What do you have to do when your Vietnam visa is going to be expire but you could not afford the extension service fees? So is there another way that could help you get a new visa? Yes, it does. It’s called visa run to borderland.
Depending on your location, you can choose a borderland near you to get a new visa. Then you have to apply for a visa approval letter and take it with you to the border.
There are 16 borderlands where you can get a new visa:
In Northern Vietnam:
- Dong Dang Borderland – Lang Son Province
- Tay Trang Borderland – Dien Bien Province
- Lao Cai Borderland – Lao Cai Province
- Ta Lung Borderland – Cao Bang Province
- Huu Nghi Borderland – Lang Son Province
In Central Vietnam:
- Nam Can Borderland – Nghe An Province
- Cau Treo Borderland – Ha Tinh Province
- Cha Lo Borderland – Quang Binh Province
- Lao Bao Borderland – Quang Tri Province
- Mong Cai Borderland – Quang Ninh Province
- Bo Y Borderland – Kon Tum Province
In Southern Vietnam:
- Xa Mat Borderland – Tay Ninh Province
- Tinh Bien Borderland – An Giang Province
- Hoa Lu Borderland – Binh Phuoc Province
- Moc Bai Borderland – Tay Ninh Province
- Ha Tien Borderland – Kien Giang Province
Benefits of doing visa run to a borderland.
- Saving money to get a new visa especially for those who using tourist, e-visa, visa exemptions…
- The best way to switch to another type of visa as it is cheaper to buy a bus ticket than a flight ticket to leave the country. (To change the visa category, Vietnam visa policy requires foreigners have to leave the country).
- Foreigners who are required to leave the country in order get a new visa.
- Getting Vietnam visa within one day as you can exit and enter Vietnam immediately.
- Simplified documents to get a new visa compared to some visa extension/renewal cases on the type of DN, LD, DT, LV, NN, TT/VR….
- Public transportation or private car services are always available.
- Visa run package include visa approval letter, a return bus ticket, private car, visa guide is normally offered by the agents.
How to travel to these borderlands for doing visa run?
There are many ways to get here such as by local buses, tourist bus, private car, motorbike or even bicycle if you love it. On this page, we can only share some ways to get a visa at Moc Bai borderland from Hochiminh or from another provinces nearby. But you can figure out your own ways to reach another borders base on your location or just message me if you need any advice.
Moc Bai borderland located in Tay Ninh province crossing with Ba Vet borderland in Cambodia.
From Hochiminh city, you can take:
1. Public bus No.703 from 23/9 Park on Pham Ngu Lao street, District 1.
There is a bus depart in every 30 mins from this park, start from the bus station in Hochiminh at 5:30 Am; the last one goes back from Moc Bai departs at 19:15 Pm. This bus goes directly to Moc Bai borderland and seems to be the cheapest option as it costs only 40,000VND for each way. But it takes a lot of time, 3 – 4 hours to get there, as the bus has to stops many times on the way to pick up and drop off passengers.
2. Tourist bus companies in Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City
There are several bus companies such as Kumho Samco, Sorya, Phuong Heng, Khai Nam… in Pham Ngu Lao Street or in Southern bus station. Normally, these buses go to Phnompenh city in Cambodia but it could drop you off at the Moc Bai border and picks you up on the way back from Phnom Penh to Saigon. These bus tickets cost from 180.000 VND to 230.000 VND, more expensive than the local buses but you have your own comfortable seat with good air-conditioning. Also it takes around 2.5 hours to reach the border.
3. Private car.
A private car/minivan can pick up you from your location with your decided departure time. It not really expensive when you’re doing a visa run with a group.
How long does it takes for visa procedure at borderland?
Normally, the whole procedure of doing visa run at borderland only takes you about 1 hour, including the time of applying for Cambodia and submitting for a Vietnam visa stamp.
Working hour at borderland: every day even on the weekend or Viet Nam Public holiday, from 7:00 Am until 17:30 Pm.
Procedure to get a visa at borderlands.
Step 1: Apply for the visa approval letter pick up the visa stamp at a borderland.
