3-month visa WARNING
Replies: 41 - Last Post: Aug 16, 2012 6:55 PM Last Post By: Roadking95
Aug 6, 2012 10:42 PM
3-month visa WARNINGWhen I first bought my 3-month visa-on-arrival for Vietnam I received a letter saying that I had been approved for a business type visa. I contacted the agency about which I thought was an error. The answer was that there would be no problem. Customs won't ask any questions. So I trusted this advice and went. True, the custom officer stamped the passport without any questions. On my next two consecutive visits to the country I had the same visa and entrance was smooth.
Officially this business type of visa should only be issued to travelers that are sponsored by a company or organization in Vietnam. Because I trusted the online agency I learned the hard way that this visa is not applicable for tourists.
Almost any travel agency in SE Asian countries that arrange visa for Vietnam will sell the 3-month visa to tourists. The same applies to the online agencies where you can arrange the visa-on-arrival type. No further explanation is given about the difference between the 30-day or 3-month visa. You simply choose the duration you prefer. I checked a few websites and I did not find the information. Please be advised that there is no 3-month visa for tourists available. You can either choose between a 30-day visa with single or multiple entry into the country.
During my fourth visit there was a huge problem. Entrance into the country was the same as before. The trouble started while I was one month in the country. Every hotel in Vietnam has to register their guests with the police. For this they need your passport. Sometimes they will keep it during your stay, sometimes it will be returned after the registration is done. Occasionally the police will visit the hotels to check if every guest is registered. If some guests are not, the hotel has to pay a steep fee.
They did pay a visit to the hotel where I was staying and asked me some questions. Those were mainly about my business purposes in Vietnam. The police was very polite but I was ordered to go to the police office the next day.
There I explained that I was a tourist and told them about the procedure of how I obtained the visa. They nodded understandiby but the answer was short: the visa was not issued according to the law in Vietnam. As a tourist the 3-month visa did not apply to me. I was allowed to return to the hotel to arrange my travel documents and the next day I was escorted to the airport for my deportation.
Aug 7, 2012 12:12 AM
1Thanks, I think this information is very helpful for other travellers when applying to Vietnam visa on arrival.
Aug 7, 2012 12:41 AM
2What I dont understand is, if you knew that the visa for business was not legitimate, why did you keep getting them.There is a 3 month visa as I just got my brother a 3 month multi. Here in Vietnam its all about who you deal with. I also have a friend who now gets 1 year visas in Vietnam as long as you have been out of Vietnam in the last 3 months.
Aug 7, 2012 12:54 AM
3OP - bad experience and I am sorry to read about it.
Perhaps it would be helpful to others to list exactly what category of visa you had that caused the problems of deportation. When I came as a tourist I came on a one month C1 visa. All my subsequent visas have been C2 as I am sponsored by a Vietnamese organisation to work here and it is their responsibility to handle visa issuing and renewals.
The visa rules seem to change all the time and their interpretation is left to provincial immigration and police authorities, leading to considerable variation throughout the country. Although the arrangement I am here under is covered by a government-to-government agreement which exempts me from the need for a Work Permit, the Hue authorities want to see a Work Permit and my last three visas have all been for three months only. But now I have a Work Permit and expect my next visa to be for one year.
Aug 7, 2012 1:37 AM
4Thats half the problem, it all depends on who and where you do your visa.My ex flatmate was refused a 3 month extension due to the fact he came in through Ha Noi and was wanting to extend it in Saigon. Immigration told him to go back and see the officer who stamped his visa in Ha Noi,thats what you have to deal with in Viet Nam
Aug 7, 2012 1:54 AM
5The 3-month visa was basically the only option for me at the time as I wanted to stay long-term and not travel too much. It went fine three times so I felt more secure every time I had no problems. I actually believed what they told me: the visa is the same for tourists or business visitors. That is not the case unfortunately. The agencies know there is only a small change you really get deported and sell the 3-month visa to unsuspecting tourists.
Aug 7, 2012 3:18 AM
Aug 7, 2012 4:16 AM
Please check your brother's visa. If it is a B-type visa it is not valid for tourists. A tourist visa is a C2 visa. The problem is that the agencies pretend to sell you a three month tourist visa while it is not. Only after you received the visa or approval letter you notice that it is a B-type visa. If you mention this they tell you it is no problem. And usually it isn't. But then again I have been deported for having one.
There is no three month visa for tourist purposes only. If you want to stay longer you need to apply for one of the other visa and prepare your paperwork.
Aug 7, 2012 4:20 AM
Sorry, I forgot to mention that there is the multiple-entry tourist visa valid for three months. With this visa you can enter the country multiple times within a three month time frame, but only stay a total of 30 days in Vietnam. If this is the one you got for your brother there will be no problem.
Aug 7, 2012 4:44 AM
9Not sure where you are getting your information from, but a 3 month multi allows you up to 3 months in Vietnam plus has the benefit of allowing you to go out and come back in when needed.I can assure you its a 3 month multi tourist as I had it done by a friend he in Vietnam.
That website you linked to is 2.5 years old, I think you better check the laws now as they change month to month.
Aug 7, 2012 5:46 AM
10This is exactly what I mean. The link you give leads to a commercial and not an official government website. Where does it say which type of visa you get? Nowhere. If you order your 3 month visa there, most likely you will be issued a B-type visa. And it is no different with all these other websites that sell visa-on-arrival. My own information from the police in Vietnam is very recent and confirms the categories discussed. Check with your local consulate.
Aug 7, 2012 6:24 AM
11I dont think that Roadie has to check with his local consulate...he has been in Vietnam for around four years now and understands what he is doing and what he is getting!
He would have gotten exactly what he wanted...and not what you may think he got!!
Aug 7, 2012 7:05 AM
Aug 7, 2012 7:46 AM
13Ok, the law states that a 3 month visa will be termed as a business visa only in name.I have arranged my brothers last 4 visas to come here and never had a drama, his last visa was as of December 2011 and that was a 3 month visa as usual. I get a feeling you have been mislead by the police, because the police are not the ones who do the visas,its immigration.
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