How to Apply for a Vietnam 5 Year Visa Exemption
Procedures, fees, and instructions on how to apply for the longest 5-year visa exemption for Vietnam.
Vietnamese residing overseas or foreigners having family relationships with Vietnamese citizens and Vietnamese residing overseas can take advantage of a 5-year visa exemption to travel back and forth to Vietnam. This is one of the longest visa certificates and saves a lot of time and energy in applying for and renewing a visa to Vietnam.
What is a 5 year visa exemption?
A 5-year visa exemption (also known as spouse visa) is a certificate issued by a Vietnamese competent authority to Vietnamese people residing abroad without a Vietnamese passport and foreigners being spouses and children of Vietnamese citizens or Vietnamese residing abroad. The document is applied to those who come to Vietnam for visiting relatives or dealing with private matters (handling paperwork or administrative procedures at national agencies).
As it is called, this visa exemption has the longest validity of 5 years. However, the expiry date of the certificate must be 6 months prior to that of the passport or foreign residence document. As a result, if you want to have a full 5-year visa exemption, make sure you have an original passport or foreign residence document with at least 5 years and 6 months of validity.
The 5-year visa exemption is the longest-term valid entry and exit document and works as a visa for grantees to enter and exit Vietnam at any time during the validity duration. However, you are allowed to stay in Vietnam for a maximum of 6 months per entry and can extend the temporary residence if you want to continue to stay. In more detail:
- If the validity of your visa exemption is more than 6 months: You can extend the temporary stay for another 180 days.
- If the validity of your visa exemption is less than 6 months: The temporary stay period will be equal to the remaining validity of the visa exemption and cannot be extended.
Vietnam 5-year visa exemption in brief:
Duration of stay
Who is eligible
Where to submit
Stay extension without exiting Vietnam?
Who is eligible?
Vietnam 5-year visa exemption is issued to foreigners who have special relationships with Vietnam, including:
- Oversea Vietnamese (Vietnamese residing abroad).
- Foreigners are the spouses and children of oversea Vietnamese.
- Foreigners are the spouses and children of Vietnamese citizens.
To obtain a certificate of 5-year visa exemption, you have to meet some conditions below:
- Having a valid passport for at least 1 year
- Having documents proving that you are eligible for visa exemption
- Not in the case of being banned from entering Vietnam
How to apply
- A valid passport or equivalent international travel document or permanent residence permit
- A visa application form (Form NA9)
- Two (02) passport-sized photos (one enclosed in the application form, one put separately)
- Other documents proving applicants are eligible for the 5 year visa exemption:
- For overseas Vietnamese: a notarized copy of one of the original documents including a birth certificate, papers indicating the renunciation of Vietnamese citizenship or loss of Vietnamese citizenship, other documents proving Vietnamese citizenship or previous Vietnamese citizenship (passport, identity card, voter card, etc.).
- For foreigners: a notarized copy of the original document proving they are spouses or children of overseas Vietnamese or Vietnamese citizens (Registration of marriage, family relationship, household registration book, birth certificate, etc).
Step 1: Prepare the dossier
Step 2: Submit a dossier at the Vietnam Embassy/Consulate in foreign country or Vietnam Immigration Department in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. If the dossier is sufficient and meets the requirements, applicants will get a receipt. If not, other documents will be required for the approval process.
Step 3: Receive the result.
Applicants present the receipt and get the visa exemption.
How to extend
Although you have a 5-year visa exemption, the longest time you can stay in Vietnam per entry is 6 months. In case you do not want to exit and enter again, a visa extension is highly recommended. The stay extension with a 5-year visa allows applicants to stay for another 6 months.
To extend the stay, you need to prepare all the following documents and submit them to the Vietnam Immigration Department:
- A valid passport
- An application for visa issuance and stay extension (form NA5)
- Documents proving you are eligible for visa exemption
- A notarized copy of a valid passport/identity card of the Vietnamese who is the sponsor
- Temporary resident certificate
Processing time & fee
Processing time for applications normally takes 5 to 7 working days since the dossiers are fully submitted. In case your dossiers need to be supplemented or insufficient, the time will be longer.
Fees for applying for 5-year visa exemption may vary depending on the issuing agency (Vietnam Embassy/Consulate abroad or Vietnam Immigration Department).
- Vietnam Embassy/Consulate: Check directly for more details
- Vietnam Immigration Department:
- First-time issuance: US$20
- From the second time issuance: US$10
Questions and Answers (02)
I'm Australian citizen, I had 5 year Vietnam visa exemption but it's expired last year. How can apply for a new one and what is the cost? Thanks
@Phi, You can visit the official website below for instructions and applications: https://mienthithucvk.mofa.gov.vn/
I recently married a Vietnamese lady...I am an American.....how do I apply ? Currently we are in our respective country .Thanks, Michael
@Michael, For 5 year visa exemption, please visit the official website below for instructions:
Frequently asked questions
1. My certificate is expired, can I renew it or get a new one?
Yes, you can. If your certificate is expired, you are able to renew it or get a new one with the same procedures.
2. Can I get a 5-year visa exemption while staying in Vietnam?
Yes. You can apply for a 5-year visa while staying in Vietnam. However, the certificate is not activated right away. You must exit Vietnam and re-enter to activate the certificate and continue to stay in Vietnam.
3. Can I stay in Vietnam for 5 years continuously with this document?
No. Although a 5-year visa exemption has a validity of up to 5 years, the duration of stay per entry is 180 days only. You can extend your temporary stay duration for another 180 days if your visa exemption has more than 6-month validity. If the remaining validity of the visa exemption is less than 6 months, you are allowed to stay for an equal time of the remaining validity and must exit Vietnam and re-enter to continue to stay.
4. How long is the 5-year visa review process?
It takes 5 - 7 business days for the review process. In case your dossiers are insufficient, the process might take longer.
5. Are there special requirements for the photos in the dossier?
Yes, two photos in the dossier must be identical, taken within 6 months, in 4x6cm size and the applicant must look straight, not wear glasses or a hat or head scarf.
6. How long of validity is needed for my passport to get this visa?
The expiry date of your exemption must be 6 months prior to that of your passport. Therefore, if you want a 5-year visa exemption, you need to have a passport with a validity of at least 5 years and 6 months.
Why apply with us
- 99% on time delivery
- Easy & simple form
- 15+ years of experience
- No hidden charges
- 100% money back guarantee for declined applications