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VIETNAM VISA EXEMPTION

Are you planning to visit Vietnam in the near future? If so, it’s important to know about the visa requirements for your trip. However, did you know that there are certain countries whose citizens are exempt from needing a visa to enter Vietnam? This is known as the Vietnam Visa Exemption policy and it can save you both time and money. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about Vietnam Visa Exemption, including the list of exempted countries, conditions, and extension options.

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What is Vietnam Visa Exemption?

Vietnam Visa Exemption, also known as Vietnam visa waiver or Vietnam visa free, is a policy that allows citizens of certain countries to enter Vietnam and stay for a specified period of time without having to apply for a visa. This means that they do not have to go through the usual visa application process and can simply present their passport at the immigration checkpoint upon arrival.

This policy was implemented by the Vietnamese government to promote tourism and facilitate business activities with other countries. It also aims to strengthen diplomatic relations between Vietnam and its partner countries. The duration of the visa exemption varies depending on the nationality of the traveler, but it usually ranges from 14 to 45 days.

Vietnam Visa Exemption Countries & Duration

As of November 2023, citizens holding regular passports from a total of 26 countries are exempt from obtaining a visa to enter Vietnam. Below is the comprehensive list of countries whose citizens do not require a visa for Vietnam, along with the duration of their visa-free stay.

No. Country Maximum visa-free duration Applicable purpose of visit (if any)
1 Chile 90 days Entries that do not include remunerated activities
2 Panama 90 days Entries that do not include remunerated activities
3 Cambodia 30 days Not mentioned
4 Indonesia 30 days Not mentioned
5 Kyrgyzstan 30 days Not mentioned
6 Laos 30 days Not mentioned
7 Malaysia 30 days Tourism, attending press, conference/coverage, official duty, visiting relatives, business negotiation, investment, sports, or attending seminars or conferences
8 Singapore 30 days Entries that do not include remunerated activities
9 Thailand 30 days Not mentioned
10 Philippines 21 days Not mentioned
11 Brunei 14 days Not mentioned
12 Myanmar 14 days Visiting only
13 Belarus 45 days Not mentioned
14 Denmark 45 days Not mentioned
15 Finland 45 days Not mentioned
13 France 45 days Not mentioned
17 Germany 45 days Not mentioned
18 Italy 45 days Not mentioned
19 Japan 45 days Not mentioned
20 Norway 45 days Not mentioned
21 Russia 45 days Not mentioned
22 South Korea 45 days Not mentioned
23 Spain 45 days Not mentioned
24 Sweden 45 days Not mentioned
25 United Kingdom (Not applicable to BNO) 45 days Not mentioned
26 Kazakhstan 30 days Not exceeding 90 days within 180 continuous days

Important notes regarding Vietnam visa exemption:

  • The previous requirement of waiting for a 30-day interval between two stays with visa exemption has been eliminated due to the implementation of the new law governing the entry, exit, transit, and residence of foreigners in Vietnam, effective from July 1, 2020.
  • British National Overseas (BNO) passport holders do not qualify for the 45-day Vietnam visa exemption, meaning they are required to obtain a visa in order to visit Vietnam.
  • Visa exemption includes visa exemption for entry, exit and transit.
  • The visa-free stay period is counted from the date of entry.

The details regarding the Vietnam visa exemption (last updated on November 23, 2023) are given for informational purposes. Before your departure, it is advisable to verify this information with the official authorities in your current country.

Other Vietnam Visa Exemption Cases

Aside from the countries listed above, there are also other cases where a foreign national can enter Vietnam without a visa. These include:

  • APEC Business Travel Card holders: Holders of the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) with the “VNM” code on the back of the card are exempted from a Vietnam visa for stays up to 90 days.
  • Diplomatic and official passport holders: Citizens holding diplomatic or official passports from certain countries are exempted from Vietnam visa for stays up to 90 days. The full list of these countries can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam.
  • Children under 14 years old: Children who share passports with their parents or guardians are exempted from a Vietnam visa if they meet the following conditions:
    • They are accompanied by their parent(s) or guardian(s).
    • Their names are included in their parent’s or guardian’s passport.
    • They do not stay in Vietnam for more than 90 days.

Conditions for Making Vietnam Visa Exemption

While Vietnam Visa Exemption is a convenient option for travelers, there are certain conditions that must be met in order to qualify for it. These conditions include:

  • Valid passport: All travelers must have a valid passport with at least 2 blank pages for immigration stamps.
  • Intended purpose of visit: The purpose of your visit must fall under one of the following categories:
    • Tourism: This includes sightseeing, visiting friends or relatives, and other recreational activities.
    • Business: This includes attending conferences, meetings, and other business-related activities.
    • Transit: This includes layovers or connecting flights through Vietnam.
  • Return ticket: You must have a return ticket or an onward ticket to a third country (if applicable).
  • No criminal record: You must not have any criminal record in Vietnam or any other country.
  • Sufficient funds: You must have enough funds to cover your expenses during your stay in Vietnam.

It’s important to note that even if you meet all of these conditions, the final decision on whether to grant visa exemption is still at the discretion of the immigration officer at the port of entry.

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Vietnam Visa Exemption Extension

If you wish to extend your stay in Vietnam beyond the allowed duration under the visa exemption policy, you can apply for a visa extension. The process and requirements for this may vary depending on your nationality, so it’s best to consult with the Vietnamese embassy or consulate in your country for more information.

In general, the following documents are required for a visa exemption extension:

  • A completed application form for visa extension.
  • Your original passport with at least 6 months validity remaining.
  • A copy of your passport’s personal information page.
  • Proof of sufficient funds for your extended stay.
  • A letter explaining the reason for your extension.
  • A copy of your return ticket or onward ticket to a third country (if applicable).

The processing time for a visa extension is usually 5 working days. However, it’s recommended to apply for an extension at least 1 week before your current visa exemption expires to avoid any delays or issues.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Vietnam Visa Exemption

1. Can I enter Vietnam multiple times with a visa exemption?

No, the visa exemption only allows for a single entry into Vietnam. If you wish to re-enter the country, you will need to apply for a new visa.

2. Can I extend my stay in Vietnam if I entered with a visa exemption?

Yes, you can apply for a visa extension as long as you meet the requirements and submit the necessary documents.

3. Can I work in Vietnam with a visa exemption?

No, the visa exemption does not allow for employment in Vietnam. If you wish to work in the country, you will need to apply for a work permit and a work visa.

4. Can I study in Vietnam with a visa exemption?

No, the visa exemption does not allow for studying in Vietnam. If you wish to study in the country, you will need to apply for a student visa.

5. Can I change my visa status from visa exemption to a different type of visa?

Yes, you can change your visa status by applying for a visa conversion at the Vietnamese immigration office. However, this process may vary depending on your nationality and the type of visa you wish to convert to.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, the Vietnam Visa Exemption policy is a convenient option for citizens of certain countries who wish to visit Vietnam for tourism, business, or transit purposes. It saves time and money compared to the traditional visa application process.

However, it’s important to note that there are conditions that must be met in order to qualify for the exemption and the final decision still lies with the immigration officer at the port of entry. If you wish to extend your stay in Vietnam, you can apply for a visa extension, but it’s best to do so at least 1 week before your current visa exemption expires. We hope this article has provided you with all the necessary information about Vietnam Visa Exemption and its conditions and extension options. Happy travels!

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