After processing time, you will be received the original visa approval letter. You need to carry and submit the original letter at the border.
Note: The Immigration Department does not work during the Vietnam Public holidays or the weekend so your application will not be solved during these time.
Step 2: check about Cambodia, Laos, or China visa requirement.
There are 3 ways to obtain a Cambodian visa:
- E-visa: you can apply at https://www.evisa.gov.kh, it cost US$36 and takes 3 working days to get a visa.
- Visa on arrival borderland: you can obtain a visa for tourist (US$30) or business purpose (US$40).
- Apply for a Cambodian visa at their Embassy in Ho Chi Minh: 41 Phùng Khắc Khoan, Đa Kao, District 1 or at the Cambodian Consulate in Ha Noi: 71a Trần Hưng Đạo, Hoàn Kiếm District.
II. Visa policy of Laos.
There are 3 ways to obtain a Laos visa:
- Apply for the E-visa.
- Visa on arrival at borderland. The fee varies depending on citizenship, for as little as US$30 to as high as US $42.
- Apply at their Embassy in Ho Chi Minh: 93 Pasteur, Bến Nghé, District 1 or Consulate in Ha Noi: 40 Quang Trung, Trần Hưng Đạo, Hoàn Kiếm District.
III. Visa policy of China.
Incase you need a visa to cross the borderland in China, you can apply it at their Embassy in Hanoi: 46 Hoàng Diệu, Điện Bàn, Ba Đình District or at Chinese Consulate-General in Ho Chi Minh: 175 Hai Bà Trưng, Phường 6, District 3.
Step 3: things you need to carry to border:
- Your original passport.
- Original visa approval letter
- 02 passport photos size 4x6cm, white background.
- Complete the Entry and exit application form (Na1 form). You can download and see how to complete the form in HERE.
- Cash for stamp fees.
Upon arrival borderland, you just need to follow these steps to get a visa:
- Go to the Vietnam Immigration checkpoint to do exit procedure. In here, you need to submit your passport with the valid visa, officers will check and put the exit stamp into your passport.
- Next step, go to Cambodia/Laos/China side to apply for their visa and get the entry and exit stamp and pay for stamping fee. In case you already applied for the E-visa, please print out the visa letter and show it to get the visa stamp to your passport.
- Finally, go back to Vietnam border side, you need to submit the Vietnam Visa approval letter, entry and exit form and cash for stamping fee to get a new Vietnam visa stamp.
The Vietnam stamp fee is regulated as bellow:
- US$25 for a single entry.
- US$50 for 1 – 3 months multiple entries
- US$95 for 6 months multiple entries
- US$135 for 1-year multiple entries.
Stamp fee is accepted in USD or VND. Applicants who don’t want to waste your time on the queue, the fast track service is available. You can check with visa agents or service guys at borderland about the fee.
Note: Check about the detail of Vietnam visa stamp 01 more time before leaving the borderland.
Some important things you need to consider before doing a visa run:
- Your passport must be valid for over 6 months and has at least 2 pages left. A Vietnamese loose-leaf visa can be given when you have only one and a half page left.
- In case when you have a new passport and its still blanks. You need to check if you can switch the current visa on your old passport onto the new one at a borderland. Remember not all the type of visas can be switched at the border. There are some cases you have to apply to get a visa stamp into the new passport and you need bring 02 passports together for the visa run.
- You have to bring and submit the original Vietnam visa approval letter. A photo copy is not accepted.
For visa overstayed cases:
Follow the Immigration law, you can not leave the country when your current visa has expired for over 4 days. You need to pay the fine and do an exit visa before doing a visa run.
In case your visa expired less than 4 days, you can solve the fine and get the exit visa at a borderland.
For further information please contact Vietdream travel, we’re offering visa run package include visa approval letter, a return bus ticket, private car, a guide for the whole trip, or don’t heritage if you need any advice.
How much does it cost?
The fee varies depending on border location and type of visa you want to obtain. Bellow isa sample of visa run fees to Mocbai/Hatien borderland.
* Important tip: You should prepare some extra cash (around US $10) for the Immigration Officers in order to get a visa stamp faster.