Vietnam Visa on Arrival experiences

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Austman

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I'm looking for recommendations for the Visa on Arrival service for Vietnam (using an Australian passport).

It seems that Vietnam may soon drop visa requirements for Australian tourists.

Vietnam may extend visa-free list : TTR Weekly

But it hasn't happened yet. So the option seems to be to use one of the companies that offer the Visa on Arrival service.

Experiences anyone?
 

leadman

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i often use "Vietnam Visa Corp" and find them quite good, almost ot the point its just standard proceedure. I have done it a few times by myself but its just frustrating sitting on those hard seats at HCMC waiting for your name to be called. Just seems to be a mess of people with no direct to what they are doing and i have waited 1 1/2 hours. to me the $15 is well spent.
 

Austman

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i often use "Vietnam Visa Corp" and find them quite good, almost ot the point its just standard proceedure. I have done it a few times by myself but its just frustrating sitting on those hard seats at HCMC waiting for your name to be called. Just seems to be a mess of people with no direct to what they are doing and i have waited 1 1/2 hours. to me the $15 is well spent.

Thanks. Do you mean you can fly into Vietnam without a pre-ordered visa-on-arrival? I thought the airline needed some paperwork at check-in time?
 

Austman

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Mmmm.... clicking through websites from Vietnam | Travel advice | Smartraveller: The Australian Government's travel advisory and consular assistance service I got to here http://visa.mofa.gov.vn/NewsDetail.aspx?id=29#sec7 and this:

Visa-on-arrival (Article 6, Ordinance dated April 28[SUP]th[/SUP] 2000 on Entry, Exit and Residence of Foreigners in Viet Nam) Applicants are eligible in the following cases :

  • To attend the funeral of family member or visit a family member in critical condition;
  • Arrival from a country where there is no Vietnamese diplomatic mission/consular office;
  • Visit Viet Nam on tours organized by Vietnamese international travel agencies;
  • To provide emergency technical assistance for construction works, projects; emergency treatment for critical patients or accident victims; emergency relief in cases of natural disasters or epidemics in Viet Nam;
  • Other cases of emergency.

So it seems you must have confirmation from a Vietnamese international travel agency.
 

MEL_Traveller

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It's a weird system. You use one of the companies to pre-authorise your visa on arrival... which you still need to fill out more forms, provide a photo, and pay for on arrival.

The company will send you confirmation of your pre-authorisation which you present at check-in in Australia. This confirmation will include not only yours... but all other passengers for whom the company is processing pre-authorisations that day. This includes full names and passport numbers of everyone. There is no privacy!
 

straitman

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Having done both ways I would recommend getting the Visa before travel. Cost is a little more but the saving of time and sanity on arrival is worth it.
 
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N860CR

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I noticed also when I went last that the Vietnamese consulate website specifically states that the companies used to issue these letters aren't recognized or something along those lines. Obviously, the system works, but I've just always had the feeling that it's not a defined enough process.

Add on the wait time and the more expensive pre-departure visa seems a better option
 

leadman

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i just noticed that the company i use, when i click on their address im getting a blank screen. There might be changes afoot, which can be a pain as sometimes i make a decision to go to HCMC sometimes that day, as i work partly out of BKK. Will find out more tomorrow
 

Austman

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Add on the wait time and the more expensive pre-departure visa seems a better option

Yes, except I want to travel in a few days from now. The main thing for me, now, is what do I need to get a BP at check-in?
 

N860CR

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Any chance you can go to edgecliffe tomorrow? They issued my visa in about 45 mins
 

Austman

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Any chance you can go to edgecliffe tomorrow? They issued my visa in about 45 mins

Not Edgecliff, but I'm on my way to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. And flying to Vietnam from KL.

( no wonder even the Vietnamese government wants the system changed ! )
 
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MEL_Traveller

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i just noticed that the company i use, when i click on their address im getting a blank screen. There might be changes afoot, which can be a pain as sometimes i make a decision to go to HCMC sometimes that day, as i work partly out of BKK. Will find out more tomorrow

Interesting! Thanks for the heads-up. We used myvietnamvisa last year and everything worked as it should (pre-authorisation). They now seem to be on the banned list... although the embassy talks about visas, rather than pre-authorisations...
 

leadman

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Strange, its up and running again. I've been using vietnamvisacorp.com for the last 5 visits and they have been good with no problems. Last "advertising" e:mail was 7th Aug with no mention of changes.
 

Austman

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So far so good... US$ 9.00/person (for two) and have the letter and instructions. Check-in and arrival might be other matters.
 

leadman

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Just used the 72hr transit visa into Shanghai. not bad and very smooth, no paperwork, cost, etc, but you have to come in via one country and out the other. I did BKK > PVG > HKG.
 

Austman

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Just used the 72hr transit visa into Shanghai. not bad and very smooth, no paperwork, cost, etc, but you have to come in via one country and out the other. I did BKK > PVG > HKG.

I did KUL>CAN>HKG a few months ago.

Re Vietnam: Australians are likely to enjoy visa free arrival soon.
 

MEL_Traveller

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I'm wondering with the 'banned' list issued by the Viet Nam Embassy whether the disgruntled customers expected a full visa but instead got a pre-authorisation? Maybe they complained about having their personal details shared with others, or perhaps complained they had more costs to pay and form to fill out on arrival? Or were the companies telling officials all arriving pax were on 'emergencies' or something?

Unless the service has really changed in the last year or so, those services offering the pre-auth visa worked really well. As long as you understood exactly what you were getting.
 

MEL_Traveller

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Just used the 72hr transit visa into Shanghai. not bad and very smooth, no paperwork, cost, etc, but you have to come in via one country and out the other. I did BKK > PVG > HKG.

transit without visa :)
 

MEL_Traveller

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You get a "Temporary Entry Permit" stamp in your passport. But it's done at the arrival airport and is free.

yes, I know :)

the correction was for the 72 hour transit visa - lest that confuse others looking for a transit visa for China. It is in fact a visa free transit.
 
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