Hi there you lovely peeps. My boyfriend and I have just booked our RTW trip and we leave on 31st March for South America. During our trip we thankfully only need 3 visa's; China, Vietnam and India. I am having an absolute nightmare trying to get advice around when and where we can sort them out.
• Can we get a visa for China in Sydney? How long is it for? How long does it take to process?
• Can we also get a visa for India in the embassy in Sydney? Does anyone know how long they take to process?
• The other BIG question I have is about a visa for Vietnam. I know they are only valid for 30 days. We fly there from Hong Kong on 4th Aug, before that we are only in Hong Kong for 4 days. Can we organise a visa in that short time? If we organise them in Oz we won't be in Vietnam for another 15 days, which will mean we only have 15 days left on the visa and our flight out of HCMC isn't until 31st August. Hope that makes sense?
HELP I'm having panic attacks about all of this. Every time I try to contact the Vietnam Embassy in London I just get the answer machine. I tried to organise an Indian visa in London but after waiting 2 hrs I was told it would only be valid from that day - therefore invalid by the time we got to India in November! Does anyone know if we can get visa's with future validity dates sorted in the UK? Any help around this subject would be so appreciated.
I have just applied for a visa to India through the visa in Sydney. I had to post it there. They would have got it on a Friday, and I had it back by not the Monday a few days later, but the one after that. So that means that they would have either posted it on Thursday or Friday so a week to process. On the website it says it takes 7 days to process, but if it took 7 days through mail, it may take less if you walk in.
The visa for Vietnam, I am currently in the process of applying for it again through the mail at the Sydney embassy. According to what the embassy told me on the phone, your thoughts about the visa are not accurate. I'm not arriving in Hanoi until 15th April. and hopefully within a few business days I will have been granted the visa. I asked the embassy if I get the tourist visa, is it valid for the dates that I have to state for my arrival and departure, or does the valid date start as the date of issue. They said to me that it was the dates you ask for. Because on the application form you send in, you have to put on it you plan on arriving on whatever date and you are departing on whatever date. So you have to let them know your travel dates. I just added a few days after I plan on departing incase I like it and want to stay longer.
As for the Chinese visa, if you are only going to Hong Kong, you wouldn't need a visa. If you are exploring further afield in China you do. Last year when I went to China, the visa was valid for 90 days from date of issue, but you could only use the visa for 30 of those days with only one entry. So you could have applied for the visa a bit under 2 months before you left if you wanted to use your full 30 days. I applied through mail to the Melbourne embassy, and it was about 7 days before I got my passport with visa in the mail. All of those might be quicker if you walked in to the embassy, you can also pay more for an urgent processing time.
If you have any questions, about the vietnam visa, a way that you'll get a much faster response then you seem to be getting from the embassy in London, would be send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org That is the email address for the consulate in Sydney, and on both occassions that I sent an email to that address they got back the next day. So hopefully you wont have to wait for ages to get a response from someone that way.
Another site you could check out for visa information relation to applying in Australia is http://www.visalink.com.au/front.shtml. That site has the option to change the citizenship to British assuming that is your citizenship, and it has the option to change what state you'd be applying in so for Sydney you'd need to change the state to New South Wales. Goodluck.
Thanks aharrold45, this is so useful. I will follow up the links you gave me. You've really put my mind at rest about getting a visa for the dates I will be in Vietnam rather than getting it from the date of issue. Thanks again
I think It is very easy to get the VISA UPON ARRIVAL in Vietnam. you only need to contact to a travel agent in Vietnam and send them your passport details then pay about 30 or 40 USD for the approved letter then you show it at the airport ( Hanoi. Danang or Ho Chi Minh city) and pay more 25$ you will have your Visa
I hope you can do it quickly and have a good time in Vietnam
I can now say from first hand experience that what I wrote in my first reply on the Vietnam visa is totally correct with the dates starting from when you'll arrive. I can also say that the embassy in Sydney is very efficient. I sent my application in last Wednesday, and if all went as it does 8 out of 10 times they should have got it on Friday (after the visa issuing hours of the embassy). So they more than likely would not have started processing the visa until Monday, and I got it in the post today (Thursday. So for that to happen they must have sent it on Tuesday. So that would be 2 business days that they had my passport. I paid $70AUD for it (and that's the same fee you pay using a UK passport in the Sydney Embassy). I told them my dates of 15th April arrival and 3rd May departure, and they made the visa out for 13th April- 14th May. So they gave a couple of days before the date I stated on the application, and gave me a whole 31 days (bonus 1 day!). On the visa it says the date of issue was on 17th Feb, so they must have got it on Friday as that's the absolute earliest it would get there in the mail, and processed it the same day but just been a bit slow posting the letter back. So if you went in to the embassy in Sydney, at that rate you could probably get it the same or second business day. Then you wouldn't have to worry about all the fiddling about required with what Charmway said, to hopefully get the visa on arrival.