions regarding Vietnamese visas should be referred to the Vietnamese Immigration Department at (024) 39387320. The U.S. Embassy and Consulate cannot act as a visa sponsor for U.S. citizens during their stay in Vietnam.

The U.S. Embassy Hanoi and Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City may issue exit letters in support of U.S. citizens who entered Vietnam before March 1, 2020 and who can present concrete plans to exit Vietnam by July 31.  U.S. citizens may request an exit letter here.

We recommend U.S. citizens check the Embassy’s COVID-19 page daily for information, and register or update their information in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

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