U.S. Embassy Hanoi and Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City – American Citizens Services
Flight and Other Departure Assistance Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The U.S. Embassy in Hanoi and the U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City update our COVID-19 webpage on a regular basis. Please read it closely for the latest information regarding the COVID-19 situation in Vietnam. We advise all U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Vietnam to register or update their information with the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). You may also follow us U.S. Embassy Hanoi’s Facebook or U.S. Consulate General in HCMC’s Facebook on for periodic updates.
Q: What should I do if I wish to return to the U.S.?
The U.S. Embassy in Hanoi and Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City do not have plans to arrange charter flights back to the United States. Although flight frequency may be limited, commercial flights are available. Current airfares may be expensive and flights may be cancelled with short notice. U.S. citizens who wish to return home should make use of available commercial flight options if they wish to avoid future limitations on their movements due to changes in the COVID-19 situation in Vietnam. Check our Airline Departure Information page for the latest information regarding airlines in Vietnam that serve international destinations.
Q: What if I have no money to return to the U.S.?
If you are a U.S. citizen and want to return to the United States, but have no funds, we urge you to contact family and friends in the United States who may be able to help. If you are destitute, you may be able to apply for a repatriation loan from the U.S. government to return to the United States. Please complete an inquiry form here.
A consular officer will review your situation and determine if you are qualified for the loan. Please be advised that we must contact your friends and relatives to confirm your eligibility.
If you are eligible for the loan, the length of validity of your passport will be limited and will only be valid for direct return travel to the United States. You will not be eligible for a new U.S. passport until you repay your loan.
Q: What is your travel advice for Vietnam?
The current State Department travel advisory for Vietnam stands at Level 2 – Exercise Increased Caution. Vietnam’s borders are still closed to all foreign nationals with few exceptions. At this time, Vietnam has resumed most domestic transportation options (including air travel) and business operations. However, Vietnamese authorities have introduced strict measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, imposing mandatory quarantines and medical surveillance for all persons entering Vietnam. Vietnam has implemented mandatory quarantine for anyone suspected of coming into contact with COVID-19 positive cases. Please visit our COVID-19 page for more information on the current extent of travel disruptions and testing and quarantine requirements for inbound travelers.
Q: I am in a quarantine center. What actions do I need to take to leave Vietnam?
Currently, the Government of Vietnam is requesting that quarantined individuals complete the mandatory quarantine period prior to departing Vietnam. Please be advised that the U.S. Embassy and Consulate General cannot intervene in the quarantine rules established by the Vietnamese government.
Vietnam sometimes requires travellers to provide the following information if departing Vietnam after completing quarantine:
- A negative COVID-19 test result provided by the quarantine center.
- Itinerary or tickets for a booked flight.
- Reservations for transportation to the hotel and/or airport on leaving the quarantine center. (Staff in the quarantine center, and/or your travel agent, should be able to help with this requirement.)
You will be personally responsible for any quarantine and testing costs.
Q: Will the U.S. government evacuate us?
We do not have plans to evacuate U.S. citizens due to the COVID-19 situation in Vietnam. We advise U.S. citizens interested in returning to the United States to depart using commercial means. If the situation changes and we offer evacuation flights, U.S. government-chartered flights are not free of charge. U.S. citizen passengers are responsible for paying associated costs, which can be thousands of dollars.
Q: My flight has been cancelled. What should I do?
If your flight has been cancelled, you will need to arrange new tickets. Please contact a travel agent if you need assistance booking a flight. There may be some indirect routes to the United States through other Asian cities. Check our Airline Departure Information page for the latest information regarding airlines that continue to serve international destinations from Vietnam.
Q: Can you help U.S. citizens with their work permit/visa extension in Vietnam?
The U.S. Embassy Hanoi and Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City can provide information but cannot sponsor U.S. citizens seeking a visa or visa extension.
The Vietnamese government told the U.S. government 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 with plans to exit Vietnam should take advantage of the Government of Vietnam’s policy of automatic extension of temporary stay for foreigners in certain qualifying groups with plans to depart Vietnam through November 30, 2020. This policy includes 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, 2020. Individuals 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 November 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. Due to the normalization of travel in recent months, after October 31, 2020 the Embassy and Consulate will only issue letters in extraordinary cases. Additional questions regarding this Government of Vietnam policy should be directed to the Vietnamese Immigration Department at (024) 39387320 for further guidance.
