Pursuant to the Law No. 47/2014/QH13 on entry, exit, transit visa, and residence of foreigners in VietNam, which takes effect on 1st Jan 2015, regulations on transit passengers through Vietnam is stipulated as below:
1. Requirements for travelers to transit through Viet Nam
Only obtain following documents, will the travelers be granted for a transit visa through Vietnam. Compulsory documents include: a passport which is valid above 6 months, a ticket which specifies the third destined country, a visa issued by the arrival country as mentioned (in case there is no visa, the arrival country must be in list of countries that provide nationality of the traveler with visa exemption policy).
2. Transit area
Transit area shall be promulgated and restricted by the authority in which travelers shall stay in during transit duration.
3. Transit by air
With transit by air, foreigners are free from visa requirements. However, travelers must stay in the restricted transit area at the airport and wait for the connecting flight to the destined country.
In case, the traveler wants to go outside the transit area for any purpose, that individual shall become a subject for a compulsory transit visa in accordance with specific transit duration.
4. Transit by cruise
Foreigners that travel to VietNam by cruises and have to transit through VietNam, are free from visa requirement but must stay in a restricted transit area such as ports in which their ships are anchoring. In case, the travelers want to go outside the transit area for tourism purpose, they must obtain services from an international tourist company who must present travel program of the foreigners in details to the competent authority.
5. Can I do transit through Vietnam without visa
If you are in list of nationalities that are provided with visa exemption policy, you will be free from visa requirement in a particular length of stay stipulated by the authority. However, all foreigners are recommended visa (stamped on passport in case issued at Embassy/Consulate) or visa approval letter (issued by the Immigration Dept in case getting visa upon arrival) in advance.
You will not have to get a Vietnam visa in advance if satisfying following conditions:
- Transit and leave Vietnam for a third country within 24 hours (for example, from Bangkok to Hanoi to Singapore – you cannot “transit” back to the country you started in, like Bangkok to Hanoi to Phuket)
- Obtain a valid onward ticket
- Strictly stay in transit area during waiting for the connecting flight
- Have a valid entry document to your final destination
- Travel by a full-service airline (low-cost airlines such as Vietjet and Jet Star will not provide passengers with transit support service even in a very short of time)
Last trip, I landed myself in hot water due to travelling by Vietjet Air. I missed my flight for not having my visa done in advance as transiting in Bangkok from Doha to Vietnam. At first, I didn’t know that Vietjet Air couldn’t support me transit support. With no transit visa, at last I had to stay in Bangkok and missed my flight to Ho Chi Minh City.