Visas – Southeast Asia

One of the biggest mistakes I made was not researching into Visas more before travelling! Although it’s sometimes possible to buy visas in the airport, this is not applicable in every country – so it’s definitely worth checking into before flying.

Tip: Take at least 10 passport photos with you. So many of these countries require 2. Also, 2 photocopies of any visas you apply for online and 10 photocopies of your passport, and a least $150 US – most of these countries LOVE the dollar!

Thailand:

  • Most nationalities, including Americans, Australians and most Europeans receive a free 30 day tourist visa upon arrival into Thailand by air. However, some countries are only allowed 15 days free.
  • Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months upon entering.
  • Penalty for late departure: 500 baht/day. The maximum fine for overstay that you can pay is 20,000 baht after this you may face deportation at your own cost or imprisonment.
  • Visa extension: Visas can be renewed for a fee at immigration points. The cost is 1900 baht for 7 days extra and it can be extended only once. If you leave the country and return, your visa will be renewed for free. You can exit and re-enter the country as many times as you like this way and most travel agents can arrange border runs to neighbouring countries.
  • Tip: Try not to lose your departure card! It’s always worth asking the airport to stamp the departure card into your Passport to save accidentally throwing it into the bin (like me). It’s possible to get another departure card, so don’t worry too much. Just saves the hassle!

Cambodia:

  • Most nationalities can obtain a one month tourist Visa upon arrival which costs around $30.
  • At land border crossings, notably the Thai/Cambodian border, the fee can be more expensive as the cost is paid in Thai baht and is sometimes rounded up considerably (currently 1200 baht).
  • You will need two passport photos to apply, or you will be charged extra (usually only $1-2).
  • Passports must be valid for up to 6 months before entering.
  • You can also now apply for an E-visa online at the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation. You can pre-order your visa for a set price of $25 set price ($20 visa and $5 processing charge). You will need a digital photo of yourself to upload. Processing takes three days and you will get the visa straight to your mailbox.
  • Visa extension: Visa extensions can be obtained at Phnom Penh immigration office – opposite the International Airport. Tourist visas can be extended one month (around US$35). Some guest houses and travel agencies will also offer the service for a fee. For longer extensions ask for details at the Immigration Office.

Indonesia:

  • Nationals of Australia, Canada, USA, UK and most European countries are eligible for a 30 day visa upon entry, which costs around US $35.00 (cost varies depending on point of entry). Payments can be made in US Dollars only.
  • Some countries in Indonesia don’t require a visa if you’re staying under 2 weeks – but you have to check this.
  • You will need 2 passport photographs and your passport must be valid for up to 6 months before entering.
  • Penalty for late departure: Up to $20 / day. For more than 60 days overstay travellers risk deportation or imprisonment.

Laos:

  • Most nationalities can obtain a 30 day visa for Laos at international airports and land border crossings.
  • The cost ranges from $20 – $42, depending on your nationality.
  • At the Thailand/Laos border (Nong Khai – Vientiane) if you pay in Thai baht fees can be more expensive. The airport will take US dollar, Laos Kip and Baht.
  • You will need 2 passport photos and your passport must be valid for at least 6 months upon entering.
  • Visa extension: Visa extensions can be applied for at the Vientiane Immigration Office, which costs US$2 / day for 30 days. Extensions can also be obtained from some travel agents for around US$3. 90 day extensions are available, ask at the embassy for details.
  • Penalty for late departure: Up to US$10/day. Long overstays can lead to arrest and imprisonment.

Philippines:

  • Tourist visas are granted free of charge upon entry for most nationalities for a stay up to 21 days. However, you may be required to show valid tickets for an onward destination.
  • For longer stays you should apply for a tourist visa before arrival at a Philippine Embassy.
  • The cost for a three month single entry visa is usually $30, but ask at the embassy for up to date information. Longer visas for up to 12 months are available. You can download application forms at the Bureau of Immigration, Philippines Official Website.
  • Visas take two to three working days to process and passports must be valid for at least 6 months upon entering.
  • Visa extension: When in the Philippines, you are able extend your 21 day visa for up to 59 days at immigration offices. Costs apply.

Singapore:

  • Citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, the UK and most other European countries are granted either a 14 or 30-day tourist pass upon entry to Singapore.
  • Duration of pass depends on nationality and point of entry. USA citizens receive 90 days. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months upon entering and you may need an onward ticket.
  • Visa extension: Extensions of up to 90 days can be applied for at the consulate in Singapore.

Vietnam:

  •  Vietnam is definitely the country that causes the most hassle when it comes to getting the visa. Visas for entering Vietnam must be arranged in advance. You can do this at the Vietnamese embassies in whichever country you are in and some travel agencies also offer the service. Visas can also be obtained in advance via Vietnam Airlines online via www.vietnamvisaconsultant.com
  • The stamping fee for a visa on arrival at the airport is fixed: US$45 per person for single entry and US$ 65-95 per person for multiple entry visa.
  • You will need one passport sized photograph and your passport must be valid for at least 6 months upon entering.
  • You can also apply for 90 day visas, which have been issued for more than a year, costing US $100.00.
  • Visa extension: 30 day extensions can be obtained from travel agents in Hanoi, HCMC or Danang. The process can take up to 5 days and the fee is usually US$30.

I hope this information helps you! Just remember every country is different with the nationalities. So be sure to do your research prior to flying to Southeast Asia.

Jess

The Wondering Dreamer x