Extend your visa now or Cry later

----------------------------------------------------
From the 18th of May, Immigration announced some new policies on visa automatic extended until June 30th, for those who enter Vietnam after March 1st, 2020 under tourist visa, Visa waiver, Electronic visa (E-visa).
****BUT please notice that: This policy is applied for those with the intent to leave Vietnam before June 30, 2020 only, for those who wish to stay after this date, you still have to extend your visa as normal, which means extend your visa before the visa expires date.
----------------------------------------------------
This automatic visa extension policy, is only works when you exit Vietnam before June 30, and the airport's immigration staffs check all of you conditions on spot (Registered your residency, medical form, and you entried after Mar 1st, exit before Jun 30), then they allow you to exit Vietnam. There will be no stamps, no evidence on this automatic extension, so if you don’t have any plans to exit Vietnam before June 30, and you overstayed your visa, you still have to pay the fine fee and maybe get into blacklist because of this.

Johnny Le Manh Hung :

----------------------------------------------------
From the 18th of May, Immigration announced some new policies on visa automatic extended until June 30th, for those who enter Vietnam after March 1st, 2020 under tourist visa, Visa waiver, Electronic visa (E-visa).
****BUT please notice that: This policy is applied for those with the intent to leave Vietnam before June 30, 2020 only, for those who wish to stay after this date, you still have to extend your visa as normal, which means extend your visa before the visa expires date.
----------------------------------------------------
This automatic visa extension policy, is only works when you exit Vietnam before June 30, and the airport's immigration staffs check all of you conditions on spot (Registered your residency, medical form, and you entried after Mar 1st, exit before Jun 30), then they allow you to exit Vietnam. There will be no stamps, no evidence on this automatic extension, so if you don’t have any plans to exit Vietnam before June 30, and you overstayed your visa, you still have to pay the fine fee and maybe get into blacklist because of this.

I have been trying to tell one guy about this until I'm blue in the face.

Unfortunately some foreigners just don't believe that those Visa extensions were only intended for people who were going to leave the country.

They do not automatically apply to people who are planning to stay in the country.

But I think the only proof that some people are going to believe is when they end up paying an overstay penalty and, as you said, possibly ending up on The Blacklist.

On July 1 there will hundreds of of posts on Facebook by people who find out they have overstayed their visas.

cruisemonkey :

On July 1 there will hundreds of of posts on Facebook by people who find out they have overstayed their visas.

Won’t be a problem for them.
They’ll do what some of the Russians are doing in Nha Trang......claiming financial destitution.
They’ve been lining up for welfare assistance with free Rice Donations & free Rent.

One guy even had a FB page calling for donations for medical treatment .  Another guy dobbed him in since his Embassy paid the bill. 😆

They game the system.  After all,,,,they’re old mates aren’t they.

I have one of those extensions to June 30 based on an exit letter received from my consulate. Where am I supposed to go on June 30? How do you get out of the country when the borders are still closed and there are no international flights?

hyagly256 :

I have one of those extensions to June 30 based on an exit letter received from my consulate. Where am I supposed to go on June 30? How do you get out of the country when the borders are still closed and there are no international flights?

That's not so. There are international flights. There are four Airlines at least conducting flights out of Vietnam. I think they are all Japanese and Korean carriers. You book a flight on one of them and then do a connecting flight back to your country of origin.

Is there any way to extend a tourist visa without an agency? My airline is still not operating, so I need to extend my Visa again.
But I don't feel like paying 300USD a second time.

Can I do it by myself? The immigration office in Da Nang, unfortunately, hasn't been of big help.  But maybe if I turn up with the right documents and everything, it'll work?

In Saigon at least, the price has dropped to half of that due to market forces.

there are fights to get out of Viet Nam for people don't plan to stay long term but when they got out, they can hardly come back during this time.

you can extend your visa by yourself but it can only be extended for 1 month.

Those connection flights are not certain and very expensive, too. I'd rather wait for my airline to resume flights and enjoy the safe situation here, to be honest.

My Embassy also wanted me out as soon as possible, but there was no way I would travel like a madman 30 hours through infested airports, with possible delays cancellations and quarantine. 

I see it as a win for everybody... stay here help the tourist industry and wait until travel is up again.

Why are all the travel agents telling me there are no flights out of VN when this page
https://www.hochiminhcityairport.com/fl … epartures/

shows departures to Taipei, Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Sydney and Korea?

