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Vietnam visa extension or visa run – which is the best?

Hanh Pham Last update: Mar 31, 2020

First of all, to confirm, both visa extension and visa run are 02 ways for foreigners and expats to extend their stay in Vietnam when their visa is expired. But which one being the best, in terms of convenience, simplicity, and cost, is the issue of concern by many foreigners.

In this post, by comparing the full procedure to do each as well as analyzing their advantages and disadvantages, Vietnam-visa will give you a full comparison between these two, and you will know which best suits your needs.

Update: Due to COVID 19 outbreak, Vietnam are temporarily suspending entry of foreigners, except for those with diplomatic and official missions. As such, doing visa extension is the single way at the moment to extend your stay in Vietnam.

Vietnam visa extension vs. visa run

Vietnam visa extension vs. visa run

Visa extension vs. visa run

Here comes a comprehensive comparison between a visa extension and a visa run for Vietnam.

Item

Visa extension

Visa run

Definition

Vietnam visa extension means that you will have new permission to further stay in Vietnam without leaving and re-entering the country.

Vietnam visa run is a trip in which you leave Vietnam for another country (usually a neighboring country), and then return to Vietnam with a new visa to continue remaining in Vietnam legally.  

Where to get

Inside Vietnam

At border gates (land borders or airports)

Form

A new stamp on your passport indicating new stay duration

A new Vietnam visa stamp on your passport with its new validity

How to get

You can do it yourself at Vietnam Immigration Office in Hanoi, Da Nang or Ho Chi Minh City or as a visa agent to have your visa extended to avoid any unfamiliar administrative procedures.

To do it on your own, please make sure you have a sponsor in Vietnam.

To do the visa extension with Vietnam-visa.com, you need to:

  • Send a photo of your current visa page to our Sales@Vienam-visa.com for checking the visa extension possibility.
  • Send your original passport to our office and pay the extension fee.
  • Get the passport back with an extended stay stamp.

To do a visa run for Vietnam, you need to:

  • Get an original visa approval letter before your visa run trip (if doing a border visa run or a print if doing an airport visa run)
  • Reaching the Vietnam international airport or land border to complete the exit procedure and get the exit stamp.
  • Complete the immigration check-in and then check-out at the destination you choose to do the visa run.
  • Re-enter Vietnam through the airport or land border, show your original passport, visa approval letter, 2 passport-sized photos, visa application form and pay the stamping fee to get a new visa stamp and complete the visa run trip.

Processing time

4 working days (urgent processing) or 8 working days (normal processing)

  • 2 – 3 working days for the visa approval letter
  • Time for visa run trip

Cost

  • Extension fee
  • Service fee

 

What to choose: Visa run or Visa extension for Vietnam?

Visa run or visa extension has its own benefits. Depending on your circumstances, you should choose the most suitable one.

It will be the visa extension if:

  • You cannot arrange time to exit Vietnam when your visa expires; or
  • You don’t want to waste your time for a visa run trip; or
  • You want to stay in Vietnam for 1 or 2 weeks after your visa expires as the extension fee for this type of extension is quite reasonable.

If will be the visa run if:

  • Your extension has reached the limited times and you cannot do it again on your current visa;
  • You want to save your budget as the border run is quite affordable;
  • You want to make a short relaxing trip while making a new visa;

 We hope that this information is a useful reference for you, helping you make the right decision for lengthening your stay in Vietnam.

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