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Last year Vietnam gave nationals of some countries a 15-days visa exemption. I have been looking for information about the conditions to apply but I can't find anything referring to which are the valid entrance points.

Last April I entered Vietnam without problems through the Ho Chi Minh international airport without a previous visa and for free, but I had to explain to the agent that Spanish citizens have an exemption if traveling less than 15 days. He asked someone and agreed to let me in.

This and the fact that sometimes this kinds of regulations apply only to airports entries, makes me wonder if it's possible to enter Vietnam without paying for the visa by a land border (in my case from Cambodia).

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From Embassy of Viet Nam, London:

Updates on 01-07-2016: Starting from 01/July/2016 to 30/06/2017, visitors from the following countries may not need a visa to Vietnam for less than 15 days: Germany, France, the UK, Italy, and Spain.

There are the conditions that (a) entry is one time only or at least 30 days after previous exit and (b) passport must be valid for a minimum of a further 6 months on the date of entry.

Nowhere have I seen mention of land borders being exceptional.

Note that 'the UK' here is specifically 'British Citizen' only.

Creaking Bones advised:

There have been a few reports of successful crossings from Cambodia using the exemption. Apparently there was some confusion at first as there was only a short time between the announcement of the exemption and its implementation so the officials at the border were caught with their trousers down, but everything seems to be running smoothly now.


Incidentally, full marks to the Embassy for keeping visitors to their site updated even in the intervals between announcements of changes and their receipt of official confirmation. (I believe most would have sat on their thumbs during the intervals, and longer.)

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As with all border and immigration issues, rules change daily. We provide visa on arrival letters and they are not valid for land crossings, only for airport entry. The same applies for visa exemptions to our understanding.

With the visa exemption you may not re-enter Vietnam with 30 days of your exit using the exemption. Like wise the exemption period may not extended and you must leave the country to get a new visa, eg you can not convert an exemption to a visa while in the country.

The current exemption programme has been extend for another year and will expire on 30 June 2018.

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