Information for U.S. Citizens on Visas for Vietnam

U.S. Embassy Hanoi and Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City – American Citizen Services (ACS )

Information for U.S. Citizens on Visas for Vietnam 

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the Government of Vietnam has issued a number of visa and entry restrictions, which are subject to change at any time.  U.S. citizens should be aware of the following measures taken by the Government of Vietnam:

  • The Government of Vietnam has suspended the issuance of visas for foreigners entering Vietnam effective March 18 until further notice.
  • As of March 22, the Government of Vietnam has suspended the entry of all foreigners into Vietnam, including people with a Vietnamese visa exemption certificate.
  • The Government of Vietnam currently provides an automatic extension of temporary stay through June 30 for foreigners who entered Vietnam with a visa exemption certificate, e-visa, or tourist visa on or after March 1, and intend to depart Vietnam during the period of extension. U.S. citizens who entered Vietnam before March 1 and can present proof of being stranded in Vietnam due to COVID-19 quarantine, treatment, or a situation beyond their control, may also be eligible to exit Vietnam under the new policy before June 30.

U.S. citizens are advised to follow visa and heath regulations imposed by Vietnamese authorities during their time in Vietnam, and are reminded of the U.S. Department of State’s recent Level 4 Global Health Alert.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. I am a U.S. citizen in Vietnam. My visa has expired or is about to expire. What should I do? 

The Vietnamese government has told the U.S. Embassy and Consulate General that foreigners who have work visas or other sponsored, non-tourist visas must work with their sponsors to extend their work permit and request visa extensions.

U.S. citizens on tourist visas who have overstayed and/or need extensions should work with Vietnamese immigration authorities and follow the proper procedures to resolve immigration-related issues.  U.S. citizens may also contact a tourist agency that can sponsor foreigners seeking to extend their visas for Vietnam without having to depart and re-enter Vietnam.

U.S. citizens on tourist visas with plans to exit Vietnam should take advantage of a recent announcement by the Government of Vietnam of a new policy that provides an automatic extension of temporary stay through June 30, 2020, for U.S. citizens and other foreign nationals who entered Vietnam with a visa exemption certificate, e-visa, or tourist visa on or after March 1, 2020Individuals under this qualifying group may exit Vietnam during this period without having to apply for an extension of stay.   U.S. citizens and other foreign nationals who entered Vietnam before March 1, 2020, may be considered for an automatic extension through June 30, 2020, if they can provide proof that they have been stranded in Vietnam due to COVID-19 mandatory quarantine, treatment, or other reasons beyond their control, or by presenting a letter from their Embassy or Consulate about their situation.  U.S. citizens must present these documents upon exiting Vietnam.  Additional questions regarding this Government of Vietnam policy should be directed to the Vietnamese Immigration Department at (024) 39387320 for further guidance.

U.S. citizens who arrived in Vietnam prior to March 1, 2020 and have plans to exit Vietnam before June 30, 2020, may request an exit letter using our America Citizen Services inquiry form here. Please provide detailed information about your situation, including your full name, date of birth, U.S. passport number, and the date of expiration of your Vietnamese visa.  This is a temporary measure that will only be in effect in response to COVID-19.

2. I’ve heard immigration offices are closed and I cannot extend my visa until these offices re-open. What happens to my visa during the closure of immigration offices? 

The Vietnamese Immigration Department announced the re-opening of all immigration offices effective April 23.  Immigration offices were previously closed from April 1-22.

U.S. citizens who remain in Vietnam and require a visa extension should work with their sponsors and/or proceed to the nearest immigration office starting April 23 to request extension services.  Vietnamese immigration authorities have informed us that U.S. citizens with visas that expire during the closure will not be considered overstays for the period of April 1-22.

3. I heard the Vietnamese Government has given an automatic extension of stay until June 30, 2020. What does this mean?

On May 18, the Government of Vietnam announced a new policy that provides an automatic extension of temporary stay through June 30, 2020, for U.S. citizens and other foreign nationals who entered Vietnam with a visa exemption certificate, e-visa, or tourist visa on or after March 1, 2020Individuals under this qualifying group may exit Vietnam during this period without having to apply for an extension of stay.   U.S. citizens and other foreign nationals who entered Vietnam before March 1, 2020, may also be considered for an automatic extension through June 30, 2020, if upon exiting Vietnam they can provide proof that they have been stranded in Vietnam due to COVID-19 mandatory quarantine, treatment, or other reasons beyond their control, or present a letter from their Embassy or Consulate about their situation.  Additional questions regarding this Government of Vietnam policy should be directed to the Vietnamese Immigration Department at (024) 39387320 for further guidance.

U.S. citizens who arrived in Vietnam prior to March 1, 2020 and have plans to exit Vietnam before June 30, 2020, may request an exit letter using our America Citizen Services inquiry form here. Please provide detailed information about your situation, including your full name, date of birth, U.S. passport number, and the date of expiration of your Vietnamese visa.  This is a temporary measure that will only be in effect in response to COVID-19.

4. I entered Vietnam on a tourist visa that has expired, or will soon expire, and I am interested in staying in Vietnam. Can the U.S. Embassy or Consulate sponsor my visa extension? 

The U.S. Embassy Hanoi and Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City cannot sponsor U.S. citizens in visa matters.  U.S. citizens are responsible for directly addressing immigration-related problems with Vietnamese immigration authorities, such as overstaying a visa, visa extensions, visa renewals, and new visa applications.  The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General cannot ask local authorities to give individual U.S. citizens special treatment or exempt them from local laws.

