vietnam visa with less than 6 months left on passport
Replies: 29 - Last Post: Jun 25, 2013 7:54 AM Last Post By: campbell77
Sep 8, 2012 5:28 PM
vietnam visa with less than 6 months left on passportHey everyone
So my partner and I are travelling to vietnam in november and my passport will be just under 6 months remaining on the expiry date. Is it worth getting a new passport beforehand or will i have no trouble getting a visa and getting entry into vietnam?
Sep 8, 2012 5:38 PM
Sep 8, 2012 5:47 PM
2I was in exactly the same position recently, and contacted vietnamvisapro (www.vietnamvisapro.com) for advice. They stated it would be no problem - wasn't much out-of-date. I renewed the passport anyway, but there you have it.
BTW, would recommend vietnamvisapro - prompt/efficient and problem-free service.
Sep 8, 2012 8:06 PM
3If you are flying into VN, you can use the services to get a Pre Approved Visa on arrival. if you are going to VN crossing a border, you need to get a Visa at a Consulate.
As for your Passport, every country is different, check the Vietnamese Embassy Visa section. If you are not flying direct to VN for SE Asia but Bangkok, need to check Thailand too, and possibly any layover countries like Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia etc. Its is the airline that will not board you on a flight if they feel you are not meeting the rules, so dont wait to check in for flight only to be denied. Seen this happen way too many times.
Link to Visa requirements
Passport and/or passport replacing documents must be valid for 6 months after the date of arrival.
When holding a visa for entry into Vietnam, passports mu be valid at least one month after the expiry date of the visa.
Sep 8, 2012 9:00 PM
4SoloHobo,Thanks: should have specified was for airport arrival.
As to the validity of passports. That's debatable. I particularly queried how strictly Vietnam immigration enforced passport validity - in the context of issuing visas. My passport was due to expire in about 5 1/2 months. Vietnamvisapro was adamant that this would not be an issue. Of course,. you could counter that they'd say anything to get my business - but they really had nothing to gain from such advice. Had I not been travelling with children (it was actually my son's passport), I may have taken the chance. That said, I would also research further by contacting the airline - as suggested by SoloHobo - to reduce the probability of nasty surprises.
Also, my approach was related to flying direct into Vietnam. From memory, are restricted to using the visa on arrival at Hanoi, Da Nang, and HCMC.
Whatever, any info accessed from posters on TT, while oft useful, should always be treated with caution - only as 'leads' to be reconfirmed and followed up with your own research. It's in that vein that I related my experience, with the expectation that you'd look into the matter further yourself - toward conclusions that you're satisfied with.
Sep 8, 2012 9:03 PM
Sep 8, 2012 10:10 PM
Sep 8, 2012 10:14 PM
Sep 9, 2012 2:01 AM
Sep 9, 2012 3:08 AM
9Yeah in general the airlines are more strict than many countries immigration, because they are the one's that bare the cost of flying you if you get refused entry. Renew the passport off the top of my head both Malaysia and Thailand also require 6 months validity from date of entry. And spare a thought for those of us who only get 5 year passports
Sep 9, 2012 6:31 AM
10#8 is referring to this poor chap
Poster- A office wonk in Vietnam has probably never flown out of his own country much less know the Immigration and Onward Travel Requirements for 181 countries Passport holders and the enforcement by 50 International Airlines.
It is the airline that enforces the Passport Rules for a given countries Immigration requirements, rarely Immigration, unless at a border crossing. Two months ago at Ohare I was checking into a flight to Costa Rica via Houston on United, and the father of a family of four, was denied boarding due to his Passport was expiring within the time limit for Costa Rica to permit US Citizens to arrive, which is only 3 months. He threw a fit, but they would be fined about $7,000 per passenger, and also have to fly him back to departure city at their expense (if they have a seat, he could wait days for that, stuck in no mans land in the airport).
When you book a International Flight in the USA, you have to enter your Passport info, dates of issue and date of expiration, at Check In, this is double checked, along with if you have a valid Visa for where your going, like VN, you cant board a flight for VN without a Visa, or a Letter of Pre Approval from above agencies, and also a valid Passport with 6 months remaining.
Why dont you get a new Passport, you will have to anyway in a few months.
Sep 9, 2012 6:51 AM
11Yes, take the advice of some young office worker in Vietnam that has never travelled out of his own country and with little knowledge of the airlines requirements to board passengers with valid Passports, over seasoned travelers that know the ropes and have been there, done that.
Good Luck with your soon to expire passport traveling. DUH!
Sep 9, 2012 7:21 AM
12The concern of the airlines is that you'd be denied entry at your destination. I doubt you'd be denied boarding if you've already been provided a pre-approved VOA, as the immigration desk at the VN airport destination really just stamps your passport. This is why I gave the following - again, specifically in the context of obtaining a pre-approved VOA - some weight.
With your case, I think it is no problem, Vietnam Immigration will accept your children's passport because the time you stay in Vietnam so small than the time come to expire date of your passport and it is proximity to 6 months validity. So don't worry about it because absolute will be accept by Vietnam Immigration Dept.
Vietnam Visa Pro."
Obviously if you were denied pre-approval, the matter would be academic. Nonetheless, unless you're really pressed for either time or money (i.e. the cost of a new passport), there'd be little point in testing the point with an airline.
Sep 9, 2012 7:45 AM
13Immigration is NOT the issue. Its is the Airlines. Are you transiting between your home departure country and another country in order to get to Vietnam? Like Thailand, China, Japan or Malaysia? The initial flight to those countries, will also come into play for the Valid Passport....and also returning thru them.
Sep 9, 2012 8:34 AM
14There are a host of anecdotes online re- passengers being denied/permitted boarding when their passports have had less than the validity required by a destination country's immigration authorities: http://www.airfarewatchdog.com/blog/5004565/boarding-denied--passport-red-tape/
Costa Rica sounds a bit of an odd case, with one poster citing that that jurisdiction demands your passport be in 'good condition' - or you will be refused entry: http://www.airlinecomplaints.org/showthread.php?t=9692
Said poster suggests this may also be a reason for passengers being denied boarding by staff.
Immigration IS the issue, as it is a passenger being denied entry to a destination country that may attract a penalty (fine) to an airline. If, as the anecdotes suggest, check-in staff often exercise discretion re- permitting passengers with valid passports - but not valid beyond a time-frame stipulated by a destination country's immigration authorities - to fly, then pre-approval for VOA should render any debate moot.
Again, it's likely not worth even testing the point unless pressed for time or money (and, of course, provided that you're flying direct). But I'd wager that, if armed with a letter of pre-approval for VOA, you'd be permitted to board a flight for VN.
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