Q. 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. 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 arrange 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 from five to fourteen days, depending on the duration of their trip, at a government-designated facility or the company’s facility, or a hotel (if applicable).
In addition, the Government of Vietnam has informed us that foreign nationals in the aforementioned exempted categories who apply for entry to Vietnam must also meet the following requirements:
- The visitor in an exempted category must have tested for SARS-CoV-2 using the real-time PCR method within three to seven days prior to entry into Vietnam. The test must have been conducted at a government or World Health Organization-certified facility.
- The visitor in an exempted category must have international health insurance, or the sponsoring entity must provide an assurance of its willingness to cover any potential costs related to COVID-19 treatment.
- The sponsoring entity must ensure all necessary COVID-19 prevention safety measures are followed when assisting the visitor in an exempted category to enter Vietnam.
The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General cannot intervene in the entry restrictions and quarantine rules established by the Vietnamese government.
Q: What if I have overstayed my visa because I was in quarantine?
Vietnam currently provides an automatic extension of temporary stay through November 30, 2020, for foreigners who entered Vietnam with a visa exemption certificate, e-visa, or tourist visa on or after March 1, 2020. U.S. citizens and other foreign nationals who entered Vietnam before March 1, 2020, may be considered for an automatic extension if upon exiting Vietnam they can provide proof that they were stranded in Vietnam due to a mandatory COVID-19 quarantine, treatment, or other reasons beyond their control. If you have been in quarantine, please make sure to obtain a quarantine completion certificate from the quarantine facility to present to the immigration authorities.
Q: Will the U.S. be shutting its borders?
We are not aware of any plans to close U.S. borders to U.S. citizens. We advise you to monitor information provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security regarding COVID-19 restrictions here. Currently, U.S. citizens traveling from, or transiting, any of the countries subject to the recent Presidential Proclamations (China, Iran, UK, Ireland, Brazil, and the 26 countries of the Schengen zone in Europe) will be subject to increased screening and 14-day self-quarantine upon arrival to the United States.
Q: I’m a resident/long-term traveller in Vietnam. Is it safe for me to stay in Vietnam?
We advise U.S. citizens living in Vietnam to follow the guidance of local authorities, be ready to comply with social distancing, testing, and/or quarantine requirements, and be prepared to rely on the local health system, which may be under pressure and not up to U.S. standards.
U.S. citizens should take this information into account as they decide on whether to return to the United States or continue to stay in Vietnam for the long-term. U.S. citizens who avoid future limitations on their movements due to changes in the COVID-19 situation in Vietnam should make use of available commercial flight options to return home.
Q: What if I need to be medically evacuated?
We have lists of private hospitals in Vietnam on our website. In some cases, international hospitals can organize medevac services. However, flights to typical medevac locations are not available in many cases and hospitals may refuse the service cases involving a positive COVID-19 patient or when with the escort may be subject to a 14-day quarantine restriction during travel or upon return to Vietnam. Please check directly with the hospital for more information regarding medevac services. If these services are unable to provide transportation in life-threatening cases of COVID-19 the State Department may intercede to directly medevac U.S. citizens. There are many requirements and restrictions, and the service can only be provided on a reimbursable basis, which will likely cost at least $100,000, and possibly more.
Q: Can I leave Vietnam and get back in?
U.S. citizens with plans to temporarily leave Vietnam should research and consider all their options carefully. Currently, flights to and from Vietnam are still very limited. The Vietnamese government continues to suspend entry into Vietnam to all foreigners, including people with a Vietnamese visa exemption certificate. This policy has very limited exemptions for diplomatic, official duty, and special cases, including experts, business managers, foreign investors, and high-tech workers of businesses involved in important projects as determined by the Government of Vietnam. Family reunification is not one of the exemptions. We understand that all U.S. citizens who do not fall under one of the exempted categories mentioned above and who have not obtained entry preapproval with the Vietnamese competent authorities will be refused entry on arrival in Vietnam even if they have a valid visa.