And the online booking sites show there are flights to Bangkok, but very expensive and no nonstops, only several hops and 40 hours or so duration?

The agents tell me to just wait until the govt announces a new policy, hopefully extending our ability to stay. I would rather do that than fly to someplace now and have to endure a quarantine.

But one problem is that I got a one month extension at immigration but it expired in late May.  At that point, I could not get another extension, only an exit letter to let me exit by June 30. I assumed that meant that the borders would be open by June 30.

Now travel agents say that they can get me an extension, but there would be an overstay fine from the date my last extension expired. And an overstay might mean blacklisting for any future visas.

If I could go to Bangkok or PP I would do it, so what’s going on? Why is there all this conflicting information?

To make matters more confusing, when I search on google about which countries are open I get stuff like this:

"Thailand: All foreign nationals are barred from entering Thailand and international passenger flights to Thailand are suspended. However, Thai authorities have announced that Thailand will be open to tourists from 1 July."

That's from https://www.wanderlust.co.uk/content/co … ates/#asia updated June 21.

But this page: https://www.bangkokairportonline.com/fl … epartures/
shows foreign flights arriving, including from Ho Chi Minh

So who are on these flights to Bangkok that seem to be happening if there are no foreigners allowed in?

Why are news stories saying there are no flights, such as this one:

https://vietnamtimes.org.vn/likely-a-sp … 21521.html

19/06/2020Lyan Vu
Although Vietnamese air carriers are the right state of mind for preparation to reopen their international flight routes starting from July, the uncertainties of the Covid-19 pandemic still a hindrance.

When the online booking sites say there are ALREADY flights happening? Including from Vietnam Airlines?

hyagly256 :

Why are all the travel agents telling me there are no flights out of VN when this page
https://www.hochiminhcityairport.com/fl … epartures/

shows departures to Taipei, Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Sydney and Korea?

And the online booking sites show there are flights to Bangkok, but very expensive and no nonstops, only several hops and 40 hours or so duration?

The agents tell me to just wait until the govt announces a new policy, hopefully extending our ability to stay. I would rather do that than fly to someplace now and have to endure a quarantine.

But one problem is that I got a one month extension at immigration but it expired in late May.  At that point, I could not get another extension, only an exit letter to let me exit by June 30. I assumed that meant that the borders would be open by June 30.

Now travel agents say that they can get me an extension, but there would be an overstay fine from the date my last extension expired. And an overstay might mean blacklisting for any future visas.

If I could go to Bangkok or PP I would do it, so what’s going on? Why is there all this conflicting information?

It's not conflicting information.  There are two scenarios.  You have an automatic extension if you were here legally after I think March 7th that will go through June 30 but you MUST LEAVE before June 30 for this to work.  If you plan to stay past June 30 you will need an extension from THE LAST VALID VISA OR EXTENSION that you had.  If you are already expired you will pay an overstay penalty and possibly be blacklisted which will cost you around $3000 US to get off of if you want to come back.

flothus :

Those connection flights are not certain and very expensive, too.

My Embassy also wanted me out as soon as possible, but there was no way I would travel like a madman 30 hours through infested airports, with possible delays cancellations and quarantine. 

I see it as a win for everybody... stay here help the tourist industry and wait until travel is up again.

They're not expensive and the solid airlines have very solid schedules.  Don't know about flight to Europe, but my great niece flew back to Canada two weeks ago on Korean Airlines with a transit in Seoul, which is not an infested airport but a pristine one in term of Covid-19.  Korean Airlines has yet to cancel one flight nor had any delay so far.  Her ticket was US$705, one way, taxes included.

Re: quarantine, you would have to face that at your home country no matter what, unless you wait until the pandemic is completely over worldwide, which may not happen for a year or two.

Extending your stay to help the tourist industry is just an excuse of your own.  I seriously doubt the government is relying on overstayed tourists to revive their economy.

hyagly256 :

Why are news stories saying there are no flights, such as this one:

https://vietnamtimes.org.vn/likely-a-sp … 21521.html

Although Vietnamese air carriers are the right state of mind for preparation to reopen their international flight routes starting from July, the uncertainties of the Covid-19 pandemic still a hindrance.

When the online booking sites say there are ALREADY flights happening? Including from Vietnam Airlines?

Please read post#10 of this "Visa first or plane ticket?" thread plus my comment directly above this one for the answer on flights.

[at]Ciambella thank you for your reply.
Honestly, I don't understand what you are arguing for.

