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Anyone got ANY Thai visa in Vietnam recently? By Mail? STV?


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Hi,

 

I am a US citizen in Danang, Vietnam and trying to find a way back to Thailand.

 

The only Thai consulate is in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh city) and it is COMPLETELY closed due to COVID.

 

The only Thai embassy is in Hanoi and it seems to be open, but they never return messages or answer the phone.  AND there is no way I can get there anyway due to extremely strict COVID checkpoints (the Thai consulate is in a "red zone" in the city).  And there are no planes and Hanoi is a 16-20 hour expensive car ride away.

 

So, I am wondering:

 

1. has anyone gotten any Thai visas AT ALL in Viet Nam in the last few weeks?

 

2. were you able to do it by mail inside Viet Nam (whether yourself or through an agent)?

 

3. was an STV (special tourist visa) one of the choices of visa type available?   https://www.thaiembassy.com/thailand-visa/thailand-tourist-visa

 

4. what documents did you need for the visa and CoE?

 

FWIW I have a work permit and TRC in Vietnam so that may be useful in showing residency.

 

As with 92-98% of the population I have not been able to get even 1 shot of vaccine yet.  It's just not available.

 

Thanks.

 

 

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The embassy website has very little info on it.

Try the contact info here. https://rtehanoi.thaiembassy.org/th/page/26656-working-hours-visa-section?menu=5d7de15f15e39c3484001d03

Normally you could also apply at the consulate in Ho Chi Minh City but is closed.

You would apply for the COE online here. https://coethailand.mfa.go.th/

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Why not visit the US for a few weeks, get the JnJ one shot vaccine soon after you arrive, get your COE in the US, and then return to Thailand.  You wouldn't even have to quarantine if you used one of the sandbox schemes.

 

Just a thought

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56 minutes ago, Phillip9 said:

Why not visit the US for a few weeks, get the JnJ one shot vaccine soon after you arrive, get your COE in the US, and then return to Thailand.  You wouldn't even have to quarantine if you used one of the sandbox schemes.

Yup, thanks, definitely considered that, but with the VN->US->TH airfare and the requirement to be in the US (and thus find housing in the US) for at least 30 days (the minimum number of days for any vaccine to take enough effect to be counted as "fully vaccinated;" J&J being one-shot doesn't meaningfully shorten that), that's going to be a much more expensive option. 

 

Currently there are a handful of flights from Viet Nam to BKK that are ~$200 and then you've got the $1000-$1500 ASQ quarantine hotel, but compared to VN->US->TH airfaire and the cost of non-ASQ hotel in Phuket (given that my goal is to end up in Mae Hong Son), it's still a lot less.  Granted I can avoid quarantine, but it's pricey.  Either way there will be the same cost for the absurd Thai health insurance.

 

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6 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

I don't think Hanoi or the Ho Chi Minh City consulate is participating in the e visa scheme. Nothing about it on either website.

I am in Ho Chi Minh City now, facing the same problem as the OP.  I just tried to do the eVisa at the link given by PoorSucker and the website told me that I am not eligible to apply for it - and that I have to apply directly at the consulate - which is closed now.  So for now it appears that I will have to wait until the consulate opens again.  (Maybe that's why I can't apply for it here - because the consulate is closed due to our total lockdown here?  Or maybe there is another reason.)

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24 minutes ago, PoorSucker said:

Try get an e-visa.

https://thaievisa.go.th/

Interesting, I hadn't heard of that website in ages....

 

I clicked on the website and they said you cannot use e-visa if you are a US citizen resident in Vietnam....

 

HOWEVER, the website also popped up a message saying that as of 26 SEP 2021 (yes, 2 days ago), they have FINALLY fixed the fundamentally broken e-visa system so that it is no longer necessary to submit one's passport to the local embassy/consulate as part of the process (which, of course, COMPLETELY defeats the whole purpose of being an e-visa). 

