Vietnam visa is required for expats who want to get into Vietnam legally (except for those eligible for Vietnam visa exemption). Trouble happens when they overstay in Vietnam without extending/renewing their Vietnam visa. In this case, foreigners must pay for a penalty/fine for overstaying Vietnam visa.
Basically, overstaying visa means that you stay in Vietnam longer than your Vietnam visa’s permitted validity duration or remains in Vietnam with an expired visa.
Overstaying Vietnam visa could result in harsh consequences. Thus, before you or your loved one enters Vietnam, you had better understand the consequences/penalty of overstaying, how to avoid it and what to do if you have overstayed your Vietnam visa.
Vietnam Visa Overstay Penalty
What is the penalty for overstay 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 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 dedicate. Though, for people intentionally committing repeated offenses for a prolonged period without respecting for Vietnam law, the punishment level might include Vietnam immigration blacklist, 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 Overstaying Vietnam Visa In Advance?
Prevention is always better than cure. This applies for not only health, but also overstaying visa issue. It is best to avoid it in the first place with the following tips:
- Check the expiry date on visa stamp 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 details upon 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?
As mentioned earlier, there are some exceptions allowing your overstaying Vietnam visa to be “forgiven”. These exceptions may involve legalities and depend on the overstay duration and the immigration benefits that the traveler is seeking for.
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) visa 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I am currently in Da Nang city. Is there any Immigration Office in Da Nang city?
A: Yes, you can visit the Immigration Office in Da Nang at the following address:
Address: No. 7 Tran Quy Cap Street, Da Nang city, Quang Nam province, Vietnam.
Contact information of Vietnam Immigration Department in other big cities in Vietnam includes:
- In Hanoi: 40A, Hang Bai Street, Hanoi, Vietnam
- In Ho Chi Minh: 161 Nguyen Du, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
- In Hai Phong: 2 Tran Binh Trong, Luong Khanh Thien, Ngo Quyen District, Hai Phong
If you want to save time and avoid hassle upon working with the Immigration officials, Vietnam-visa.com team can assist you in processing visa-related services. Please feel free to contact us at +84.946.583.583.
Q: I am confused about my overstaying Vietnam visa so I wish you can answer my question. I applied and paid for a 30-day Vietnam tourist visa at the Vietnam Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
My visa information was imprinted with incorrect dates – entry 9 Feb – Depart 9 March. The duration is only 28 days, not 30. I think there is a mistake because February has 28 days only.
I will leave Hanoi on 10 March, so I cannot change my flight. I don’t want to request an additional 30 day extension. I went to the Immigration Department in Hanoi but things were not solved thoroughly and they tell me to apply for a visa extension via agency.
An added question is: how much will I pay for the penalty if I overstay my Vietnam visa for such 2 days?
A: In fact, there is no 30-day Vietnam visa but a 1-month visa. It means that the visa will be valid from the current date in one month to the exact same date in the next month (09 Feb to 09 March). So your visa states correct. Sometimes the visa will last for 28 days, 30 days, or 31 days, depending on the quantity of days in that month.
To answer your question about the fine, according to our customers’ experiences, the fine for overstay one day is about VND 500,000 per day (~ $23/day) and you can go to the airport directly to pay for the fine and leave Vietnam.
Q: I’m an American staying and teaching English in Vietnam. I got a one year tourist visa and have heard conflicting claims regarding the duration that I have for staying in the country. Some websites say that it is valid for a year, but I still have to leave Vietnam every three months, while some say I have to do a border-run every six months. The visa stamp itself doesn’t clarify anything; neither did the officials at the airport. It just says “multiple entry.” Anyway, I have been here for nearly six months now and have not exited the country. Could anyone confirm what the case actually is, and will I have to pay a huge penalty fee for not leaving the country three months ago? I’m pretty worried about it. The whole thing makes no sense.
A: With tourist visa for US citizens, the maximum length for each stay is 90 days (lasting from the current date in one month to the exact same date in the next month – not 3 months) and you are also not supposed to be working in Vietnam. If you want to stay in the country for a longer period, after each 90-day period, you need to exit Vietnam and then re-enter or extend visa. This type of visa is different from business visa for US citizens. People having 1-year business visa can stay in Vietnam in one (1) year continually without leaving the country.
In this case, you have to go to the Immigration Office in your local and follow the procedure required by officials.
Q: Hi folk, have read a few horror stories about overstaying fees in Vietnam.
We arrived in Ho Chi Minh City this morning and got our visas, no probs. Stupidly, we had assumed that the visa was for 30 days not ONE month exactly. We booked our flights for the 03/02 – 04/03 and our visa is only valid until 03/03.
We are curious to know what our options are. Can we camp overnight in Hanoi airport to avoid overstaying? Is it better to extend/renew my visa?
I’ve read about paying the 1 day fine also, has anyone done this?
A: Camping at the airport does not count as exiting the country, but you have to be on the other side of the exit desk before your visa validity runs out.
The procedure of completing your exit depends on the number of days you overuse Vietnam visa. If you overstay your visa for just 1 day, you had better pay the fine fee on your own by going to the Immigration Office at Vietnam airport when you leave. It is not a good idea to extend or renew your visa since the fine fee for overstaying (about 500,000 VND ~ 23 USD) is lower than the extension fee. Moreover, it takes several days to extend Vietnam visa and the minimum of extension duration is one (1) month.
Q: We are going to Vietnam for 15 days and 1 hour. As we know about the new regulation of visa to Vietnam, we just can stay in for up to 15 days, so we are worried about getting into trouble for staying 15 days and 1 hour. What will we have to do in this case? Shall we get a 30 day visa to be safe? Or please let me know what the fine will be?
Also how do they count a day? If you arrive at 7pm at night is that counted as a day? We have a flight from Vietnam on technically our 16th day, but our flight is at 00.30 Thank you!
A: The 15 day exemption includes the days of arrival and departure, no matter what the time of day is. A 7 pm arrival (or even an 11.50 pm one) is counted as the 1st day.
If your flight departs at 00.30 of the 16th day, you just check in before 11.00 of the 15th. That way, you will not be fined for overstaying.