VISA RUN - all you need to know

VISA RUN - all you need to know

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Some foreigners may not be able or willing to extend their visas in Vietnam, but still want to stay longer. In these cases, doing a visa run can be a good option. Let's figure it out in this topic !
Chủ động cân đối hàng hóa đưa lên cửa khẩu quốc tế Hữu Nghị và Tân Thanh,  tỉnh Lạng Sơn


Visa run is a way for foreigners to extend their stay in Vietnam by leaving the country for a short period of time and then returning. This is done by traveling to a neighboring country, such as Laos, Cambodia, China, or Thailand, and then re-entering Vietnam on a new visa. Visa runs are typically done when a foreigner's visa is about to expire and they do not want or cannot extend it through official channels, such as because the process is too expensive or time-consuming.


Although it takes time to leave and re-enter Vietnam to get a new visa, visa runs offer two main advantages:

  • Easy procedure and low cost: Extending a visa requires a Vietnamese sponsor or local agency, which can be expensive and time-consuming. Visa runs are a simpler and more affordable way to extend your stay in Vietnam.
  • Multiple options: Visa extensions are often limited in terms of the number of entries and the duration of stay. Visa runs, on the other hand, give you a completely new visa that can be for 1 to 3 months, with single or multiple entries.


There are 2 types of Visa run in Vietnam which are Visa run by air and Visa run by road.

Visa run by air:

A visa run by air is a way to extend your stay in Vietnam by exiting and re-entering the country by plane. This type of visa run is popular among foreigners staying in Northern Vietnam because it is faster and more convenient than traveling by bus or train.

There are 8 International Airports that foreigners can choose for a Vietnam visa run:

  1. Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi)
  2. Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City)
  3. Cat Bi International Airport (Hai Phong)
  4. Da Nang International Airport (Da Nang)
  5. Cam Ranh International Airport (Khanh Hoa)
  6. Lien Khuong International Airport (Da Lat - Lam Dong)
  7. Phu Quoc International Airport (Phu Quoc)
  8. Can Tho International Airport (Can Tho)

Visa run by road:

To do a visa run by road, foreigners must exit Vietnam and re-enter through a land border gate with a neighboring country, such as Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, or China. This method is popular among foreigners staying in Central and Southern Vietnam because it is more convenient and affordable than flying.

There are 16 Vietnam land border gates for visa run by road:

  1. Bờ Y - Kon Tum (neighboring Laos)
  2. Cha Lo - Quang Binh (neighboring Laos)
  3. Cầu Treo - Ha Tinh (neighboring Laos)
  4. Hữu Nghị - Lang Son (neighboring China)
  5. Hà Tiên - Kiên Giang (neighboring Cambodia)
  6. Lao Bảo - Quảng Trị (neighboring Laos)
  7. Lào Cai - Lào Cai (neighboring China)
  8. La Lay - Quảng Trị (neighboring Laos)
  9. Mộc Bài - Tây Ninh (neighboring Cambodia)
  10. Móng Cái - Quảng Ninh (neighboring China)
  11. Nậm Cắn - Nghệ An (neighboring Laos)
  12. Na Mèo - Thanh Hóa (neighboring Laos)
  13. Sông Tiền - An Giang (neighboring Cambodia)
  14. Tịnh Biên - An Giang (neighboring Cambodia)
  15. Tây Trang - Dien Bien (neighboring Laos)
  16. Xa Mát - Tây Ninh (neighboring Cambodia)


Visa run are issued for foreigners in one of the following cases:

  • Foreigners entering Vietnam by a visa exemption
  • Foreigners entering Vietnam by a 5-year visa exemption certificate
  • Foreigners entering Vietnam by an E-Visa with a validity of 30 days
  • Foreigners entering Vietnam by a Business Visa



To apply for a visa by doing a visa run, you have to prepare adequate documents for the approval process. They include:

  • Original passport (with at least 2 blank pages for stamps and valid for at least 06 months after your re-entry date)
  • 5-year visa exemption certificate, E-visa, or Visa approval letter (original letter if you do visa run by road or printed if you do visa run by air)
  • Air ticket or bus ticket
  • Required documents to enter a third country when doing visa run Vietnam
  • Stamping fee
  • Two (02) 4x6cm photos (identical photos, taken within 6 months, straight looking and not wearing hat or glasses) (for visa run by road)
  • Visa application form (for visa run by road)


Step 1: Prepare the dossier
Step 2: Exit from Vietnam
Step 3: Immigrate to the third country
Step 4: Exit the third country
Step 5: Re-enter Vietnam and complete the visa application process

Processing time & fee


The time and cost of a visa run will vary depending on your needs. It may take 3-7 days to get a Vietnam visa on arrival/E-visa, 3-7 days to get a visa for the neighboring country, and a few hours or days to stay in the neighboring country for immigration/exit procedures or a short trip.

The cost may include the fee for the e-visa or approval letter, and the stamping fee, depending on whether you are applying for a single or multiple entry visa to Vietnam.

  • E-visa: US$25
  • Approval letter: varied upon agency
  • Stamping fee: US$25 for single entry - US$50 for multiple entries

Contact EZ HOLDINGS for more support !



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