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Overstaying a tourist visa? - Answers for Hanoi

Overstaying a tourist visa?
explodomac posted May 15th, 2009 at 1:50 pm to Paperwork.
Viewed 12070 times. Answered 22 times.

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?

Answers (jump to newest answer)

In prison, dinner was always a big thing
May 15th, 2009 at 6:45 pm

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: ___.

Konrad & Kathleen on an Uncle Tan's River Safari during a trip to Borneo
May 19th, 2009 at 10:02 am

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.

May 24th, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Aye, cheers for the response, wasn't aware of the business visa option. Sounds like the go.

May 24th, 2009 at 8:17 pm

don't overstay your visa even one day. they don't give you any grace period and they might blacklist you and never let you back into the country. sunshine travel in the OQ gives what I've found to be the cheapest rates on visa extensions.

clock iconThen Some Time Passed...
May 24th, 2010 at 8:18 am

A friend of mine overstayed her Visa by a week and ended up with a 3.5 million fine, plus the cost of leaving to obtain a new Visa. NOT WORTH IT.

smokem if ya gottem
May 24th, 2010 at 10:16 am

I overstayed by 10 days but my travel agent paid a fine in country for 1 millon, and still could get a new 3 months visa for $195, without leaving Vietnam

May 24th, 2010 at 5:40 pm

I've been told that you can overstay by up to two days without penalty, however I wouldn't want to test that unless it's absolutely necessary...

May 25th, 2010 at 9:31 am

You can overstay for a few days, they'll typically charge you 100K per day but then again, it depends how greedy the guy at the border/airport is. A friend of mine accidentally overstayed a few weeks (thought he had a longer visa.. haha) and they actually gave him a discount at the Vinh/Lao border.

no photo available
May 25th, 2010 at 3:29 pm

beerfan, did you get a 3 month single or multiple visa without leaving the country for $195?


smokem if ya gottem
May 26th, 2010 at 10:53 am

i got 3 month single, i didn't have plan to go anywhere, i think $20 extra for multiple, Pm me if you want the travel agency contact.

May 26th, 2010 at 8:47 pm

I heard that overstaying could prejudice the immigration dept from granting another visa - but from the last few posts it seems that isn't the case. Does anyone know of cases where overstaying prevented people from coming back?

no photo available
May 26th, 2010 at 9:21 pm


No. They just didn't come back.


July 14th, 2010 at 3:31 pm


My flight home leaves 2 days after my visa expires. Will it be a problem? I am coming back in a month on a new visa (my company is arranging it) and wouldn't want to have any problems. I am here legally, with work permit and all...

Has anyone found out more about it since the last post?

no photo available
July 14th, 2010 at 6:45 pm


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.


July 14th, 2010 at 8:05 pm

My company told me that up to 7 days of over staying the visa you can deal with it at the airport by paying a fee (not sure how much). But if you over stay for longer than 7 days it gets quite a bit more complicated.

July 15th, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Thanks Grant and Vanilla!

no photo available
July 15th, 2010 at 4:19 pm

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.

clock iconThen Some Time Passed...
January 2nd, 2011 at 7:10 pm

I just had to pay at the airport. 20 USD for two days overstay. No paperwork, nothing. I am sure I could have even bargained, but I was just glad to have it done quickly. After I paid and checked in, the guy went with me through the passport control and I was rushed through.

no photo available
January 16th, 2011 at 9:22 pm

My Visa expires a few days before I leave Vietnam. Is it possible to get a one month or one week extension? If so, how much does it cost and is it difficult to do?

no photo available
January 17th, 2011 at 8:05 am


How many days? If it's just a couple it would be cheaper and easier just to pay the penalty at the airport.

Or you could just get a note from your Mum. That works too, honest.


March 15th, 2011 at 11:21 am

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.

clock iconThen Some Time Passed...
no photo available
November 7th, 2014 at 4:06 am

Does anyone have any recent experience about arriving at the airport with a visa expired 2-3 days before?
I have dealt with an expired visa in Hanoi at immigration before so know how that goes, but this time my wife needs to leave Vietnam after her visa has expired. No fault of her own - the UK embassy held onto it for 5 weeks whilst issuing another visa.

Is it still possible to pay a spot fine and if so how much?

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