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Longest visa to stay in Vietnam is 3 months, 'letter of approval' must be arranged before entering country and has to happen by air into one of major airports.

To remain pretty much indefinitely Is it possible to arrange 'letter of approval' while still in Vietnam then take a flight on 89 day just before visa ends to some neighboring country (lets say Laos) and then next day fly in and get another 3 months stay? Or there has to be some timespan in-between?

Edit: As per @mts suggestion: I am citizen of Lithuania (European Union)

  • Probably good idea here to state your citizenship. This practice is called visa hopping or doing visa-runs and some countries try to prevent, but not sure what is the current take of Vietnam on that. They might (rightly) ask if what you are doing in the country for so long is permitted by the type of visa they issued you. – mts Jul 13 '16 at 16:10
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    It's worth noting that it isn't true that the longest stay you can get in Vietnam is 3 months, nor is it true that the only way to get access is with a letter of approval. – CMaster Jul 14 '16 at 7:09
  • @CMaster Hi Cmaster. I have used this as a source tripadvisor.com/Travel-g293921-c148049/… – Matas Vaitkevicius Jul 14 '16 at 7:10
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    @MatasVaitkevicius Yes, all that is true, but the pre-approved visa-on-arrival is not the only type of visa for Vietnam. You can get a full visa, valid for entry anywhere (not just Da Nang/Hanoi/HCMC) from the Vietnamese embassy, and these include longer stay visas and permits. Prices are different again, but it might be worth contacting your local embassy (the website are rubbish) to see if they offer something more appropriate. – CMaster Jul 14 '16 at 7:57
  • @CMaster do you have a link maybe? – Matas Vaitkevicius Jul 14 '16 at 7:58
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Providing sources for this is tough - but as an expat resident of Hanoi, I can assure you that visa runs are still common practice as of now (from here most people fly to Bangkok - flights tend to be cheaper). Many - perhaps most - foreigners staying in Vietnam are churning 3-month tourist visas as you describe.

It does seem to be possible to get hold of longer business visas, but I don't think you save much money compared to visa running every three months. For recommendations on visa renewal once you're here, especially if you're going to be in Hanoi, I'd search one of the (many) "Hanoi Massive" Facebook groups for "visa" - A New Era is a relatively popular one with expats.

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