Your niece might have been lucky (however, a chest-X ray is something you really don't want to do without serious indication, because of the radiation dose ). None of my friends trying to get home from various countries have been able to do so without trouble or delays. As a matter of fact, some of my friends have not been able to return at all yet, experiencing ongoing flight cancellations since March. 

I'm sure there are options if I didn't mind the conditions, my health and was not worried to get stuck in an airport or a plane with international travellers from other countries with much higher infection rates than Vietnam.
If there is a better possibility, why not use it?
My embassy advised me to fly through Japan and then back to Germany which would easily cost more than 1000€ and comes atop my regular return ticket. I'm a student, it's a lot of money for me and I rather prefer to spend it to support the local community, if I have to spend it.

It's a special situation, and we should make our lives easier not harder. Yes, I'm angry about how the visa situation is handled. Sure there must be rules, but my inquires to the office of immigration have not even been answered, while the agencies are making capital from the distress of others. For how well Vietnam is handling covid in general, the visa situation is not clear. 

Also, the country as a whole might not depend on stranded tourists, but I can see that the owner of my apartment and every restaurant is quite relieved with every additional regular customer who helps them to get through the pandemic.

So I'm not sure what your point is.

flothus :

So I'm not sure what your point is.

The point is, you want it all.  You want a cheap flight home.  You want a safe flight home.  You want to stay here.  You want it to be cheap to renew the visa to stay here.

The fact is every person is different and everyone has their own threshold for money, safety, convenience.  Only you can pick which works for you.  The problem is that you won't pick.  You just keep bemoaning the options that you have.  Pick one.  Do it.  Move on.  Nobody is going to change the rules for you.  And, for you, time is starting to run short.

Actually, I just wish for one thing.... clarity on the visa situation and not to rely on a private untransparent third party system for visa issues during a situation that is not under my control.

Everything else is my choice and I have no problem with that. If you think it's fine that people are forced to pay 300$ for an extension because they can't get to the airport during the shutdown (happened to me, my flight was at the end of March) then that's ok. I think it's unfair.

Now my flight got rescheduled and I'm looking for an alternative. I'm not demanding a free visa or the right to stay as I like. I was just asking if there is a better way for the extension.

If somebody says flying is easy peasy and insinuates the problem is me, not this bunch of different agencies with various wild prices, then obviously I feel like I should make a point here.

Thanks for all your opinions, stay safe.

Ontheroad57 :
cruisemonkey :

On July 1 there will hundreds of of posts on Facebook by people who find out they have overstayed their visas.

Won’t be a problem for them.
They’ll do what some of the Russians are doing in Nha Trang......claiming financial destitution.
They’ve been lining up for welfare assistance with free Rice Donations & free Rent.

Russians can get welfare in Vietnam???

SteinNebraska :
hyagly256 :

Why are all the travel agents telling me there are no flights out of VN when this page
https://www.hochiminhcityairport.com/fl … epartures/

shows departures to Taipei, Bangkok, Phnom Penh, Sydney and Korea?

And the online booking sites show there are flights to Bangkok, but very expensive and no nonstops, only several hops and 40 hours or so duration?

The agents tell me to just wait until the govt announces a new policy, hopefully extending our ability to stay. I would rather do that than fly to someplace now and have to endure a quarantine.

But one problem is that I got a one month extension at immigration but it expired in late May.  At that point, I could not get another extension, only an exit letter to let me exit by June 30. I assumed that meant that the borders would be open by June 30.

Now travel agents say that they can get me an extension, but there would be an overstay fine from the date my last extension expired. And an overstay might mean blacklisting for any future visas.

If I could go to Bangkok or PP I would do it, so what’s going on? Why is there all this conflicting information?

It's not conflicting information.  There are two scenarios.  You have an automatic extension if you were here legally after I think March 7th that will go through June 30 but you MUST LEAVE before June 30 for this to work.  If you plan to stay past June 30 you will need an extension from THE LAST VALID VISA OR EXTENSION that you had.  If you are already expired you will pay an overstay penalty and possibly be blacklisted which will cost you around $3000 US to get off of if you want to come back.

I entered in January and the only option available to me after the first Permission to Stay extension was the exit letter. The point is, allowing people to exit by June 30 is fine as long as it's possible to exit.

But my main question was, why are the travel agents telling me there are no flights when the online booking sites, the Tan Son Nhat departures web page, and the Bangkok arrivals web page are all showing flights before June 30?

