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Vietnam Visa Run - How to do visa run and visa fees

It is easy to do visa run through a land or air border for a longer stay in Vietnam when your current visa is about to expire. The processing works well for both tourist visa and business visa. You can come back straight away or a few days later depend on your schedule.

Keep in mind to check visa policy for the countries of your border run. Find here below the guide how to do Vietnam visa run, a list of land borders for Vietnam visa run, visa policy for Laos and Cambodia.


Vietnam Visa Run Overview

Are you confusing about how and what to do when your current visa is about to expire and you want to stay longer in Vietnam? You may be able to extend your visa while in Vietnam without leaving the country. Because of reasons, it is now prohibitively expensive for the extension.
Extending a 3-month entry visa costs more than two hundred dollars. The VISA RUN seems to be one of the easiest and most stress-free processes ever.

Conducting a visa run simply means exiting a country, obtaining a new visa at the border in an adjacent country, then immediately returning to the first country (you can come back straight away or a few days later depend on your schedule). You can do visa run through a land or air border. 
 
If you can get cheap flights (you can consider Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia) you should do visa run through air border.
If you are on budget permits visa run through land border is the best option.
 

How to do a Vietnam visa run through air border

1- Hunting cheap flights to an adjacent country on www.skyscanner.com.vn. You can also take a look at Vietjetair.com, Lionairthai.com, Nokair.com, Jetstar.com, Vietnamairlines.com … Keep in mind to check visa policy for those countries.

2- Secure your visa invitation letter from our company or any other trusted travel agency before you leave. Preferably one you’ve either used before, been recommended by someone you know or read a good review about, to make sure everything goes smoothly. 

You can check our application fees for the visa invitation letter by clicking on Vietnam tourist visa and Vietnam business visa.
 
For those who are eligible for E-visa can apply directly on the government official website:
https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/web/guest/trang-chu-ttdt.
Keep in mind that the Vietnam E-visa is valid for maximum of 30 days, single entry.
 
Or you can simply leave the country and get visa through a travel agency in the country of your border run (this option might be more expensive and wastes more time).

3- On your return to Vietnam, head to the "Visa on Arrival or Landing Visa" counter, submit your passport, a print-out of the visa invitation letter, a full-filled Vietnamese visa application form, two passport-size photos and pay US$ cash to the Immigration Officer for the stamp fee to collect your visa (stamp fee is 25 US$ for single entry, 50 US$ for up to 3 month multiple entries, 95 US$ for up to 6 month multiple entries and 135 US$ for 1 year multiple entries).

4- The actual visa shall be granted after the immigration unit completes checking applicant’s information and letter of visa approval. Then you will go through the passport control on exit.

 

How to do a visa run through land border (Vietnam to Laos, or Cambodia)

1- Find a closest land border to your location (please see the list of land borders below).

2- Get your visa invitation letter to the specific land border from our company or any other trusted travel agency before you leave. You need to get the official letter (not a scanned copy sent via email) to be able to get visa stamp sticker at border check point. This original letter can be mailed to you by post, or delivered to your location or picked up at agency office.

Our application fee to get the invitation letter for picking up visa at land border is 20 US$ for 3 month single tourist visa. For business visa please contact our team on (+84) 902 088 698 or email us at goviettravel@gmail.com to get a quote.
 
Or you can obtain the actual visa from the embassy (of the country where you plan to go for border run).
 
For those who are eligible for E-visa can apply directly on the government official website: 
https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/web/guest/trang-chu-ttdt.
Keep in mind that the Vietnam E-visa is valid for maximum of 30 days, single entry. E-visa holders can enter/ exit Vietnam by land border crossing. You should check List of Ports that allowed foreigners enter and exit Vietnam by E-visa.
 
3- Take a bus to the border, disembark the bus and walk to the Vietnamese side of the border where you will get stamped out and your old visa invalidated.

4- Make your way to the Laos/Cambodian side of the border. Fill in the form, add your photo, pay the fee and keep waiting for around 10 minutes. Get through customs, stamp your visa, go across to the exit building, and get your stamp out of the country again.

5- Walk back to Vietnamese immigration. Hand over your photo, invitation letter, passport and pay visa stamp fee (stamp fee is 25 US$ for single entry, 50 US$ for up to 3 month multiple entries, 95 US$ for up to 6 month multiple entries and 135 US$ for 1 year multiple entries). Wait until they finished and then stamp into Vietnam again.