 

Instead, finally, the e-visa website ends up in you getting a confirmation e-mail which you print and present to Immigration at the border along with your passport.

 

If that's really true, it is a massive sea change to the Thai Visa process and it would mean I could apply from anywhere.   I'm surprised it's not major major news on thaivisa.com, I mean aseannow.com

 

Is it really true??  Is there some "TIT" catch?

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, BangkokBaksida said:

So for now it appears that I will have to wait until the consulate opens again.  (Maybe that's why I can't apply for it here - because the consulate is closed due to our total lockdown here?  Or maybe there is another reason.)

The embassy in Hanoi is open.

I tried it just told me had to apply at the Thai embassy or consulate in the country selected.

As I wrote they are not part of the e visa scheme. There are many embassies and official consulates that are not participating.

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6 minutes ago, lsemprini said:

If that's really true, it is a massive sea change to the Thai Visa process and it would mean I could apply from anywhere.   I'm surprised it's not major major news on thaivisa.com, I mean aseannow.com

It is true.

You would not be able to apply from anywhere. One of the requirement for completing the application to prove you are a citizen or resident of the country where you are applying.

There is a ongoing topic about it on this forum I posted when I saw a notice on the embassy website in the US.

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3 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

You would not be able to apply from anywhere. One of the requirement for completing the application to prove you are a citizen or resident of the country where you are applying.

Understood, but since there is no embassy/consulate visit and no paper being mailed, it seems unlikely they would have any realistic way to check, and possibly they would not care as long as I am outside of Thailand.  The reason I say they might not care is that if you go to  https://thaievisa.go.th/ and you click "Am I  eligible to apply online?" the website states (after asking for one's passport country):

 

"Permanent Residency / Current Location: Your resident status in a country of which you are granted a residence visa to stay for more than six months."

 

So if someone is physically located in a third country for a short time, they should choose their country of origin in this box, and they can legally apply for the e-visa.

 

In the thread you mentioned below, some people speculated that they might require us to show a flight from the country of application, but that doesn't seem to be the case (only TR requires a flight and it is a flight OUT of Thailand).

 

Also some people speculated that they might want to see a scan of Thai exit stamps (to prevent people from applying for visas while inside Thailand) but they are not doing that and it doesn't apply to my case anyway since I am in VN.

 

3 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

There is a ongoing topic about it on this forum I posted when I saw a notice on the embassy website in the US.

FYI for others, that thread is here:

 

https://aseannow.com/topic/1231586-e-visa-stickerless-system-starting-on-september-27th-thai-embassy-usa-announcement/

 

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6 minutes ago, lsemprini said:

In the thread you mentioned below, some people speculated that they might require us to show a flight from the country of application, but that doesn't seem to be the case (only TR requires a flight and it is a flight OUT of Thailand).

I think you will find that all visa applications on the e visa site actually require a flight to here.

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4 minutes ago, ubonjoe said:

I think you will find that all visa applications on the e visa site actually require a flight to here.

It certainly could be, but I checked all the screens in the manual:

 

https://thaievisa.go.th/static/English-Manual.pdf

 

and also checked the list of required documents for the visa types I was considering (non-O, TR):

 

https://thaievisa.go.th/ (scroll down to "Visa Category" and click each)

 

and I didn't see any request to send a scan of flight ticket to Thailand.  I DID see the form ask for date and port of entry, but not flight and no ticket upload.

 

For sure, the CoE application process at:

 

https://coethailand.mfa.go.th/regis/step?language=en

 

requires uploading an image of the air ticket during Step 3 of the CoE application, but that is a separate process from the visa application, and if the air ticket that ends in Thailand happens to be from another country, that is not actually anything unusual (it could be a transiting flight).

 

So at the moment I don't see any practical or legal obstacles to using e-visa.   Certainly there could be a catch, but I don't see it yet.

 

 

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UPDATE: I finally heard back from the Hanoi Embassy!  I had emailed the address on their website ( [email protected] ) but it appears that [email protected] (only found on some third party websites) might be the actual address that they read.

