Are you planning on visiting Vietnam for vacation or to see your loved ones? Applying for a visa each time you travel can be time-consuming and expensive. Luckily, there is a way to avoid this hassle and get your visa exemption for up to 5 years! In this article, we will guide you through the process of getting a Vietnam Visa Exemption from the perspective of a U.S. citizen.
Vietnamese citizens residing overseas, as well as foreigners who are spouses or children of Vietnamese people residing overseas, or of Vietnamese citizens, are eligible to apply for a visa exemption certificate. Agencies, organizations, and individuals can also apply.
Please note that the visa exemption certificate is valid for up to 5 years and must expire at least 6 months before the expiration of the holder’s passport or international travel document. If you enter with a visa exemption certificate, you must have a temporary residence certificate that is valid for 6 months, issued by the immigration control units, for each entry. If the remaining validity of the visa exemption certificate is less than 6 months, the duration of the temporary residence certificate shall be granted accordingly.
Fees for Issuance of Visa Exemption Certificates
The fees for processing a Vietnam Visa Exemption can vary, but we recommend budgeting at least $100. We have heard mixed news about fees, although one recent data point tells us that a $50 fee was charged to process an expedited visa exemption at the Consulate of Vietnam in San Francisco.
How to Apply for a Vietnam 5-Year Exemption
Here are the steps to follow when applying for a Vietnam 5-Year Exemption:
Step 1: Complete the Visa Exemption Application
You will need to complete a copy of the Visa Exemption Application.
Step 2: Prepare Your Passport
You will need to provide a U.S. passport that is still valid for at least 6 months, along with one copy.
Step 3: Provide Recent Photos
You will need two recent photos that are 4 x 6 cm in size (notice the size! These are NOT the same size as U.S. passport photos).
Step 4: Obtain Giay Bao Lanh
Obtain one form (Giay Bao Lanh) filled out by a Vietnamese Citizen vouching for you. You can have your cousin fill out the form and include a copy of their Vietnamese passport.
Step 5: Pay the Fees
Provide a $30 money order ($20 for the certificate, $10 processing fee). Please note that the fee is subject to change, so it is advisable to call and confirm the current fee before mailing in your application.
Step 6: Include a Self-Addressed/Stamped Envelope
Include a self-addressed/stamped envelope.
If you are a foreigner married to a current or former Vietnamese citizen or the child of one, you will also need to include some sort of proof of relation to your Vietnamese spouse/immediate relative.
Once you have gathered all required documents, send your package via Express Mail to the Vietnamese Embassy in the U.S. to guarantee the quickest service. It only takes about a week after they receive your package before you get your visa exemption certificate back.
Getting a Vietnam Visa Exemption can save you time and money if you regularly travel to Vietnam. While the process may seem daunting, following these steps will ensure that your application is complete and processed quickly. Remember to confirm the current fees and include all required documentation. Enjoy your travels to beautiful Vietnam!