At some point, foreigners have to leave Vietnam for a variety of reasons. Some choose to depart due to the expiration of their visas, end of a work contract, desire to explore another country, or simply to reunite with their family and loved ones.
Plans of hopping on to a departure flight may come in an instant thought, but there are a lot of preparations you have to consider. It is important to check the expiration date of your Vietnam visa first to avoid last-minute visa extensions. A Vietnam exit visa is also a must in instances where you overstayed in the country or your passport has been lost or destroyed.
If you need to obtain a Vietnam exit visa soon, then here’s what you need to know in order to smoothly leave the country.
The Vietnam exit visa is an important travel document that allows holders to legally leave Vietnam when their current visa has expired and cannot be extended due to damage or misplacement of passport, or if they have overstayed in the country. Issuance of the exit visa is conducted by the Vietnam Immigration Department.
From the date of submission, the typical validity of a Vietnam exit visa is only 10 days. The processing time of your application could take 3 to 5 working days and the cost may greatly vary. After you have successfully obtained the Vietnam exit visa, you will be given a maximum of one week to leave the country.
There are two primary circumstances that will permit you to apply for an exit visa in Vietnam.
Because of failure to check the validity of their visas, it is somewhat common for foreigners to get hold back of leaving Vietnam, which often leads to overstaying. In cases like these, extensions of visa validity will most likely be denied.
To obtain the exit visa, here are the steps to follow:
For missing or destroyed passports, the process of securing an exit visa is a bit more complicated. Nonetheless, the following steps can serve as your guide:
If you want to stay for a few more days in Vietnam, your new passport will come with a new visa stamp that will indicate how much longer you can stay in the country. The cost of the new visa will depend on the previous type of visa you had and your new requested type.
Take note that not everyone is permitted to request a new one and you can only request for a new one after paying the penalties or fines. There is no absolute process for this, so the decision will be up to the Immigration Department.
Under normal conditions, the Vietnam exit visa is valid for 7 days from the date of issuance. This 1-week validity is the time allotted for you to leave the country. If ever you want to visit Vietnam again in the future, you can request for a new visa approval letter for your next trip.
It has been a common practice by several foreigners to make exit visa arrangements when already at the airport. This is quite doable for some who overstayed in the country for only a few days, perhaps one or two. But this method is not legally accepted. Several risks and mishaps could be encountered if you choose to apply for the exit visa at the airport on the day of your flight.
Careful planning and following legal arrangements are still the best options. To avoid unforeseen inconveniences, it is suggested that foreigners check their visas’ expiry date first and decide one week before the specified date if they will stay longer or leave the country already. Even though they may sound costly, visa extensions are still cheaper and easier to process than paying for overstaying fines and requesting an exit visa.
As soon as your replacement passport is issued, the Embassy or the Consulate-General will provide you with a letter to the Vietnamese Immigration Department requesting their assistance to issue an exit or replacement visa in your new passport. Vietnamese authorities will not permit you to depart Vietnam until your exit visa is issued.