Asia - Vietnam Without a Visa
Mar 11, 08, 1:34 am
So I'm tempted to book an award flight that would transit HCMC (SGN). I have a US passport and would not have enough time to get a visa prior to leaving the States.
I understand that this means I will not be allowed to leave the transit area. My flight would arrive at 17:40, with my onward flight departing the next morning at 7:00. Is there anything to do in the airport (transit area only) for this time? I assume I can hang out there overnight and that I won't have to clear immigration/customs to connect on to my next flight?
Alternatively, does anyone know if I can get a same-day visa issued in BKK? I've also seen notes about transit visas, but so far as I can tell those are only for Vietnam Airlines pax.
Flight would be BKK-SGN (LH F), connecting to SGN-HKG (UA F), if it matters.
This probably isn't the greatest plan in the world, but it seemed like a good idea at the time... :cool:
Thanks in advance!
Hi. Being you have a US passport is supposed to entitle you to a same day visa in BKK. Last year I tried to get a same day visa in Bkk but since I hold a Maltese passport they told me it will take 3 days not like Americans who get it in one day. After giving me this visa, I reapplied
a couple of months later for another visa and they issued it same day. If I remember correctly you got to go to wireless? road very close to the American embassy. Price if I remember correctly was 2500baht and dont forget your photo. Good luck
PS . Not much to do in their airport
Mar 11, 08, 2:40 am
Hi zambu - thanks for your quick and helpful response!
After a bit more research, it appears another option might be the visa on arrival service if I use a third-party website ASAP to get an approval letter.
Has anyone used any of the following Vietnam visa expediter services?
Pricing seems reasonable (certainly moreso than taking a day off of work and flying to SFO and hoping they would issue a same-day visa). Looks like I can get a visa for about $55 USD, even expedited if need be.
Mar 11, 08, 10:38 am
This site says it offers a two-day Vietnam visa service for about $180.
Might also be worth a call to your congressman's DC office to see if they could help.
Mar 11, 08, 11:15 am
I've obtained a number of Vietnam visas from their embassy in BKK for varying ports-of-entry. IME, they've all been overnight. I did take a look at the so-called visa-on-arrival (VOA) based on obtaining a pre-approval letter from several of the sources you noted, along with Vietnam Stay (http://www.vietnamstay.com/service/), and they pretty much all say the same thing: fill out a form with typical visa info, and they will then obtain and fax/send a letter for you to present on arrival. I can't vouch for this particular approach in Vietnam, but will say that I've been recently doing more VAOs in Asia recently than before... countries like Laos and Nepal, with success (extensively in China until they shut it down a few years ago due to reciprocity with the US).
If you decide to get VOA, please let us know how it worked out for you.
Mar 14, 08, 2:53 pm
I've used Vietnam Stay on several occassions and it works just fine. They'll fax you the letter to show the airline (actually since you're transiting, they may not even ask to see it). You'll proceed to the VOA counter, which is on the left hand side as you enter the immigration hall. Hand them your paperwork (and $25 or $30 USD) and you'll get your Visa in a few minutes.