DETAILED GUIDANCE FOR VISA EXTENSION AND RENEWAL VIETNAM
If you are a foreigner intending to prolong your stay in Vietnam, you may need to extend or renew your visa. In this article, we will provide you with comprehensive and updated information on visa extension and visa renewal by explaining the difference between visa extension and visa renewal, the types of visas that can be extended or renewed, the ways to apply for visa extension or visa renewal, as well as the detailed documents and conditions required for each type of visa and each type of visa extension or renewal. By reading this article, you will have a clear understanding of how to legally and conveniently prolong your stay in Vietnam without any hassle.
WHAT ARE VIETNAM VISA EXTENSION AND VISA RENEWAL?
Visa extension and visa renewal are two ways of prolonging your stay in Vietnam without having to leave the country. However, they are not the same and have different procedures and costs.
- Visa extension is the process of getting a new visa extension stamp in your passport that indicates the new duration of your stay in Vietnam. A visa extension is good for single-entry only. If you exit Vietnam during the visa term, the visa is no longer valid for re-entry.
- Visa renewal is the process of applying for a new visa sticker with a new duration for your stay in Vietnam. Currently, visa renewals are issued for the following cases:
- Transfer visa validity for foreign workers who already have a temporary residence card or long-term work visa but change their passport, and the remaining period is less than 1 year.
- Issue new visas to foreign workers with Chinese nationality who already have work permits. Particularly for Chinese nationals, the Immigration Department will issue separate visas instead of visa stickers on the passport like other nationalities.
WHAT TYPES OF VISAS ARE ALLOWED TO BE EXTENDED IN VIETNAM?
In Vietnam, there are four primary categories of visas that can be extended or renewed:
- Business Visa (DN Visa): This visa is for foreigners who come to Vietnam for business purposes, such as working with Vietnamese partners, attending meetings, conferences, seminars, etc. The validity of this visa can range from one month to one year, depending on each nationality and the document submission. Please be noted that only US citizens can apply for a one-year business visa without a work permit.
- Labor Visa/ Working visa (LD Visa): This visa is for foreigners who have a work permit or a confirmation of work permit exemption issued by the Vietnamese authorities. The validity of this visa is usually the same as the work permit.
- Investment Visa (DT Visa): This visa is for foreigners who invest in Vietnam under the Law on Investment. The validity of this visa can be up to five years, depending on the investment project and the decision of the Immigration Department.
- Relative Visa (TT Visa): This visa is for foreigners who are spouses, children, parents, or siblings of Vietnamese citizens or foreigners who have a permanent residence card in Vietnam.
HOW MANY WAYS TO EXTEND YOUR STAY IN VIETNAM?
There are two basic ways to prolong or extend your stay in Vietnam:
- Extending and renewing the visa without leaving the country: This option is convenient and cost-effective, as you do not need to travel to another country or pay for the visa fee again. However, this option is not available for all types of visas and depends on the discretion of the Immigration Department. You will need to submit your passport and other required documents to the Immigration Office before your visa expires. The normal processing time can take from 5 to 7 working days.
- Doing visa run to the nearest land border crossing: Just in case, you cannot apply for visa extension and visa renewal in Vietnam (for example: Vietnam Tourist Visa, Vietnam E-Visa…), you can take the option of Visa Run through the nearest land border crossing. You will need to exit Vietnam and get a new visa at the border checkpoint of a neighboring country, such as Cambodia, Laos, or China. You will need to pay for the visa fee and the transportation cost. The processing time for doing border run is just one day. You can consult our article about the Moc Bai Visa Run for a comprehensive guide on this method.
And, in order to extend or renew your visa in Vietnam, you need to meet the following requirements:
- Your current visa must be valid and not expired or overstayed;
- The company that is currently sponsoring your current visa must continue to sponsor your visa renewal or new application.
- You must submit your passport, visa application form, and other supporting documents (such as work permit, investment certificate, marriage certificate, birth certificate, etc.) to the Immigration Office or a visa agent at least 10 days before your visa expires;
Please refer to this link for the detailed checklist for foreign expatriates to extend and renew their visa in Vietnam: DETAILED DOCUMENTS - CONDITIONS & FEES FOR VIETNAM VISA EXTENSION & RENEWAL
OTHER INFORMATION ABOUT VIETNAM VISA, WORK PERMIT, AND TEMPORARY RESIDENCE CARD
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