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Visa on Arrival at Ho Chi Minh City

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Melbourne, Australia
posts: 101
reviews: 26
Visa on Arrival at Ho Chi Minh City

We arrived in Saigon on Friday night with a couple of hours to spare before our domestic flight to Hanoi. All good. It was around 9 pm. One hour later, waiting, waiting. One of the attendants took pity on us and organized our cases and hurried up the staff otherwise we would have missed our flight. All our paperwork was in order as I had gone through a local Vietnamese travel agent and been very careful to dot the i s and cross the t s. I wouldn't recommend VOA to anyone. Go through the process at home, it makes for less stress. We were surrounded by many angry people. One couple we spoke to had missed their flight the previous night and had to get new flights. It may work like clockwork at certain times but I don't think it is worth the hassle.

I did post this as an answer on another post but wanted to put it out there as its own separate issue.

23 replies to this topic
Sydney
posts: 2,940
reviews: 120
1. Re: Visa on Arrival at Ho Chi Minh City

Hey Cazz,

Not a great way to start your trip and I hope it improved after that :-) This topic seems to split opinions but I am a fan of getting it done before, even if it costs 20 bucks more.

How is the trip going in general???

Mark

Pattaya, Thailand
Destination Expert
for Pattaya, Ho Chi Minh City
posts: 6,953
reviews: 51
2. Re: Visa on Arrival at Ho Chi Minh City

VOA is the only way to go, and very unstressful. 10-20 min is the most I have ever waited. ;)

Edited: 3:46 am, August 08, 2013
Hanoi, Vietnam
posts: 45
reviews: 2
3. Re: Visa on Arrival at Ho Chi Minh City

I think 02 hours for connecting flight is pretty tight up even it was domestic flight. VOA in Saigon has more and more traffic alerts recently and thanks for your inputs which help others on timing management.

Pattaya, Thailand
Destination Expert
for Pattaya, Ho Chi Minh City
posts: 6,953
reviews: 51
4. Re: Visa on Arrival at Ho Chi Minh City

Best to have a lengthy cushion if you are making same day connections - I always prepare for the worst.

Warwick, United...
posts: 16
5. Re: Visa on Arrival at Ho Chi Minh City

I am flying from London to Cambodia via Ho Chi Min City ( i have a 5 hour wait at the airport) for the transfer flight to Cambodia.... I then intend after a week in Cambodia to go back to Ho Chi Min city by land....

My question - can i get a VOA at the airport even though i am not technically leaving the airport? and if i did then can i use ( as long as it is a multiple entry visa) the visa at a land border crossing?

hopefully someone else has done this sort of trip to me !

Milan, Italy
Destination Expert
for Ho Chi Minh City
posts: 4,294
reviews: 13
6. Re: Visa on Arrival at Ho Chi Minh City

Voa or NOT VOA, so many question....

I use Voa, but if I had the Vietnam embassy close to the Thai one, that is 15 minutes of underground from my home and 10 minutes to have a stamped Visa i'll pay happily (a bit) more money.

But there is no embassy in Milan, so it is Voa.

Sending the passport is never a good idea, at least in countries with a problematic postal service, and sometimes there are posts of lost passport even from Australia.

Lincoln, United...
posts: 6,967
reviews: 28
7. Re: Visa on Arrival at Ho Chi Minh City

bjs666 .... The VOA counter is located about 25 mtrs away from the transit desk in the same arrival immigration hall. So yes, you should be able to pick up a VOA visa on the way. And yes, once you have a visa stuck in your passport (and it is a multi entry one) you can re-enter Vietnam via a land crossing. Have done it several times myself. I would get a multi entry as not all flights are counted as in transit, as several previous poster have highlighted. But do read the FAQ as it sounds as if you might well qualify for the reduced (less than 30 days) rate.

Warwick, United...
posts: 16
8. Re: Visa on Arrival at Ho Chi Minh City

you are a star - many thanks - we were just worried that as we were not actually leaving the airport as such ( would we even go through customs) before we depart for Cambodia - many thanks

Ho Chi Minh City...
posts: 303
reviews: 4
9. Re: Visa on Arrival at Ho Chi Minh City

Absolutely agree with this! Customs at both Hanoi and HCMC airports are a nightmare at the best of times. Definitely recommend sorting it all out at home!

http://cokerri.wordpress.com

Llanbrynmair...
posts: 11,554
reviews: 8
10. Re: Visa on Arrival at Ho Chi Minh City

Teacher_Kerri, I think you mean Immigration rather than Customs. I have to disagree with you about Immigration at Hanoi - I've picked up VOAs there countless times and have sailed through. Of Customs staff there has never been a sign.

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