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My Vietnamese visa will expire on May 7th and my sister has booked me a ticket from Ho chi Minh to Philippines on May 8th, my flight is around 1:45 am. Is this okay?

  • @Henrik indeed, without having specific information about the policy and practice of the Vietnamese authorities, it's difficult to say what would happen (checking in 2 to 3 hours early is entirely unexceptional, after all). There is another risk, as well, which is that the scheduled departure on the 8th could lead to a denial of boarding on the outbound flight to Vietnam, or a denial of entry on arrival there, even if it will be possible to clear exit controls before midnight on the 7th. I don't suppose this is very likely, but it is certainly possible. Che: are you in Vietnam already? – phoog Apr 30 at 12:59
  • Good day, yes Im in vietnam already and im going home in Philippines on May 8 my departure time 1:45am. – che Apr 30 at 13:03
  • @phoog: I hadn't even considered that problems could arise already outbound, but you're right. As the OP has said that he already is in Vietnam, I've left that out of the answer I turned my comment into. – Henrik Apr 30 at 14:03
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No. You'll be in Vietnam without a valid visa for one hour and 45 minutes.

Checking in and going through security and whatever control there is on exiting a country 2-3 hours before your flight is quite normal.

So if you do so the 7th, the authorities might not notice that you're actually going to overstay your visa, and if you do so early (like at 20.00) you might increase the chances (those who check your papers might not yet have set their minds to checking if your plane actually leaves before or after midnight). If they don't notice and you behave nicely in the airport, you might not get in touch with anyone else checking your papers and as such you could get away with just hanging around in the airport until your plane leaves. But you would be breaking the law.

And if the authorities notice what you're doing, it comes down to what they feel about it, if they're in a good mood an you play nice with them, they might let you get away with it, they might also see it as an intentional violation of their rules and put you in jail. (Buying a plane ticket for after your visa expires sounds pretty intentional, and they probably don't care that you blame your sister)

In short: It's not allowed, you might get away with it, the risks involved are quite significant, I wouldn't advice anyone to do it. Contact the airline to hear if they can help you exchange the ticket for an earlier one.

  • In some cases, such as the Schengen borders code, the law explicitly says that presence in the Schengen area is to be figured using the dates on the passport stamps. So it would be difficult to argue in that case that a person in the analogous situation in a Schengen country would technically be breaking the law. In saying this, though, I would like to emphasize that I do not know anything about Vietnamese law, nor, more importantly, about how Vietnamese border officers interpret that law. – phoog Apr 30 at 14:07
  • I don't know anything about Vietnamese law either. I didn't know that detail of the Schengen rules either, if Vietnam has a similar rule, my answer would technically be wrong, and that makes me think about deleting it, but until someone can something about the Vietnamese rules, I think it has some value in combination with your comment, so for now, I'll leave it (but if someone else thinks it should be deleted, go ahead) – Henrik Apr 30 at 15:09
  • "and they probably care that you blame your sister" I assume there was a "don't" intended in there. – Acccumulation Apr 30 at 19:48
  • @Acccumulation: Right, thanks, added. – Henrik May 1 at 7:24

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