Travel agents and Cambodia bus companies are also saying that the Moc Bai border remains closed and the buses are not running there.

Flying to Korea also seems like a big expensive diversion from where I want to go on my next trip -- Cambodia, Thailand and India.

I cannot imagine having to endure a 2 week quarantine in some awful communal space in Cambodia or Thailand with beds on the floor, shared bathrooms, no privacy , no exercise, no sunlight, no access to the very healthy fresh food I am accustomed to eating, and adding insult to injury, having to pay for my own imprisonment (very exorbitant prices in Cambodia). I am not so young and sleeping on a mattress on the floor would be very hard on my lower back. Then I would also worry that my fellow inmates might steal my wallet while I was asleep. Even if the quarantine were in a hotel, it would be very difficult if I could not leave to go to the market and get the kind of fresh food I am accustomed to.

And just having to endure the tests, the stress, the paranoia, is something I would like to defer if possible until things return to normal.

I would be willing to pay a 1 month overstay fine if that's the only way to stay and get a new extension. But if it leads to blacklisting, that's something I definitely want to avoid, as i really want my future to be in VN.

So I would rather get an extension of my exit letter, if immigration would be so kind as to make that available. I don't want to travel during this ridiculous insanity over a virus that even the CDC admits, has an infection fatality rate of less than 0.3%, deaths that mostly consist of the very old and feeble with other debilitating medical conditions.

https://reason.com/2020/05/24/the-cdcs- … below-0-3/

https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/n … 47530.html

SteinNebraska :
flothus :

So I'm not sure what your point is.

The point is, you want it all.  You want a cheap flight home.  You want a safe flight home.  You want to stay here.  You want it to be cheap to renew the visa to stay here.

The fact is every person is different and everyone has their own threshold for money, safety, convenience.  Only you can pick which works for you.  The problem is that you won't pick.  You just keep bemoaning the options that you have.  Pick one.  Do it.  Move on.  Nobody is going to change the rules for you.  And, for you, time is starting to run short.

Stein, please don't be so hard on Flotus. You are fortunate to have a VEC or Residence Permit or whatever it is that you possess. For those of us with visas and Permission to Stay issues, this is a very difficult time. Travelling looks to be a real ordeal. I completely sympathize with Flotus's plight.

cruisemonkey :
Ontheroad57 :
cruisemonkey :

On July 1 there will hundreds of of posts on Facebook by people who find out they have overstayed their visas.

Won’t be a problem for them.
They’ll do what some of the Russians are doing in Nha Trang......claiming financial destitution.
They’ve been lining up for welfare assistance with free Rice Donations & free Rent.

Russians can get welfare in Vietnam???

Yep.....they just lie down & cry poor.
The locals have been giving them heavily discounted rent , sometimes free rent & they’ve been lining up for free rice handouts.

There were flights available back to Russia , but they like it here. Nice & warm😆

hyagly256 :

For those of us with visas and Permission to Stay issues, this is a very difficult time. Travelling looks to be a real ordeal. I completely sympathize with Flotus's plight.

I couldn't "quote" your post with links under review, but in answer to your question as to why SOME travel agents are telling you there are no flights, I think it's simple:

You've chosen agents who would rather sell you a visa extension.

Send me a private message if you want the info for my trusted agent and personal friend in Hanoi.

You definitely can't do much of anything more with your visa at immigration, but I'm virtually certain that my agent in Hanoi can get you another 3 month extension on your permission to stay, but I think turn around time is about 5 days, so you need to contact her immediately.

After July 1st, under the new regs, she will only be able to get you a 30 day extension, no matter how much time you have left on your visa.

As long as you let go of any ideas about how the system SHOULD be and accept the system as it is, she will be able to give you the best advice and assistance.

It might include a fee for overstay since you've been relying on the automatic visa extension that ONLY applies to people planning to exit the country by June 30th.

Cheers!

Ontheroad57 :
cruisemonkey :
Ontheroad57 :


Won’t be a problem for them.
They’ll do what some of the Russians are doing in Nha Trang......claiming financial destitution.
They’ve been lining up for welfare assistance with free Rice Donations & free Rent.

Russians can get welfare in Vietnam???

Yep.....they just lie down & cry poor.
The locals have been giving them heavily discounted rent , sometimes free rent & they’ve been lining up for free rice handouts.

There were flights available back to Russia , but they like it here. Nice & warm😆

I just passed through Nha Trang to see if I might want to live there (not now).

