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Overstaying Vietnam Visa: What You Need to Know

Apr 24, 2020 625 Views By Ngo Long


According to the Vietnam Immigration Regulation, foreigners, who would like to enter and stay in Vietnam for a certain duration, must have a valid visa. If your visa is expired, you have to extend or get a new one. If not, you have to pay the penalty for overstaying your Vietnam visa. Therefore, we would like to inform you about several points related to the overstaying case that you can avoid.

Vietnam Visa Overstay Penalty

What is the penalty for overstaying a Vietnam visa? In accordance with the Circular issued by Vietnam Police Department in 2015, the penalty for staying in Vietnam with an expired visa could be different from case to case, ranging from VND 500,000 to over 5,000,000.

If you overstay your Vietnam visa for no more than 3 days, you are not required to contact the local Immigration Office, but go to the airport and pay for the fines (about US $23/day ~ VND 500,000), and then obtain an exit visa to leave Vietnam.

If you overstay your Vietnam visa exemption for 1-2 days only, you could follow the guideline above.

In fact, it is not rare that travelers stay in Vietnam beyond the permitted period on their visa stamp. The reasons can vary from case to case, so whether you literally forget the expiry date on your visa or you want to prolong your journey than the original plan, you may cope with harsh consequences. Overstaying your visa can possibly get you in trouble, make it hard for you to travel in the country, or make it impossible to come back to the country afterward.

The Immigration authorities are responsible for assisting foreigners overstaying in Vietnam. They are very helpful and dedicated. Though, for people intentionally committing repeated offenses for a prolonged period without respecting Vietnam law, the punishment level might include limitation of Vietnamese immigration, administrative penalties and enforced deportation.

Only those foreigners providing an honest declaration with a good reason are put into consideration of supporting visa extension and permitted to extend if their violations are not serious.

How to Avoid Overstay Vietnam Visa In Advance?

Prevention is always better than cure. This applies for not only health, but also overstaying visa issues. It is best to avoid it in the first place with the following tips:

  • Check the expiry date on visa stamps right at Vietnam airports. There are cases in which the officers give a wrong date on the visa stamp. It can be a huge issue and the travelers then cannot explain in detail upon being caught violating Vietnam laws. Therefore, make sure that your visa shows correct details, particularly valid dates.

  • Take note or set an alarm of the last date of your Vietnam visa validity. You may forget it due to a wedding, hospital treatment, an extended trip, and lost documents, which result in overstaying your visa. Thus, always remind yourself of this crucial date in order to avoid possible fines or repercussions.

  • If you would like to overstay beyond your visa’s expiration, you must file for a Vietnam visa extension.

What to Do If You Have Overstayed?

Once you have overstayed your Vietnam visa, you need to:

  • Acknowledge the possible penalties: If you have overstayed your visa, you will have to pay a penalty fee for this violation and either (1) visa fee if you wish to exit Vietnam or (2) extension fee if you love your time here and wish to stick around. The former situation (1) is not serious and the fine fee is not high. You just need to go to the Vietnam Immigration Office at the airport and pay the fee by yourself before leaving Vietnam. In accordance with the 150/2005/NĐ-CP Decree, the penalty could range from VND 500,000 to VND 2,000,000.

  • In case you overstay for a prolonged duration, you are required to submit your original passport and pay all of the dues at the Immigration Office in either Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi. By that way, you can avoid any potential hold-off or delay at Vietnam airport that you might encounter later.

What to Do If You Lose Your Passport?

In case you overstay in Vietnam due to losing your passport, then go instantly to the local ward police office and fill in the Passport Lost Report to obtain confirmation sealed by them. After that, contact your country’s Embassy/Consulate in Vietnam for renewing your passport. It may take several weeks to carry out the renewal. In case your country does not have an official Embassy/Consulate in Vietnam, contact the nearest Embassy in a neighboring country and ask for a diplomatic note.

Your Embassy/Consulate will then issue a letter to the Vietnam Immigration Department and request essential support for a travel document if you want to leave Vietnam or a new visa if you want to stay longer. With the former case, you then can exit Vietnam by using the new passport and exit visa.

How to Exit Vietnam If Your Visa Is Expired

To leave Vietnam legally, you must pay all penalty fees and follow any required procedure by local officials, like submitting an explaining letter or applying for an exit visa.

In case your overstaying is just several days, you can pay the penalty directly to Immigration Officer at Vietnam international airport upon leaving.

For more details related to Vietnam visa, please feel free to contact us via email: [email protected]

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