 

Mr. Tran Ngoc Tu sent me a number of helpful documents about the visa types available, the current situation with flights from Viet Nam to Thailand, CoE application process, and other stuff.  They are attached.

 

In particular, they first write "Please come to apply for your visa **IN PERSON** ** ** at the Royal Thai Embassy in Hanoi (85 Ly Thuong Kiet, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi). We do not accept online/ Post submissions"

 

That would be a total game-ender for us because we cannot enter Ha Noi due to strict COVID lockdowns/checkpoints (and also BangkokBaksida cannot even LEAVE Sai Gon due to even stricter lockdowns/checkpoints).

 

....BUT then they write "For those who do not live near Hanoi city, the Embassy still would prefer that you come to apply for your visa in person. If this really is not possible, then please ask a family member or friend or authorized person who lives in the Hanoi area to submit your application on your behalf."

 

I double-checked with him that we can do that without submitting any kind of additional authorization form.

 

SO we have an option to get the visa if we have a trusted person in Ha Noi to receive our passport and documents and turn them in.

 

Does anyone know a reliable agent who might serve this role?

 

Mr. Tran Ngoc Tu also said it is possible to apply for single-entry tourist visa, non-immigrant O retirement, and STV, but that STV requires "permanent residence," although his document says STV only requires "residence."   I am waiting for his response as to whether a TRC is that or not.

 

 

19 Visa Application Form.pdf 20 TOURIST VISA- EN.docx 21 INFORMATION- PREPARATION.docx 21 Non O English.doc Special Tourist Visa EN-VIE.pdf

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It would seem to me very much easier to enter Thailand visa exempt. In most cases, you can find ways of extending your stay satisfactorily once here.

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21 minutes ago, BritTim said:

It would seem to me very much easier to enter Thailand visa exempt. In most cases, you can find ways of extending your stay satisfactorily once here.

Perhaps, but at least with the visa one can be guaranteed at least 60+30 days (single-entry TR) or 90+ (non-O) in case those "satisfactory" ways disappear.

 

Also, even with visa exempt, we still have to do the same paperwork and pay costs for CoE, health insurance, ASQ, and find a place for PCR tests.  So the visa application itself is not that much extra work as long as we can do it by mail.

 

But for sure it would be much more worthwhile if there was a way to get the 270-day Special Tourist Visa (STV) instead of a single-entry tourist visa.  Still checking on that.

 

 

 

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FYI for those in the same boat...

 

One of the gems contained in the info packet from the Hanoi embassy (see attachments in my post  https://aseannow.com/topic/1233300-anyone-got-any-thai-visa-in-vietnam-recently-by-mail-stv/?do=findComment&comment=16858167 )

 

is that there ARE in fact sporadic $80-150 flights from HCMC to Bangkok every few weeks on Thai VietJet:

 

https://skyfun.vietjetair.com

 

the website really really sucks (lots of technical flaws) and it looks at first like there are no flights (all the dates are greyed out), but if you keep poking on all the dates in Sep and Oct, you will see that there is a flight roughly once per week, and more will pop up in the future.

 

Also, there are flights on Singapore Airlines from HCMC to Bangkok via Singapore and there is no requirement for being vaccinated (only PCR tested).  Cost varies $70-$300:

 

https://www.expedia.com/Flights-Search?leg1=from%3AHo Chi Minh City (SGN-Tan Son Nhat Intl.)%2Cto%3ABangkok (BKK - Suvarnabhumi Intl.)%2Cdeparture%3A10%2F19%2F2021TANYT&mode=search&options=carrier%3A*%2Ccabinclass%3A%2Cmaxhops%3A1%2Cnopenalty%3AN&pageId=0&passengers=adults%3A1%2Cchildren%3A0%2Cinfantinlap%3AN&trip=oneway

 

I do not know if I can get from Da Nang/Hoi An to HCMC airport due to lockdowns, but I think people in HCMC can do so if they show their ticket.

