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NOT the Same Visa on Arrival Question... Sorta

NOT the Same Visa on Arrival Question... Sorta

Old May 12th, 2016, 09:01 AM
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NOT the Same Visa on Arrival Question... Sorta

Hello!

I have a specific question about "Visa on Arrival" for U.S. expats living in a country where there is not a Vietnamese embassy. Here goes:

As I mentioned, I'm a U.S. citizen and I'm currently living in Portugal. There is no Vietnamese embassy in this country. I am not comfortable with mailing off my passport to an embassy back in the United States or another country, mainly because the mail service here is unreliable (to say the least). It's just too important for me to part with. I will not be back in the United States prior to my planned visit to Vietnam in August. Therefore, my obvious next step is obtaining a Visa on Arrival letter.

I'm aware of the process for this with the letter of approval, etc. Thing is, I'm having a really difficult time finding anyone anywhere who's done this AFTER the Vietnamese government issued a warning in January of 2016 about "illegitimate" travel companies providing Vietnamese visas on arrival letters. See it here: http://vietnamembassy.org.au/thu-tuc...e-visas-abroad Furthermore, I have a close friend who was an American diplomat living in Hanoi from 2013-2015 who mentioned that the visa laws are changing very quickly in Vietnam right now (usually to be more open, but not always) and that he wasn't sure I could obtain a visa in this way anymore. I haven't found any information on any website that leads me to believe this is true, but his warning makes me concerned. I have an email in to the Vietnamese embassy in Washington, DC but in the meantime I'm looking for anyone who may have used this method AFTER January 2016. Anyone?

If you can provide some clarity or reassurance it would be much appreciated! Thank you!
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Old May 12th, 2016, 09:24 AM
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Several years ago we sent in our application to Washington WITHOUT our passport. In return we received a visa which we just stapled into our passport. You may want to see if that's still an option.
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Old May 12th, 2016, 09:48 AM
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Marija is referring to a looseleaf visa, where you do not have to send in your passport. We did this in Nov. 2015. We sent the application which we found online, to the NYC Vietnamese Consulate with $80 pp, and had our visas back in a week. The Embassy in DC wanted to charge $100 pp, so be aware that each consulate might have a different charge for the looseleaf visa.
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Old May 12th, 2016, 09:59 AM
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The Trip Advisor forum for Vietnam is very well populated, and is kept very up to date quickly with all sorts of changes.

When we had a month in Vietnam last October I got our Visa Approval Letters online with...

www.vietnamvisapro.net

...and the process was v.quick and efficient.
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Old May 12th, 2016, 06:27 PM
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I used visapro linked by LancasterLad above on 12 April this year. Quick and easy.
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Old May 12th, 2016, 07:11 PM
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Basically, the Vietnam government want visa applicants to apply via an Embassy or consulate because it's more money for them.

The recommended agencies, as above, and others [see TA] are just as efficient, but cheaper, quicker, and with no need to lose sight of your passort.

Which option makes more sense?
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Old May 21st, 2016, 05:40 AM
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Thank you so much for your replies. As long as the agencies still work for visas collected on arrival, I'm good with using them. And certainly, they're less expensive than going through the embassies prior to departure. Your experiences and advice have been helpful!
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