6- Back to the bus for return to Vietnam once again. Depending on what bus you used to come here the bus will be waiting close to where it dropped you off or you walk to the official bus station. Jump on the bus and wait for it to leave. All done.
 
IMPORTANT NOTE: 

- REMEMBER to check the expiry date of your current visa. If you’ve accidentally overstayed your visa, the immigration officer will point it out to you and you will be required to pay a fine depending on how long you have overstayed. You will also be required to sign some documents as part of the paperwork process. Once again, an inconvenience that could easily be avoided. Also ensure your passport has a minimum validity of six months or you might not be allowed to enter Laos/Cambodia, effectively wasting your time and effort getting there.
 

TOP TIPS FOR VIETNAM VISA RUN​:

- Beside US$ cash to pay for visa fee, you should take some VND with you, occasionally the officials will ask for an extra tip around 100k (no more), so make sure you have this on you just in case. Plus there are lots of drink and food stalls where the bus waits so you can grab some food here.
- Take some snacks in case you do not want to buy at the border.
- Have the right denominations of dollars so that you don’t get caught out needing change, usually they will give you change but it does depend on the official that day.
- Take some extra clothes because the air-con on the bus can be pretty chilly when you’re on it for 3-10 hours!
- If you need more information, feel free to reach out to visa agents who are mostly bilingual.

List of land borders for Vietnam visa run

There are numerous land borders to do visa run, but most of travellers and bus companies choose to use the three common roads below:
1. CAU TREO BORDER (Ha Tinh, Vietnam) – NAM PHAO BORDER (Borikhamxay, Laos).
Cau Treo border is located in Huong Son commune, 115km from Ha Tinh province, 105km from Vinh City and 385km from Hanoi. The checkpoint on the Lao side is called Nam Phao International Checkpoint located in Bolikhamxay Province, 365km from Vientiane.

Several buses depart from Hanoi at 6.30pm, travel through night and arrive in Cau Treo at 5.00am in the next day’s morning. Both seat and berth buses are available to serve travelers with ticket fare from 300,000 VND (13 US$) to 500,000 VND (22 US$), but also varied by seasons and bus providers. Pickups are available at your hotel in Hanoi Old Quarter,  at the bus company’s officer or Nuoc Ngam bus station.

The Laos visa on arrival is available at Nam Phao border. You can buy the Laos Visa at Visa on arrival counter without applying in advance. 

2. LAO BAO BORDER (Quang Tri, Vietnam) – DANSAVAN BORDER (Savannakhet, Laos).
Lao Bao border is located in a small town in Huong Hoa District of Quang Tri Province, Vietnam, located in the North Central Coast region, near the border with Laos. Lao Bao border is 150km from Hue (via Highway No.9 and 1A), 165km from Dong Hoi, 250km from Da Nang, and 278km from Hoi An. The checkpoint on the Lao side is called the Dansavan International Border Gate, located in Dansavan village, Savannakhet Province, Laos.

For those who stay in Hue, Dong Hoi, Da Nang or Hoi An there are several options to get to Lao Bao. Taking local buses, contacting travel agencies or bus companies to book bus tickets, hiring a private car, taking a “visa van” or driving yourself on your motorbike. There are several agencies that provide visa van services. They do a package including visa letter and bus to and from Lao Bao.

The Laos visa on arrival is available at Dansavan border. You can buy the Laos Visa at Visa on arrival counter without applying in advance. 


3. MOC BAI BORDER (Tay Ninh, Vietnam) -  BAVET BORDER (Svay Rieng, Cambodia).

Moc Bai is an international border gate between Vietnam and Cambodia located in Tây Ninh Province, Vietnam. It is 70 km from Ho Chi Minh City and 170 km from Phnom Penh. 

On the Cambodia’s side, Bavet is the counterpart across the border, which belongs to Svay Rieng Province of Cambodia. 

The border gate is open from 8:00am to 8:00pm every day. Daily buses can be access quickly and easily from Ho Chi Minh City to Moc Bai. Almost all of the bus stations and offices in Ho Chi Minh City are located in the Pham Ngu Lao area, so it is easier to depart or arrive.

