IMMIGRATION and CUSTOMS
VIETNAM IMMIGRATION and CUSTOMS PROCEDURES
* IF YOU DON’T HAVE A VISA * CLICK HERE!
You will receive a Vietnam IMMIGRATION /CUSTOMS form from the flight attendant. This is fairly self explanatory. DO NOT leave any blanks unless the question doesn’t apply to you. If you have any questions ask a fellow traveler or flight attendant. The last thing you want to do is get to the Vietnam immigration desk with an incomplete form. The official will probably have limited English language ability and there likely be a long line of travelers behind you. You don’t want to spend any more time at the desk than absolutely necessary.
There will be one blank regarding the name and address of where you are staying in Vietnam. This “PLACE” is your unofficial sponsor. The easiest solution to this problem is to write down the name and address of the hotel where you’ll be staying the first night. Put this paper in your passport for easy reference, you’ll need your passport number to complete the form. If you didn’t make a reservation for a hotel – no problem. Get on the internet or check a travel guide; find the name, address and phone number of any hotel in your arrival city, write it down. Refer to this as you fill out the form. Keep in mind this is only a bureaucratic formality. Don’t concern yourself with the fact that you’re not going to stay at the “phantom hotel” that night; people change their minds all the time when traveling.
When you get off the plane you will proceed to the immigration line. Be sure to get in the tourist line. Have your passport and other documents ready.
The Vietnam immigration officer will compare the visa stamped in your passport and the visa entered in the immigration information system. If you get a pre-approved visa from a service agency the procedure will be the same. He will stamp the visa in your passport and give you a white immigration card. This card is your official Vietnam travel/tourist permit. DO NOT LOSE THIS FORM! You must turn in this form when you leave the country.
You will then claim your luggage and proceed to customs. My advice – don’t carry any luggage that needs to be checked – carry only what you can put in your pockets, a day pack and a carry-on size bag or backpack. I have never had my belongings checked at Vietnam Customs. (They will do Security Inspections.)
YOU ARE NOW IN VIETNAM.
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