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Hi recently landed in Hanoi with an eye on teaching (haven't heard that one before?) Looking at options at the moment and definitely favouring going for a CELTA/TESOL qualification before jumping into work.
My problem at the moment is with the window of opportunity the blasted tourist visa offers, even with an extension I'm cut off on the 1st of the 7th. Looking around, the course I'd be interested in with Apollo ends on the 8th of the 7th.
My question is would I be seriously compromising my chances of finding work post qualification if I've overstayed the visa? What are the repercussions?
You can explain your situation and ask the school to end the class a week earlier than planned. I had luck with that. It's also pretty easy to just extend your visa an additional month when the time comes, I think, but check me on that as I haven't done it myself.
As for overstay repercussions, I don't know, so insert exaggerated-made-up-repercussion here: ___.
As I understand it, there are pretty hefty fees involved in overstaying a visa. If you are thinking about staying in Vietnam for a longer period of time, you can arrange a 6 mos business visa through a travel agent here in Hanoi. That might be your best option. There are a number of questions here about the best travel agents to go through -- we used to use Tropical Tours in the OQ.
I wouldn't worry about it too much. Just go to the airport a little earlier because you might have to stuff around to pay a fee for the two days but it shouldn't hold you up. Look dumb, innocent and horrified when they point it out then blame the ticketing agent "Please help me" etc and it'll be ok.
I've just received an email from one of the members of our group who arrived early, left later and overstayed his visa by 10 days. He had to pay a penalty of $ 75.00
to exit via Ton Son Nhat. It was faster and cheaper than the alternative which was to return to HCMC, get a hotel room and wait 5 days for approval of an extension.
Here's a cautionary tale about a friend of a friend who tried to fly out of Vietnam last year after her visa expired. It was more than a couple of days after the expiry date. She wasn't allowed to leave, and had to pay a fine, and stay in the country for a few more days - I think that was to get her visa extended - before she could finally fly out.