The cheapest way to get to the border is by public bus number 703 that you can board at Saigon Bus Station in Park 23/9 (at the corner of Pham Ngu Lao and Cong Quynh street, opposite to Thai Binh Market). You can find these buses parked near the entrance facing the Cong Quynh Street roundabout. The buses, run by SAPACO Tourist are usually blue or silver with Moc Bai written on the front display. The 3-hour journey will cost you only 40,000 VND (1.8 US$) each way.

Alternatively you can book any bus at any office at Pham Ngu Lao street (Mekong Express, Sapaco, Kumho…). You can buy it yourself. Be noted that these bus goes to Phnom Penh. Bus tickets cost around 10-12 US$/way. 

The Cambodian visa on arrival is available at Bavet border. You can buy the Cambodian Visa at Visa on arrival counter without applying in advance. 

1. VISA FOR LAOS:

► Laos Visa Exemption:
Citizens of the following 15 countries can visit Laos without a visa:
-14 days: Brunei, Myanmar.
-15 days: Japan, Luxembourg, Switzerland.
- 30 days: Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.
► Laos visa on arrival:
Visitors of other nationalities can obtain a visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 30 days (extendable once) at the above borders, except for Napao-Chalo (Vietnam). Laos Visa can be issued at Visa on arrival counter without applying in advance. 

Visa on arrival fee: Visa fee varies according to nationality between 30-45 US$
Laos Visa on arrival fee varies depending on citizenship. The price list is on display at the visa counter. 
The fee for US citizens, UK and European citizens is 35 US$, for Canadian citizens is 42 US$, for Sweden citizens is 31 US$. For Australian and other nationalities the fee is 30 US$. 

Note: On weekends, Lao public holidays, before 8 A.M and after 4 P.M weekdays, there is a 1 US$ over time fee. In addition an entry fee (2,500 Kip or so) may be charged.
 
* Visa fees are payable in cash only (US dollars, Lao Kip or Thai baht). 

Requirements for Laos Visa:
 
- Your original passport with at least 6 months of remaining validity and a blank page for a visa sticker.
- A Visa Application Form, filled out and signed by the applicant (available at visa window at Lao ports of entry or given before landing if you are arriving by plane).
- Two (2) recent passport-type photographs (If you are unprepared (cannot provide the photo) there will be an extra fee (few dollars) for scanning your photograph from your passport, and placing it onto your visa application form).
- Visa fee (in cash).

WHO CAN'T GET LAOS VISA ON ARRIVAL?
 
Nationals of the following countries are ineligible to obtain a visa on arrival, and they can only obtain a visa on arrival if they are traveling on an official visit and are holding an official letter of guarantee issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Laos:
 
Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Jordan, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya (Libyan Arab Jamahiriya), Mozambique, Nauru, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Suriname, Syria (Syrian Arab republic), Swaziland, Tonga, Turkey, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
 

2. VISA FOR CAMBODIA:

► Cambodian Visa Exemption:
Citizens of the following 10 countries can visit Cambodia without a visa:
- 14 days: Thailand, Myanmar, Brunei, Seychelles.
- 21 days: Philippines.
- 30 days : Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos and Vietnam.
► Cambodian visa on arrival:

Visitors of other nationalities can obtain a visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 30 days (extendable once) at Bavet border. Cambodian Visa can be issued at Visa on arrival counter without applying in advance. 

Visa on arrival fee: The 30-day tourist visa costs 30 US$, 30-day business visa costs 35 US$.

* Visa fees are payable in cash only (US dollars,  Cambodian riel)

Requirements for Cambodian Visa:
 
- Your original passport with at least 6 months of remaining validity and a blank page for a visa sticker.
- A Visa Application Form, filled out and signed by the applicant (available at visa window at Cambodian ports of entry or given before landing if you are arriving by plane).
- Two (2) recent passport-type photographs (If you are unprepared (cannot provide the photo) there will be an extra fee (few dollars) for scanning your photograph from your passport, and placing it onto your visa application form).
- Visa fee (in cash).

WHO CAN'T GET CAMBODIAN VISA ON ARRIVAL?
 
•   Afghanistan
•   Algeria
•   Bangladesh
•   Iran
•   Iraq
•   Pakistan
•   Saudi Arabia
•   Sri Lanka
•   Sudan
•   Syria
 
► Cambodian e-visa
Nationals of any country other than Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Syria may apply for an eVisa online for 36 US$ before arrival. It allows a single entry and a maximum stay of 30 days for tourism purposes. The processing time is 3 business days.
The official government website for Cambodian e-visa: https://www.evisa.gov.kh/