Several Things You Need to Know about Vietnam Visa (Part 2)

( Continue: Visa Extension / Renewal)

If you wish to extend your stay without having to leave the country, you can do so by applying for a visa extension or renewal via the Vietnam Immigration Department or via online agents. It is recommended that you do it through the Immigration Department to avoid confusion or getting scammed.

Documents you must submit include copies of passport bio page, current visa, immigration stamp, last date of entry, port of entry and details of your current address in Vietnam.

Please note that only a limited number of nationalities are eligible to apply for a visa extension/renewal, and the requirements change accordingly as well. The contact details of all the Immigration Departments in Vietnam are provided below, so you may call and ask.

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The Vietnam Immigration Department has temporarily stopped extending visa for all nationalities. Please leave Vietnam and apply for a new visa to be able to re-enter the country.

Visa Extension

Getting a visa extension means to acquire permission from the government to stay longer in Vietnam. You can do this by going to the Vietnam Immigration Department (any of the three major ones in Hanoi, Da Nang or Ho Chi Minh) and filling in and submitting the appropriate forms. The extension is only possible for a period of 1 or 3 months, depending on the current visa you have.

If you want to extend your visa for a period of 1 month, your current visa must be a 1-month/3-month, single/multiple entry visa. The fee will approximately $60USD – $155USD, depending on nationality.

If you want to extend your visa for a period of 3 months, your current visa must be a 3-month single or multiple entry one. The fee will be approximately $180USD – $310USD, depending on nationality.

Visa Renewal

With visa renewal, you are granted a new visa sticker and stamp on your passport with the new duration. You are only allowed to renew your visa for a maximum period of 3 months, just like with extension, but unlike extension, the renewal option is available for those who entered Vietnam with visa exemption.

If you would like to upgrade your current visa from a duration of 1 month to one of 3 months, or if you would like to upgrade your current visa from single entry to multiple entry, you will have to go through the renewal process. The cost for renewal is $200USD (1 month, single), $330USD (3 months, single) and $350USD (3 months, multiple).

Vietnam Immigration Departments

Here are the contact details of the three major Immigration Departments located in all 3 of the major regions of Vietnam – North, Center and South:

Vietnam Immigration Department (A18) in Hanoi
  • Address: 40A, Hang Bai Street, Hanoi, Vietnam

Phone for support:

  • (84)438264026: about entry and exit Vietnam, residing of foreigners in Vietnam, repatriating of Vietnam citizens living abroad
  • (84)438260922: about entry and exit of Vietnam citizens
  • (84)439345609: administration procedures
  • (84)438257941: about entry and exit at Vietnam borders and other related issues
Vietnam Immigration Department (A18) in Da Nang
  • Address: No. 7 Tran Quy Cap, Da Nang city
  • Telephone: + (84)7511-3823383
Vietnam Immigration Department (A18) in Ho Chi Minh City
  • Address: No 161 Nguyen Du, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
  • Telephone: + (84)838299398
  • Fax:+ (84)838244075
Visa Runs

Of course, if the visa extension/renewal option is not available for your nationality. But you wish to stay longer? Then you must exit the country, apply for a new visa and return. The processes for getting a new visa are the same as those mentioned above. You can apply through Vietnamese embassies in other countries. Or you can do it online and get a visa approval letter and receive your visa on arrival. Vietnam borders Laos and Mainland China in the north, and Cambodia in the South. Thailand is also in the nearby vicinity. You have many options to do your so called “visa run” but make sure you check into the visa policies of these countries too! You don’t want to end up being rejected at the border, which will then result in you overstaying the Vietnam visa and having to pay a price.

One Way to Avoid All The Vietnam Visa Hassle

That is to fly to Phu Quoc island. All travelers can visit this island without visa for 30 days.

Overstaying Your Vietnam Visa

To overstay your visa means to stay longer in the country than the visa legally allows you to. There are two types of penalty fees you must pay if that is the case – the “fine” fee, and the extension (if you want to and are able to)/exit fee (if you are forced to leave the country). If you have only overstayed your visa less than 3 days, you are not required to go to the Immigration Office, and you can pay directly at the airport and get an exit visa to leave the country. The penalty fee for a longer overstay will be about 500,000VND ($25USD) per day.

If you still want to remain in Vietnam, then pay the “fine” fee and get an extension. A few legal documents will be required for this process, so contact the Immigration Department in advance. If you overstay your visa due to a lost passport, the options are the same. But you must contact your embassy and apply for a new passport/travel permit/diplomatic note, then contact the police and write up the passport lost report, and finally arrange for a visa renewal through the Immigration Department.

Of course, the longer you overstay, the more complicated the procedure will be as the Immigration Department will need to track your legal activity record during this overstay period. Please remember that overstaying is a serious offense and to avoid all this, pay attention to your visa validity and that it coincides with your date of departure.


Many countries do not require you to acquire a transit visa if you intend to be in the country solely for transit purpose. Vietnam is one of those, provided you have proof of onward travel, and as long as you plan to stay inside the airport. However, you may want to confirm with your airline and maybe even contact the Vietnam embassy just to make sure.

Just giving you an example as to why that should be done – I had a flight once from Mandalay, Myanmar to Hong Kong via an hour’s transit in Bangkok, Thailand and I was not allowed to go through passport control as the airport officials said I needed a transit visa for Bangkok. This was news to me as I had done a similar transit in Bangkok before. The only difference was that the first time, I had flown a premium airline (Malaysian) whereas this time, I was flying a budget one (Air Asia). I ended up wasting about $300USD booking further flights, so don’t make the same mistake I did, and check beforehand!

The procedure for acquiring a transit visa at the airport should be simple. You will be granted transit if you present your passport, a ticket that matches the route to the third country, and a visa that is issued by the third country (unless visa-free entry is allowed). Those granted transit must stay within the transit passenger area.


However, all Vietnamese international airports are quite inconvenient to sleep at and if you have quite a lengthy transit and think exiting and getting yourself a hotel is more comfortable, then it is wise to apply for a normal single entry visa in advance. It’s not that expensive, and this way you’ll get to see a little bit of the city as well.


Further readings