Extend your visa now or Cry later

Ontheroad57 :

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.

Maybe I'm confused so I don't mind if someone corrects me.

I'm pretty sure that the people who paid $10 for a one month extension via an immigration office got exactly that: a one month extension.

Maybe it was their intent to simply cover the amount of time they needed to exit the country, but I don't believe that immigration placed that restriction on the extension approval.

In most cases they could have gone to an agent for a 3 month extension.

The people who are supposed to be leaving are the ones who are relying on the automatic Visa extensions offered by the government of Vietnam.

If they entered the country on or after March 1st, then their Visa is automatically extended to June 30th as they make plans to leave the country.

The guys who are really going to get shafted are the ones who are now sitting on an expired Visa who think they can wait until this week and then apply for an extension to stay in the country, believing that they are covered for their overstay by the automatic Visa extensions.

They aren't.

Best case scenario for them now is to immediately contact a Visa agent for a 3-month extension.

They will probably have to pay a fine for the overstay since their Visa expiration date, in addition to the fee for the 3-month extension.

They will be lucky if they aren't put on The Blacklist (cue creepy organ music...)

OceanBeach92107 :

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.

Correct... just once again somebody who doesn't have the benefit of longterm experience or his personally acquired visa agent. "Why does it even happen once again, everybody ought to know how it works. Hey, after all, it works for me!"  Thanks and point noted.
I start to enjoy the mind-bending in this thread to justify (not explain it seems) certain things.

Btw, I don't think it's the fault of the agencies, they just exploit what they are given. Most of them are very polite and offer good service, aside from the overcharging of course.

Gonna step out of this discussion though. I really was just looking for "inside" information on how to deal with the situation best.
Either a reference to an affordable agency or a game plan for doing it at the immigration buro myself and chances of success. I see most of the members here are of course "old hands" and found other ways to deal with the situation.

So next time I'll just ignore the comment of somebody who got my ventilation of frustration (in a frustrating situation) the wrong way and we might get along all well. Or you all just gonna expatriate(hehe pun intended) me anyway.


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

Thanks mate. True, I went for a 1-month extension on Monday. They even offered to extend as to stay more than 6 months in total, which I thought is a nono on a tourist visa. 

Pretty worried to see what will happen if there will be another covid wave, doesn't seem so unlikely anymore. Hope it will work out somehow but tourism and airlines might get really rekt. 

Yeh immegration is nasty, at least there are still many other nice countries if things go wrong. My favourite are def the Philipines. Visa matters are also simpler in general, only did a1-month extension but it was pretty swift. Not sure how it is during covid though, heard some bad things.
But surely everybody has their own favourite.

"Extend your visa now or cry later"

Hmm. I'm sorry I don't think this is the case. Or it's not what I was told most recently by the Department of Immigration in HCMC.

I already went to immigration in HCMC and they extended my passport stamp once during the lockdown (Which cost $10, along with a required "Letter of Support" from the US consulate re: Covid circumstances). After that, immigration extended me for 1 month with a new stamp.

Then before that 1 month extension was up, I went back to immigration extend my stamp again, I was told I didn't need to. I was told instead to go back to my consulate, and get another letter of support which references Covid circumstances. Which I did.

According to both Immigration and the US consulate I'm supposed to show this letter to immigration when I leave the country. But there was no option to re-extend my visa, nor was it required.


Does that differ from your understanding?

Bangkokian1 :

"Extend your visa now or cry later"

Hmm. I'm sorry I don't think this is the case. Or it's not what I was told most recently by the Department of Immigration in HCMC.

I already went to immigration in HCMC and they extended my passport stamp once during the lockdown (Which cost $10, along with a required "Letter of Support" from the US consulate re: Covid circumstances). After that, immigration extended me for 1 month with a new stamp.

Then before that 1 month extension was up, I went back to immigration extend my stamp again, I was told I didn't need to. I was told instead to go back to my consulate, and get another letter of support which references Covid circumstances. Which I did.

According to both Immigration and the US consulate I'm supposed to show this letter to immigration when I leave the country. But there was no option to re-extend my visa, nor was it required.