I dealt with at least three landlords who were giving deep discounts to Russians in economic distress.

Not so much because they wanted to rent to them.

But there is such a glut of rentals currently, their other option has been to rent to no one.

It was sad to see so many businesses locked up there, and actually a bit depressing to know that most buildings I viewed were less than half occupied.

OceanBeach92107 :
Ontheroad57 :
cruisemonkey :


Russians can get welfare in Vietnam???

Yep.....they just lie down & cry poor.
The locals have been giving them heavily discounted rent , sometimes free rent & they’ve been lining up for free rice handouts.

There were flights available back to Russia , but they like it here. Nice & warm😆

I just passed through Nha Trang to see if I might want to live there (not now).

I dealt with at least three landlords who were giving deep discounts to Russians in economic distress.

Not so much because they wanted to rent to them.

But there is such a glut of rentals currently, their other option has been to rent to no one.

It was sad to see so many businesses locked up there, and actually a bit depressing to know that most buildings I viewed were less than half occupied.

Never been much of a beach person (spent too much of my life looking at it from the handrails of a ship) & not a fan of NhaTrang to be honest but just as a matter of interest would you mind telling me what sort of rental prices for a nice 2 bed apartment near the beach? Say monthly, cos cant look too far ahead these days what with the visa deals etc!!

goodolboy :
OceanBeach92107 :
Ontheroad57 :


Yep.....they just lie down & cry poor.
The locals have been giving them heavily discounted rent , sometimes free rent & they’ve been lining up for free rice handouts.

There were flights available back to Russia , but they like it here. Nice & warm😆

I just passed through Nha Trang to see if I might want to live there (not now).

I dealt with at least three landlords who were giving deep discounts to Russians in economic distress.

Not so much because they wanted to rent to them.

But there is such a glut of rentals currently, their other option has been to rent to no one.

It was sad to see so many businesses locked up there, and actually a bit depressing to know that most buildings I viewed were less than half occupied.

Never been much of a beach person (spent too much of my life looking at it from the handrails of a ship) & not a fan of NhaTrang to be honest but just as a matter of interest would you mind telling me what sort of rental prices for a nice 2 bed apartment near the beach? Say monthly, cos cant look too far ahead these days what with the visa deals etc!!

Monthly is a bit higher of course, as they will give you a better deal for a six-month or one-year lease.

But there is a lot that fits those parameters between 4 million and 7 million

flothus :

Actually, I just wish for one thing.... clarity on the visa situation and not to rely on a private untransparent third party system for visa issues during a situation that is not under my control.

Everything else is my choice and I have no problem with that. If you think it's fine that people are forced to pay 300$ for an extension because they can't get to the airport during the shutdown (happened to me, my flight was at the end of March) then that's ok. I think it's unfair.

The preCOVID-19 price for a tourist (DL) visa 3-month extension was $270-300 (depending on the agent). Most people don't realize this because they did 'visa runs'.

cruisemonkey :
flothus :

Actually, I just wish for one thing.... clarity on the visa situation and not to rely on a private untransparent third party system for visa issues during a situation that is not under my control.

Everything else is my choice and I have no problem with that. If you think it's fine that people are forced to pay 300$ for an extension because they can't get to the airport during the shutdown (happened to me, my flight was at the end of March) then that's ok. I think it's unfair.

The preCOVID-19 price for a tourist (DL) visa 3-month extension was $270-300 (depending on the agent). Most people don't realize this because they did 'visa runs'.

Exactly.

Hardly anyone was doing a visa "extension" previously.

We were actually purchasing brand new visas, which have always been much cheaper than visa extensions (see THIS LINK)

Thinking something is "unfair" is not the same as something actually being unfair.

OceanBeach92107 :
cruisemonkey :
flothus :

Actually, I just wish for one thing.... clarity on the visa situation and not to rely on a private untransparent third party system for visa issues during a situation that is not under my control.

Everything else is my choice and I have no problem with that. If you think it's fine that people are forced to pay 300$ for an extension because they can't get to the airport during the shutdown (happened to me, my flight was at the end of March) then that's ok. I think it's unfair.

The preCOVID-19 price for a tourist (DL) visa 3-month extension was $270-300 (depending on the agent). Most people don't realize this because they did 'visa runs'.

Exactly.

Hardly anyone was doing a visa "extension" previously.

We were actually purchasing brand new visas, which have always been much cheaper than visa extensions (see THIS LINK)

Thinking something is "unfair" is not the same as something actually being unfair.