 

I also found some flights from Ha Noi to Bangkok via Singapore, more like $300

 

No flights from Da Nang to Bangkok except for some absurd $1000+ routes through Seoul ?!

 

No flights to Chiang Mai except for some absurd $1000+ routes through Seoul ?!

 

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Your going to find it difficult here to get vaccination on a tourist visa.

 

Can you hold out in Vietnam for a few more months?

 

I hear its pretty bad, but its bad everywhere in Southeast Asia.  Lao is about to go into full lockdown mode.

 

I know a lot of people trying to get into Vietnam.  They love it there if that's any caveat.

 

It looks like there easing requirements for entry into Thailand in November.  However, that may include vaccinated only.

 

Good luck.

 

 

Edited by MrJ2U
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You can get visa-exempt 30 + 60 days extensions which is same as

SE tourist visa  60 + 30 maybe with that covid extension still available up till

near end of November...90 days in both cases except no need to deal with consulates visa-exempt.

I'm not totally up to speed on current situation so maybe someone else could

valid the 30+ 60 would be possible.

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8 hours ago, freedomnow said:

You can get visa-exempt 30 + 60 days extensions which is same as

SE tourist visa  60 + 30 maybe with that covid extension still available up till

near end of November...90 days in both cases except no need to deal with consulates visa-exempt.

I'm not totally up to speed on current situation so maybe someone else could

valid the 30+ 60 would be possible.

When you enter visa exempt, you will almost certainly be required to use the standard 30-day extension (thus giving you 45+30 or 30+30 days) before being permitted to apply for a Covid extension. A tourist visa in advance gives you an extra 15 or 30 days before falling back on Covid extensions. Assuming the cut off at the end of November (Covid extensions might be allowed for longer) if entering now or in the near future, visa exempt would likely qualify you for a Covid extension, but the tourist visa in advance would mean Covid extensions would no longer be available by the time your 60+30 days was close to an end.

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8 hours ago, BritTim said:

When you enter visa exempt, you will almost certainly be required to use the standard 30-day extension (thus giving you 45+30 or 30+30 days) before being permitted to apply for a Covid extension. A tourist visa in advance gives you an extra 15 or 30 days before falling back on Covid extensions. Assuming the cut off at the end of November (Covid extensions might be allowed for longer) if entering now or in the near future, visa exempt would likely qualify you for a Covid extension, but the tourist visa in advance would mean Covid extensions would no longer be available by the time your 60+30 days was close to an end.

 

Interesting, but how long is a Covid extension?  If it's 30 days, then wouldn't that be no better or worse than just using the 30 day extension on a 60 day tourist visa?

 

Or are you saying that if you get a Covid extension in November then that somehow makes you more likely to be able to get more Covid extensions later even after they cancel the Covid extension program for new foreigners coming in?

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, lsemprini said:

 

Interesting, but how long is a Covid extension?  If it's 30 days, then wouldn't that be no better or worse than just using the 30 day extension on a 60 day tourist visa?

 

Or are you saying that if you get a Covid extension in November then that somehow makes you more likely to be able to get more Covid extensions later even after they cancel the Covid extension program for new foreigners coming in?

Covid extensions are 60 days. However, they are only allowed when the applicant cannot qualify for any of the standard extensions. Thus, when you enter with a tourist visa (60 days) or enter visa exempt (30 or 45 days) you will be required to apply for the 30-day regular extension before Covid extensions come into the picture.

 

Whether entering visa exempt or with a tourist visa will allow you take advantage of Covid extensions will depend on (i) when your permission to stay using the standard 30-day extension ends; and (ii) when Thailand stops allowing Covid extensions. That is why it is unpredictable whether entering with a single entry tourist visa or entering visa exempt will allow the longer stay under a tourist entry. It all depends.

Edited by BritTim
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