Q: I have developed coronavirus symptoms. What should I do?
If you develop symptoms, you should seek medical assistance and follow the advice provided by medical professionals. A list of testing centers is here.
You may be asked to get tested and quarantine in a government-run facility or instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days if you develop flu-like symptoms, or if it is suspected that you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. If you test positive for COVID-19 at any point during your stay in Vietnam, you will be quarantined and, if appropriate, provided treatment in a Vietnamese hospital. U.S. citizens should expect to be responsible for all costs associated with COVID-19 quarantine and treatment.
Q: If I am quarantined in Vietnam, will I be financially liable?
Foreign nationals entering Vietnam on commercial flights have to pay for mandatory COVID-19 tests and quarantine costs, both in government facilities and designated hotels. If you are quarantined at a hotel or other private facility, you will have to pay for all associated costs, even if directed there by local authorities.
In addition, foreign nationals must pay for medical treatment in Vietnam, and this applies to COVID-19. Therefore, you will need to pay for any necessary treatment, including the cost of hospitalization.
Q: What can you do for me if I’m forced into quarantine?
If you have been placed in mandatory 14-day quarantine by the Vietnamese government, please complete this mandatory quarantine requirement, even if you test negative for COVID-19. Please understand that we cannot intervene in the quarantine rules established by the Vietnamese government. The Vietnamese government has imposed strict penalties on violations of quarantine rules. Individuals who complete their quarantine requirement should receive confirmation indicating successful completion. This form may need to be presented to customs and/or airport officials when exiting Vietnam.
U.S. citizens currently under quarantine, in self-isolation, or stranded in Vietnam can notify U.S. Embassy Hanoi or U.S. Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City of their situation by submitting an online inquiry. In the online inquiry, please include specific information about your situation, such as: the date you entered quarantine, where you arrived from, your current location, reason for quarantine, as well as any medical needs or urgent health issues. Note that those wishing the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General to share information about their situation with friends, family, and loved ones will need to attach a completed Privacy Act Waiver (Form DS-5505) to their inquiry. The Privacy Act Waiver helps specify whom a U.S. Consular Officer may contact and to whom to release information with regards to your case.
Q: My hotel or apartment has asked me to leave because I am a foreigner, what should I do?
There have been instances of foreigners being turned away from, or asked to leave, hotels in Vietnam. The Vietnamese government has not asked U.S. citizens to leave the country, but decisions to serve or admit foreigners is up to individual landlords and hotels.
If you find yourself in this situation, please contact us.
Q: What are you doing to support U.S. citizens who are suffering with poor conditions in quarantine facilities?
We are working with local authorities to ensure U.S. citizens have adequate accommodations during quarantine, including access to food, water, and medical supplies. Please contact us if you need assistance.
We have raised concerns about the condition of some quarantine facilities with the Vietnamese authorities. Our consular team in Vietnam remains in close contact with the Vietnamese authorities and is providing consular assistance to affected U.S. citizens.
Q: Can U.S. citizens request to be quarantined at a hotel?
In some cases, the Vietnamese government has permitted U.S. citizens and other foreign nationals to quarantine at certain designated hotels; however, these accommodations are not free. U.S. citizens who choose hotel quarantine are responsible for all associated costs. Please work with the local authorities if you wish to be quarantined at a hotel. Please contact us if you need assistance.
Q: What can I do if no one around me can speak English at the quarantine center/hospital?
Ask for doctors and/or nurses that can speak English. We may be able to help you communicate with quarantine or hospital authorities if English-speaking officials are not available. Please contact us if you need assistance.
Q: What if I run out of money?
Q: What if I have no relatives who can help me?
The U.S. government can generally only assist destitute Americans who wish to return to the United States. If you wish to apply for a loan from the U.S. government to return to the United States, please complete an inquiry form here. A consular officer will review your situation and determine if you are qualified for the loan. Please be advised that we must contact your friends and relatives to confirm your eligibility. If you are eligible for the loan, your passport validity will be limited and will only be valid for direct return travel to the United States. You will not be eligible for a new U.S. passport until you repay your loan.
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 landline within Ho Chi Minh City: 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