Actually call me mister stupid, but had I known or taken the time understand about the the visa extensions the cost to me would have been very acceptable even at the 325usd I paid for recently for my first one. Taking into account my flights to BKK, on the piss with friends in BKK, taxis, hotel bill etc not to mention using up 2 pages on my passport every 3 months 325usd was a really good deal & come August I will do it again border open or not if they will accept my extension.
Which brings me on to a slightly different subject & perhaps some might have a guess or have inside info.
Question 1........if I get a 3 months second extension to my tourist visa will I still have to abide by the new law starts 1st July & get a stamp or what ever every month even although I will have a 3 months extension?
Question 2........how many 3 months extensions in theory can I get to my 3 months tourist visa?

Personally,, I’d be getting that extension NOW before next Tuesday .

From what I’ve seen,,,,,3 mth DL tourist extensions will become “museum exibits” after that date.   

Who knows what will happen next.   Maybe the drought of tourists will evoke another change in Visa policy.

goodolboy :
OceanBeach92107 :
cruisemonkey :

The preCOVID-19 price for a tourist (DL) visa 3-month extension was $270-300 (depending on the agent). Most people don't realize this because they did 'visa runs'.

Exactly.

Hardly anyone was doing a visa "extension" previously.

We were actually purchasing brand new visas, which have always been much cheaper than visa extensions.

Thinking something is "unfair" is not the same as something actually being unfair.

Actually call me mister stupid, but had I known or taken the time understand about the the visa extensions the cost to me would have been very acceptable even at the 325usd I paid for recently for my first one. Taking into account my flights to BKK, on the piss with friends in BKK, taxis, hotel bill etc not to mention using up 2 pages on my passport every 3 months 325usd was a really good deal & come August I will do it again border open or not if they will accept my extension.
Which brings me on to a slightly different subject & perhaps some might have a guess or have inside info.
Question 1........if I get a 3 months second extension to my tourist visa will I still have to abide by the new law starts 1st July & get a stamp or what ever every month even although I will have a 3 months extension?
Question 2........how many 3 months extensions in theory can I get to my 3 months tourist visa?

Your reasoning is the exact same reasoning my agent uses for justifying the higher cost of an extension. She says it's still cheaper than what it would have cost someone to do some sort of border run.

If you get your extension processed before July 1st it will have a "permitted to remain until" stamp good for 3 months. If you wait until after July 1st it will have a one-month permission to remain stamp, even if you extend the visa itself for 3 months (that's what my agent told me).

I once heard that two three-month extensions was the limit but under new rules who knows? Probably best to directly ask an agent about this since they are the ones who will do it, not immigration.

cruisemonkey :
flothus :

Actually, I just wish for one thing.... clarity on the visa situation and not to rely on a private untransparent third party system for visa issues during a situation that is not under my control.

Everything else is my choice and I have no problem with that. If you think it's fine that people are forced to pay 300$ for an extension because they can't get to the airport during the shutdown (happened to me, my flight was at the end of March) then that's ok. I think it's unfair.

The preCOVID-19 price for a tourist (DL) visa 3-month extension was $270-300 (depending on the agent). Most people don't realize this because they did 'visa runs'.

Only that I paid that amount for a 2-month extension.

The prices of visa extensions are hardly in any relation to the initial visa.

What gets me, however, is how it went down.

3 weeks before my departure I checked the costs for the extension planning for rough times. All the information I found is "it depends". And that it could be done by ourselves but not anymore and now agencies do it.

So I have contacted an agency (the only one in Da Nang that I found) asking if it is possible and how much it costs. They were happy to assure me not to worry and that it is possible but didn't mention the price. So I specifically asked again for the price for different lengths of extension and when they would need my passport. They told me to wait for a date closer to my visa expiry, so I get more from the extension and above all, I should not worry. No mentioning of the price again.

I thought well it's probably so low, they don't even bother to mention it. How much can it be if my initial visa sticker for 3-months was only about 80 USD? 

A week passes, we're right into the lockdown and things are starting to look bad regarding my flight.
I ask them again for the price telling them I might not be able to get my flight and if there are any special rules for this case.
So they drop the bomb... 400USD for a 3-month extension not even mentioning other options.

I contact the office of immigration, not to complain I didn't even mention what happened. Just asking for advice and what options are there in regard to the travel situation. I never received a reply.

