Preparation – the Vietnamese visa
You already know: finally I decided to visit Vietnam. It was time to check the visa options.
It is super easy to request e-visa to Vietnam. There’s no need to visit the embassy, no queues, no agency to involve, and it is really quick: 3 days max. The official page is the following: https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn. Everything else you find on the net is just an agency page that will include extra fees as well.
Well, this post might be as long as this, but my story of course has a little flaw. You can apply only for a single entry 30-day tourist e-visa. Obviously my stay in Vietnam will be just a couple of days longer. But rules are rules. I made a quick search on what happens if I overstay. There’s no official source on this obviously – as this is against the law plus you will be deported to your home country if you get caught – but based on the experienc of other travelers you need to pay an extra 25 USD after each day overstayed and you risk being barred from reentering the country anytime soon. Yeah, I understand we all are after adventure, but I wouldn’t risk this. So there was nothing left to be done, just to visit the consulate.
If you want to check the process in advance, the first challenge is to find the online source and figure out when the consulate is open. But here I am to help you (actually helpful only for Hungarians): https://vnembassy-budapest.mofa.gov.vn/en-us/Pages/default.aspx The info of the Hungarian Government’s Consular Services site is not correct, the webpage quoted there is not available.
So, I figured the opening hours of the consulate and could download the application form as well. I got to know, that the tourist visa options are for 30 days or 90 days – there’s nothing in between. And the photo that you need to attach to the application is size 6 cm x 4 cm, not the usual standard size.
Filled in the application form, got the special photo and walked to the embassy, where I found the gate to the consulate closed. Doorbell with camera, ringing the bell, but nothing happened. I looked up above the doorbell and found the shiny sign showing the actual(!) opening hours, that are obviously different than the ones I hound on the net. If you need some unpredictability in your life, you can always count on Southeast Asia! So, I went back on another day, smiled when paying the higher price for the 90 days visa. No flight ticket or accommodation booking was requested, they just asked me to go back and pick up my visa in a week. (This is not the standard process I was heard: flight and hotel booking actually should be part of your application.) Picking up the visa is quick as well: I hand over the receipt and in return I get my passport back.
I turn the pages, and finally among the many visas I find my fresh Vietnamese visa. Valid for 44 days. Not 90, not 30, but 44. Well, I have no more questions.
- 30 days single entry tourist visa via the Consulate in Budapest: 12.000 HUF
- 90 days single entry tourist visa via the Consulate in Budapest: 15.000 HUF
- E-visa: 25 USD
- Official e-visa webpage: https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn
- The Vietnamese Embassy in Hungary: https://vnembassy-budapest.mofa.gov.vn/en-us/Pages/default.aspx
- E-mail address of the Embassy: firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com
- Visa application form (English/Vietnamese): Visa application form
- Opening hours of the Consulate in Budapest: Mon 8:30-12:00, Wed 8:30-12:00, Thu 8:30-12:00