5. I am a business manager, or member of a category exempted by the Government of Vietnam from the suspension of entry for foreigners, currently outside of Vietnam. What should I do to apply for a new visa? If I have a valid visa, how can I enter Vietnam?

 At this time, the Government of Vietnam has not lifted its suspension on the issuance of visas for foreigners, or its suspension of entry for foreigners, including people with a Vietnamese visa exemption certificate.  The Government of Vietnam has not announced a potential date to allow foreigners to enter Vietnam again.  The exemption for entry only refers to the entry of special categories of travelers with current Vietnamese visas, such as diplomatic, official duty, and special cases, including experts, business managers, and high-tech workers of businesses involved in important projects as determined by the Government of Vietnam.  Private businesses with employees with valid visas in the exempted categories mentioned previously must work with Vietnamese authorities on sponsoring their workers and requesting travel entry exceptions.  The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General are not involved in this process and cannot carry out medical surveillance of U.S. citizens during their stay in Vietnam.  U.S. companies and citizens with questions about the status of new visa processing for Vietnam should consult the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security’s national web portal on immigration for information.  The English version of the website can be accessed here.  The website of the Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in the United States also offers information on visa applications for Vietnam (available in Vietnamese and English).

Members of exempted categories with valid visas for Vietnam should work directly with their company to receive permission from local authorities to enter Vietnam.  The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General are not involved in this process.  However, companies that want to sponsor their employees need to send a request letter to the provincial people’s committee (PPC) where the employee will be located after entry into Vietnam, cc-ing relevant agencies such as the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), the Ministry of Labor, Invalids, and Social Affairs (MOLISA), and the Ministry of Health (MOH).  The letter should specifically request that the authorities approve that the worker/expert be permitted to enter Vietnam and provide quarantine measures to be taken by the company (at a hotel, or at the company’s facility).  The company must also work out the details regarding quarantine, medical surveillance, transportation options, etc., with the authorities on a case-by-case basis.  After reviewing the request, the PPC will make a decision and, if approved, will instruct Immigration to process the foreigner’s entry.  If approved, all individuals entering Vietnam must be quarantined for 14 days at a government designated facility or the company’s facility (if applicable).  The PPC also requires a non-COVID-19 medical certificate. The certificate is presented upon entry and may be required in advance.  There may be a possibility for the GVN to waive this requirement if such a testing laboratory is not available in the sending country.  Instead, the test would be conducted by GVN authorities upon arrival.  However,  this is on a case-by-case basis and the company must work this out with the authorities.  The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General cannot intervene in the entry restrictions and quarantine rules established by the Vietnamese government.

6. My visa expired as a direct result of the COVID-19 situation and was beyond my control. What can the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General do to support my visa extension request?

The U.S. Embassy Hanoi and Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City no longer provide letters in support of visa extensions.  However, we have started issuing exit letters in support of U.S. citizens that entered Vietnam before March 1, 2020, and have plans to exit Vietnam before June 30.

On May 18, the Government of Vietnam announced a new policy that provides an automatic extension of temporary stay through June 30, 2020, for U.S. citizens and other foreign nationals who entered Vietnam with a visa exemption certificate, e-visa, or tourist visa on or after March 1, 2020Individuals under this qualifying group may exit Vietnam during this period without having to apply for an extension of stay.   U.S. citizens and other foreign nationals who entered Vietnam before March 1, 2020, may be considered for an automatic extension through June 30, 2020, if upon exiting Vietnam they can provide proof that they have been stranded in Vietnam due to COVID-19 mandatory quarantine, treatment, or other reasons beyond their control, or present a letter from their Embassy or Consulate about their situation.  Additional questions regarding this Government of Vietnam policy should be directed to the Vietnamese Immigration Department at (024) 39387320 for further guidance.

U.S. citizens who arrived in Vietnam prior to March 1, 2020 and have plans to exit Vietnam before June 30, 2020, may request an exit letter using our America Citizen Services inquiry form here. Please provide detailed information about your situation, including your full name, date of birth, U.S. passport number, and the date of expiration of your Vietnamese visa.  This is a temporary measure that will only be in effect in response to COVID-19.

7. What are some suggested travel and visa agencies that can assist me with my visa extension request? 

The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General cannot recommend specific travel and visa agents.  We recommend U.S. citizens refer to the list of accredited agents provided by the Vietnam Tourism Administration website for more information.

8. Where can I find information on Vietnamese immigration and visa regulations? 

U.S. citizens may consult the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security’s national web portal on immigration for information.  The English version of the website can be accessed here.  The website of the Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in the United States also offers information on visa applications for Vietnam (available in Vietnamese and English).

 9. How can I remain informed of other important updates related to regulations implemented by the Government of Vietnam during the COVID-19 situation that might impact U.S. citizens? 

We recommend U.S. citizens check the Embassy’s COVID-19 page daily for information, and register or update their information in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

For Assistance:

U.S. Embassy Hanoi
From outside Vietnam: +84-24-3850-5000
From the U.S.: 011-84-24-3850-5000
From landline within Hanoi: 3850-5000
From mobile or landline within Vietnam: 024-3850-5000
Submit an Inquiry Form

U.S. Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City
From outside Vietnam: +84-28-3520-4200
From the U.S.: 011-84-28-3520-4200
From mobile or landline within Vietnam: 028-3520-4200
Submit an Inquiry Form

Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs: +1-888-407-4747 or +1-202-501-4444