Immediately after the lockdown, I'm going to the local immigration office. They are very kind and tell me I can try to get an exemption or use an agency. The process is not so straightforward though and needs the sponsorship of my embassy. At this point I have 4 days until my visa expires and my embassy tells me they will not take part in the sponsorship, as simple as that.

So I'm back to square one and have to go with another agency I contacted right after I received the ridiculous offer. Which still was 300USD for a 2-months extension.

So I congratulate everyone in this thread for having integrated in Vietnam so well, but maybe it's a little bit too well for people who don't have your options.

Edit: added quote

G’day Flotus,

Unfortunately if your looking for consistency & clarity in procedures here you’ll only be disappointed.
You’ve simply got to realise your in a country with virtually No Rule of Law , a very low credit rating BBB & also at the bottom of most global Indexes for doing business & corruption.

Given the above , it all becomes a game.   But the the game is cheap because of all the inconsistencies & constant shifting of the goal posts.

Anyone he gets their DL extended now before 1/7 next week “should” be good till late September .   After that , it’s game on again.  With tourists unlikely to return for quiet some time , expect more changes.

Tourism will mainly begin with ASEAN countries, most of whom DO NOT require a vIsa to come here.  They just arrive.    Long haul tourists I doubt will bother given the onerous BS involved now ( see cambodia).

So...maybe the immigration people will be looking for business,,any kind of business.  I’d expect more changes.

Obviously your disappointed with how “it all went down”.  That goes with the game here. I’ve been blacklisted before , also denied visas over a period of nearly 10 years.   Reasons given were amusing to,say the least.   I’ve met & know personally several others that have had immigration issues here & all episodes have the same flavour.  Work it out for yourself.

If you want warm sunny weather, a nice seaside apartment for a few hundred bucks, 50 cent beers & a meal for $4 bucks.....there’s a “levy” attached.

Welcome to Vietnam & good luck

Ontheroad57 :

G’day Flotus,

Unfortunately if your looking for consistency & clarity in procedures here you’ll only be disappointed.
You’ve simply got to realise your in a country with virtually No Rule of Law , a very low credit rating BBB & also at the bottom of most global Indexes for doing business & corruption.

Given the above , it all becomes a game.   But the the game is cheap because of all the inconsistencies & constant shifting of the goal posts.

Anyone he gets their DL extended now before 1/7 next week “should” be good till late September .   After that , it’s game on again.  With tourists unlikely to return for quiet some time , expect more changes.

Tourism will mainly begin with ASEAN countries, most of whom DO NOT require a vIsa to come here.  They just arrive.    Long haul tourists I doubt will bother given the onerous BS involved now ( see cambodia).

So...maybe the immigration people will be looking for business,,any kind of business.  I’d expect more changes.

Obviously your disappointed with how “it all went down”.  That goes with the game here. I’ve been blacklisted before , also denied visas over a period of nearly 10 years.   Reasons given were amusing to,say the least.   I’ve met & know personally several others that have had immigration issues here & all episodes have the same flavour.  Work it out for yourself.

If you want warm sunny weather, a nice seaside apartment for a few hundred bucks, 50 cent beers & a meal for $4 bucks.....there’s a “levy” attached.

Welcome to Vietnam & good luck

Jesus how I long for the simple uncomplicated life like before where you did your visa run, bunged who ever some USD kept your head low & just got on with life. Suppose that life is long gone never to return.....ah well thats progress I suppose.

When I came here full time 2008 interest rates on Dong savings were at least 15% PA, beer was 20 cents a bottle Bia Saigon, Most time you had to wait at the Visa on Arrival desk was 10 minutes, going through Immigration was a breeze, no cars on the roads & very few trucks, only thing that costs more then was petrol.

Any ideas yet on how much this 1 month stamp is gonna cost & if its gonna be available in country?

Good ole boy,,,
From what I’ve seen on Govt websites you submit an APPLICATION to immigration and they apply a 7 day period of “consideration” as to whether they grant you a further 30 days stay.

Also,they can request documentation to support that application as to why , as a tourist you require another 30 days....ie, evidence of tours booked, internal flights, hotels etc . 

The fee is indicated as $10 (thereabouts from memory)  Blind Freddy can see you will require an agent to support you in that application.

May the games begin.

However,,,since for the foreseeable future ASEAN countries will be likely the only Tourists showing up,,and they usually only stay 7 to 10 days,,I can’t see much action on that front.

Looks like the only “cannon fodder” available will be you, me & anyone else who hasn’t found a way home yet. ....