Does that differ from your understanding?

the other option for extending your Visa is doing it through an agent and getting a maximum of three months instead of the one month that immigration offers. However if you are planning to leave the country then it sounds like you've got everything covered. Have a good trip

G’day Bangkokian

As I understand it,,if you’ve entered Vietnam after 1/3/20 and Since got the $10 extension ,effectively an exit Visa , provided you leave by 30th June no problems.

Anyone getting the 90 day  vIsa prior to 1/3/20  would need to either Plan to leave by 30/6 ..OR apply for another 90 day DL visa that would give them some breathing space until about September. 

If you can’t leave by next Tuesday 30/6 you’d need to move quickly & get an agent to organize the 90 day visa before then. 

That’s my interpretation of it from what I’ve seen online from agents & speaking to my own agent.

However, I’ve met a few blokes that “claim “ staff at Immigration told them that 90 day extensions will still be possible AFTER 30/6.  Who knows ......that staff member possibly wasn’t up to speed on current policy,,or was he ? 

They’re gambling he was.....and will try for 90 days next month when
their current visa expires.   Bit of a risk for a lousy two weeks huh... They want to squeeze every last ounce of value out of the current visa they’ve got. 

Must be Scottish 😆😆😆😆

Sorry good ole boy.....couldn’t resist.

OceanBeach92107 :

the other option for extending your Visa is doing it through an agent and getting a maximum of three months instead of the one month that immigration offers. However if you are planning to leave the country then it sounds like you've got everything covered. Have a good trip

Thanks. I probably should have gone through an agent in hindsight. I have a 12 month visa here which expires in 2021, but I need to get a new stamp if I want to stay.

This is the point I'm a little confused on. No new stamp was given to me last time I went to immigration. All I have is a "Letter of Support" that I'm supposed to show on the way out.

But...

Now that the border openings in other countries are being delayed -- I'm no longer sure of my onward travel plans. Thailand, for example, was supposed to be open July 1... but a couple weeks ago, they announced that this would only be for business travelers.

Nor is it clear if outbound flights leaving Vietnam will be back on after June 30.  So maybe I'll stay here?

If I do need to stay here... or decide to stay here... will a new stamp be given to me at Immigration? Or at this point, do I have to leave and get a new stamp as soon as the borders open?

Is a traditional visa-run even doable? Will it trigger a quarantine requirement upon re-entry? (Or upon arriving in any neighboring country?)

Confused.

Thanks.

Ontheroad57 :

G’day Bangkokian

As I understand it,,if you’ve entered Vietnam after 1/3/20 and Since got the $10 extension ,effectively an exit Visa , provided you leave by 30th June no problems.

Anyone getting the 90 day  vIsa prior to 1/3/20  would need to either Plan to leave by 30/6 ..OR apply for another 90 day DL visa that would give them some breathing space until about September. 

If you can’t leave by next Tuesday 30/6 you’d need to move quickly & get an agent to organize the 90 day visa before then. 

That’s my interpretation of it from what I’ve seen online from agents & speaking to my own agent.

However, I’ve met a few blokes that “claim “ staff at Immigration told them that 90 day extensions will still be possible AFTER 30/6.  Who knows ......that staff member possibly wasn’t up to speed on current policy,,or was he ? 

They’re gambling he was.....and will try for 90 days next month when
their current visa expires.   Bit of a risk for a lousy two weeks huh... They want to squeeze every last ounce of value out of the current visa they’ve got. 

Must be Scottish 😆😆😆😆

Sorry good ole boy.....couldn’t resist.

Thanks for the response. I entered in February (Before 1/3/20) on a 12 month visa, with a 3 month stamp.

I went to Immigration and got a 1 month extension in May, which expired last week.

I went to Immigration before that 1 month extension expired and they said no new stamp was necessary. According to both Immigration and the US Consulate, all I need is a Letter of Support, to show them on the way out. They said airports would be open on the 1st.

That's where I am now. My onward travel plans are a bit of a moving target as no one seems to know what borders are open and when.

I'm happy to take a visa run on the 1st. But can I? I'm not sure where one can go and if one has to quarantine for 2 weeks on the way out, and on the way back. (Which would make it a 1-month long visa run!)

I guess the only way to extend my stamp is through an agent? (This seems odd that the government can't do it but an agent can?)

