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I have a Vietnam visa but can't make the entry date. Help!

Travel Forums Asia I have a Vietnam visa but can't make the entry date. Help!

1. Posted by sandy456 (Full Member 213 posts) 10y

sandy456 has indicated that this thread is about Vietnam

I have a Vietnam visa but can't make the entry date. Help!

I already bought a 30day standard tourist visa for Vietnam. Dates: March 30-April 30. Anyways, something's come up and I can't make it. My question is does this visa really have to be thrown in the trash or can I do something by calling the embassy? I bought it in Malaysia. It cost 60US and that goes a long way for a backpacker, so what are my options to at least get some return from this badly timed visa purchase?

Perhaps I can get credit for my next visa purchase? (funny, I know)
Perhaps I can get a refund (ha!)

2. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 10y

Although I've had no experience in this happening to me, I think you'll find that you are stuck with losing your money. Somewhere on the visa application I filled in a couple of months back, I remember it sying something about the money is non refundable, so that would suggest that if you change your dates well you are stuck with losing your money.

3. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 10y

This is a case where doing a bit of reading past posts would have saved you some money($60). I have posted several times that Phnom Penh is fast and cheap, one day, about $30. BKK also does it for much less than what you paid.

Koko, kiss that money goodbye. The clock starts the date stamped on the visa, not when you arrive. Perhaps you can get to VN before April 30 and extend once there. Communist countries raise money with visas, don't expect any refunds.

4. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 10y

Yup. Unless you can get in on the last day or two and then extend it, you've lost the money. Unfortunate, sure, but sh1t happens, and it's the same everywhere. The only occassions I know of when people have had via costs refuded are those who buy a visa and then before they enter the country the requirements change (i.e. Canadians etc needed Czech visa's befgore the czechs joined the EU, when they no longer did - people who bought them before and entererd afterwards could get refunds)

5. Posted by trailbound (Budding Member 13 posts) 10y

Why do they make it so miserable for people to enter VN with such rip-off and strict policy, while doing all kinds of promotion to attract tourists and business investment?

6. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1594 posts) 10y

Quoting trailbound

Why do they make it so miserable for people to enter VN with such rip-off and strict policy, while doing all kinds of promotion to attract tourists and business investment?

Most of the Communist countries over there make you pay for a visa. Laos, Cambodia, Nepal and Myanmar require visa stamps ahead of time. Hong Kong, now that it is under control of the Communist mainland, may be the only country controlled by Communists that allows visitors to arrive without prior visa approval.

I guess those countries think they can keep the riff-raff out with high entrance fees. I think their target visitors are the "richer" tourists. Thailand on the other hand, allows almost everyone to enter Thailand without a visa ahead of time, they give you a free 30 day stamp in your passport on arrival. Thailand likes to make money off all walks of life!
And everyone benefits!

I personally believe that the profit from wealthy travellers, staying in their fancy 5 star hotels and going to expensive restaurants and using luxury transportation, sort of keeps their money in the hands of the rich and powerful. However, backpackers and thrift travellers, staying in hostels and budget hotels, eating from cheap vendors and small restaurants, shopping from local merchants, partying in beer bars and pubs "trickle down" their money to the lesser well off in the country.

The people in power in Communist countries think they can make more - personally - by keeping visa fees high!

Only an opinion. This doen't mean that once in Vietnam you won't be able to find some bargains - you still can. Official policy and local policy may differ. I enjoyed my stay in Vietnam a few years ago and had a good time - and I am a cheapskate!

7. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 10y

Quoting trailbound

Why do they make it so miserable for people to enter VN with such rip-off and strict policy, while doing all kinds of promotion to attract tourists and business investment?

Because the are Communists. They like the control and like to show who is in charge. Saying that, I believe that VN will go 'visa on arrival' soon. They know how much money Thailand makes from visitors and want a bigger slice of the pie. They will make it more 'visitor friendly' as the years go by.

8. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 10y

As somebody who was born in a Communist country I think there are two primary reasons:

1) The government doesn't consider backpackers tourists. The very idea of backpackers collides with their notion of tourists: Rich people who come in air-con buses, click their cameras, gawk and get whisked away to their fancy hotel. They have no problem charging these rich people lots of money. Thus high visa fees.
Being so isolated, they cannot imganine that everbody might not be as rich. And even if they can, they have a hard time getting their mind around the idea of those lesser beings travelling.
In communist countries travelling outside a country is a privilege for the very rich. (Anybody who remembers the East Germans on the Krim in the 80's will be able to confirm this.)

2) Backpackers come into contact with the normal, ordinary people. Not something the government really wants. We are supposed to leave our dollars and euros there, but not interfere with everyday life. Most importantly, not give their lawabiding citizens any ideas about personal freedom. China and Russia are maybe the most notorious in this. (Ever tried to get a Russian visa registered by yourself?)

9. Posted by DakLak2 (Budding Member 18 posts) 10y

Your visa is really permission to present yourself to an Immigration officer who will, at his sole volition, either grant or deny you admittance.

He may also vary the terms of the visa.

If you can present yourself to a border post you will likely be granted the 30 days - the Immigration stamp in your passport rules - and stipulates when you must vacate the country as opposed to the visa.

You can extend your visa through any Travel Agent (preferably one with a store front) and this process will generally take 1 business day, 2 at the most.

BEFORE turning your passport over photocopy the data page, as well as the page with the entry as well as your visa.

Enjoy the country - I came in 1993 and have been a resident ever since 1994.

10. Posted by ravine90 (Budding Member 9 posts) 10y

daklak2:Your visa is really permission to present yourself to an Immigration officer who will, at his sole volition, either grant or deny you admittance.
He may also vary the terms of the visa.
If you can present yourself to a border post you will likely be granted the 30 days - the Immigration stamp in your passport rules - and stipulates when you must vacate the country as opposed to the visa.

__________

Sounds like something I wouldn't want to waste my money on.