PS... how does a Scotchman get a name Goodole boy.     I thought that just applied to banjo playing hillbillies from Alabama. 😆

flothus :
cruisemonkey :
flothus :

Actually, I just wish for one thing.... clarity on the visa situation and not to rely on a private untransparent third party system for visa issues during a situation that is not under my control.

Everything else is my choice and I have no problem with that. If you think it's fine that people are forced to pay 300$ for an extension because they can't get to the airport during the shutdown (happened to me, my flight was at the end of March) then that's ok. I think it's unfair.

The preCOVID-19 price for a tourist (DL) visa 3-month extension was $270-300 (depending on the agent). Most people don't realize this because they did 'visa runs'.

Only that I paid that amount for a 2-month extension.

The prices of visa extensions are hardly in any relation to the initial visa.

What gets me, however, is how it went down.

3 weeks before my departure I checked the costs for the extension planning for rough times. All the information I found is "it depends". And that it could be done by ourselves but not anymore and now agencies do it.

So I have contacted an agency (the only one in Da Nang that I found) asking if it is possible and how much it costs. They were happy to assure me not to worry and that it is possible but didn't mention the price. So I specifically asked again for the price for different lengths of extension and when they would need my passport. They told me to wait for a date closer to my visa expiry, so I get more from the extension and above all, I should not worry. No mentioning of the price again.

I thought well it's probably so low, they don't even bother to mention it. How much can it be if my initial visa sticker for 3-months was only about 80 USD? 

A week passes, we're right into the lockdown and things are starting to look bad regarding my flight.
I ask them again for the price telling them I might not be able to get my flight and if there are any special rules for this case.
So they drop the bomb... 400USD for a 3-month extension not even mentioning other options.

I contact the office of immigration, not to complain I didn't even mention what happened. Just asking for advice and what options are there in regard to the travel situation. I never received a reply.

Immediately after the lockdown, I'm going to the local immigration office. They are very kind and tell me I can try to get an exemption or use an agency. The process is not so straightforward though and needs the sponsorship of my embassy. At this point I have 4 days until my visa expires and my embassy tells me they will not take part in the sponsorship, as simple as that.

So I'm back to square one and have to go with another agency I contacted right after I received the ridiculous offer. Which still was 300USD for a 2-months extension.

So I congratulate everyone in this thread for having integrated in Vietnam so well, but maybe it's a little bit too well for people who don't have your options.

Edit: added quote

Once again someone posting about 1 or 2 interactions with visa agents and painting all agents with the same brush in condemnation.

I personally have posted many times that my trusted agent in Hanoi (home of centralized immigration) has been charging $250 for a three month extension in most cases.

Other people on here have posted lower prices.

For the casual reader, if you need (or have decided to use) a visa agent in Vietnam, you really do need to shop around.

But don't make the mistake of simply choosing the cheapest agent.

Choose one who gives you straight answers right from the start, with a reputation of having given reliable service for many years, especially when one of their customers encounters visa problems.

OB,
Next month will be interesting.

I know several blokes here that are convinced those DIY $10  exit visas can be extended 90 days.

What part of “EXIT VISA” didn’t make it upstairs.😆😆

They better get the vaseline ready.

Ontheroad57 :

Good ole boy,,,
From what I’ve seen on Govt websites you submit an APPLICATION to immigration and they appl

PS... how does a Scotchman get a name Goodole boy.     I thought that just applied to banjo playing hillbillies from Alabama. 😆

Pretty boring really but for most of my adult working life in the offshore oilfields most of my supervisors (lets call them that for now) were in actual fact swampies, hill billies & good ol boys & as the oilfield progressed off Aberdeen a lot of the swampie talk rubbed off on us & then when I went International & lots of good ol boys there too but now a lot more Jocks & English mixed in. So what was as you say " [b]I thought that just applied to banjo playing hillbillies from Alabama"
is very common offshore oil talk. Just for a laugh if someone was lets say a little suspect at his job but had contacts we would say........."Billy Bob cant do his job good, but hey, he's a good ol boy so lets keep him" To be honest Roadie most of them were pretty basic but really good ol boys.
So I was running out of "nom de plume's" for this forum so I though OK just be a nice guy this time so.......Goodolboy came to my mind!
Going back in my family line I can also trace some ancestry back to the Scotts/Irish that settled in the Carolina's. Sorry to ramble but hey thats the prerogative of a 69 year old....goodolboy!! frae Aberdeen

New topic