Bangkokian1 :

I guess the only way to extend my stamp is through an agent? (This seems odd that the government can't do it but an agent can?)

There are some here who advocate for certain agents, or the idea of agents, or are even agents themselves.  I still maintain that it is simply a manifestation of a corrupt system.  It is part of a system that keeps Vietnam a third-world country no matter what the size of the economy.

OceanBeach92107 :
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!

Thank for the offer, OB. I will send you a PM.  Half the agents I contacted did not try to sell me an extension, they told me to wait until the govt announces a new policy for those who had exit letters to leave by June 30.

I went to Immigration in HCMC with my problem, and the lady there told me same as the agents, wait until next week, and the govt will announce a new policy, and then she will be able to give me an extension, presumably for $10. I also hope that it would not include any overstay fine for the time from my last extension expired to now, since that time was covered by the Exit Letter from my consulate which assumed I could exit by June 30. Although you pointed out that there ARE flights to Korea and Japan, I suspect they are very expensive, likely to be cancelled at last minute, and going where I don't want to go. And I certainly don't want to return to my crazy home country.

So I am faced with the difficult choice, with only a few days remaining until the new 1 month only rules, to go with an agent, pay a lot of money and get a $150 overstay fine which might get me blacklisted, or wait until next week with all the uncertainty about what the govt will do and hopefully, avoid the overstay fine and get a 1 month extension for $10, then hopefully another one when that expires, and so on, and so on, until the world comes to its senses and stops all these totalitarian limitations on our freedom.

Agents told me those flights I see on Booking.com and on the HCM and Bangkok arrival/departure sites are flights only for citizens of those countries, not for foreigners.

Of course, even if Cambodia was open at Moc Bai, the new conditions Cambodia has put on foreigners arriving are very expensive, difficult to fulfill, and ridiculous, so I would not want to go there even if the border was open, which I am told it is not. I will wait until they realize that only the desperate will be willing to go to Cambodia under these conditions and rethink them.

The same applies to all countries with these quarantines. Very few tourists will be willing to undergo that ordeal. If they want tourists they will have to stop this.

I am curious why

hyagly256 :

[you] certainly don't want to return to [your] crazy home country.

given the fact that you seem to be a Canadian and Canada, while maybe not as efficient as Vietnam or New Zealand, has certainly done better than most countries with respect to COVID-19 control.

hyagly256 :

Thank for the offer, OB. I will send you a PM.  Half the agents I contacted did not try to sell me an extension, they told me to wait until the govt announces a new policy for those who had exit letters to leave by June 30.

I went to Immigration in HCMC with my problem, and the lady there told me same as the agents, wait until next week, and the govt will announce a new policy, and then she will be able to give me an extension, presumably for $10. I also hope that it would not include any overstay fine for the time from my last extension expired to now, since that time was covered by the Exit Letter from my consulate which assumed I could exit by June 30. Although you pointed out that there ARE flights to Korea and Japan, I suspect they are very expensive, likely to be cancelled at last minute, and going where I don't want to go. And I certainly don't want to return to my crazy home country.

So I am faced with the difficult choice, with only a few days remaining until the new 1 month only rules, to go with an agent, pay a lot of money and get a $150 overstay fine which might get me blacklisted, or wait until next week with all the uncertainty about what the govt will do and hopefully, avoid the overstay fine and get a 1 month extension for $10, then hopefully another one when that expires, and so on, and so on, until the world comes to its senses and stops all these totalitarian limitations on our freedom.

Agents told me those flights I see on Booking.com and on the HCM and Bangkok arrival/departure sites are flights only for citizens of those countries, not for foreigners.

Of course, even if Cambodia was open at Moc Bai, the new conditions Cambodia has put on foreigners arriving are very expensive, difficult to fulfill, and ridiculous, so I would not want to go there even if the border was open, which I am told it is not. I will wait until they realize that only the desperate will be willing to go to Cambodia under these conditions and rethink them.

The same applies to all countries with these quarantines. Very few tourists will be willing to undergo that ordeal. If they want tourists they will have to stop this.

If your consulate keeps sponsoring you, maybe waiting is an option.
I have the feeling the overstay penalty might be handled not so strict in those edge-cases... in case you can back up your situation with some document, but you would probably need to clarify it with immigration to have at least some sort of guarantee. Just hoping for a good outcome seems too risky.

For agencies... I paid 115USD for the current 1-month extension through VisaVina. At least much less than during the lockdown. Not sure if it's possible to extend again after that though.
If my airline is not up soon and borders are still closed I'll have to go the Incheon route I guess. 

If there are any updates from immigration or policy updates, curious to hear about it.
Hope you can figure it out.

Well, my extension expired on 28 May. I have booked 3 flights all got cancelled. The last one was booked via Turkish air on 30 of June. So even I tried to leave I simply can't. Already locked 1500usd on those flights. Visited immigration office in Da Nang and have been advised to wait until 1st July. They didn't mention overstaying fees so I got hopes they will go easy on me.

It is a dirty trick from Turkish Airlines (among others) that they sell tickets for flights that are not going. Their government ceased all international flights for June and beyond, yet Turkish Airlines still sold the tickets for that month (which are than cancelled).
I first intended to leave the country with Korean Air in the beginning of June. My mistake was that I held back til I was convinced the flight was actually going. The ticket price suddenly overnight doubled to 1800 USD. It also was an unfavorable route with a long stop-over, so no thanks. However, it seemed to be the only option for a while.
Fortunately there was a special Vietnamese Airlines flight to repatriate Vietnamese from Germany. This flight wasn't on sky-scanner or similar sites. I booked it directly from the airline company a few days before departure and when I picked my chair, almost every single one was available. It was a night flight and I was looking forward to a relaxed journey in an almost empty plane.  It cost 1000 USD. There were only two flights departing late at night, the other one to Korea so I expected a nearly deserted Noi Bai airport. To my astonishment it was extremely busy at check-in and the plane was full with Vietnamese people. It turned out, this was in the beginning of June, they were already going back to Europe (mostly Germany, Finland) while others were being repatriated on the return flight. Some countries just opened their borders and Vietnamese couldn't wait to return to their jobs, I guess.
One day before departure, the flight was rescheduled two hours later. For this reason I missed my already booked connection in Germany. Lost the money in spite of the fact that I took VN airlines flight insurance. That turned out to be nothing short of a scam. Thanks Vietnam Airlines. In my experience it is the most unreliable airline I ever used. So yeah, I am back home and after ten years in VN, I have no idea when I can return. It makes me sad.

I couldn't find a source from an "official" website, but it seems there's a way to extend until the 31th July.
The case is different if they did entered before the 1st March or after.

https://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/vietn … 23404.html

AlexFromBelgium :

I couldn't find a source from an "official" website...

https://xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/vi/tin-tuc/ … h-covid-19

Anyone who entered on or after March 1 using a: visa exemption, e-visa or tourist visa, doesn't have to do anything to get an extension until July 31.

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).

Hi Alex,

For your questions:

1. Foreigners who enter Vietnam under visa exemption, e-visas or tourist visa from March 1, 2002 up to now, will continue to be "automatically extension temporary residence" until July 31 / 2020, can exit during this period without making extension of temporary residence.

2. If foreigner entered VN before March 1 and can prove that your’re stuck due to Covid-19, which is certified by a diplomatic agency with a diplomatic note (with a Vietnamese translation) or confirmation document of the Vietnamese authorities about the quarantine, treatment of Covid-19 or other same reasons ... are also considered to apply "automatic extension of temporary residence" until July 31 / 2020 (your must show the diplomatic note or confirmation document mentioned on exit)

* Note: Foreigners during the "automatic extension of temporary residence" must declare health and temporary residence declaration as prescribed.

Please find the details in the link I send you below:

https://xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/vi/tin-tuc/ … h-covid-19

Does any of this apply to people that have a TRC that that doesn't expire any time soon and have been in the country since before any of this started?  Do we need to file a health declaration somewhere?  Are established TRCs still valid?

mtgmike :

Does any of this apply to people that have a TRC that that doesn't expire any time soon and have been in the country since before any of this started?

No.


mtgmike :

Do we need to file a health declaration somewhere?

That depends on your last date of entry to Vietnam (I can't remember the exact date).


mtgmike :

Are established TRCs still valid?

Yes.

Pretty sure the health declarations started on or around March 1 for entry.  I had to do one March 8 on a Moc Bai border run.

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