Entry to Vietnam advice for others

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  • Stevescoots
    Participant

    I hope this will help some of you who may have been trying to get back into Vietnam since it was closed off on the 15th March

    Just a little background: I have a manufacturing company located in China and Vietnam, neither of them I have been able to get back to since the end of Feb. China I have pretty much written off getting into until after CNY 2021 but as Vn is a relatively new entity I have been desperate to get back. To date I have had 4, maybe 5 commercial flights cancelled and my attempts at trying to get on the Official Vn charters has come to nothing. I note that many other countries in Europe and their relevant trade bodies have arranged flights back for business
    people and investors to Vn in conjunction with the Vn government. In true British fashion nothing, not even a reply to my emails. Anyway, it looks like I have success finally (fingers toes etc crossed) If anyone else is in the same situation I hope this helps you. This only applies to those who qualify as experts or investors.

    1: you have to have approval from inside Vietnam to enter. For this you need a company sponsor. They submit all the details to the local authority to approve

    2: once you have this, they then go to the health department for them to do their approval
    3: after that the docs go to the immigration authority to approve. You need to give a provisional entry date and flight but your approval is not dependant on that flight actually going.

    As the above takes about 4 weeks (or 2 if you know the right people to “drink coffee” with) then you should look at naming a flight 6 weeks from when you start the process.

    4: Once you have all the above then your sponsor contacts EK IN VIETNAM(we asked CX, QR and Vn airlines but they said they are not taking anyone)

    5: They then give you the flight schedule and you choose your flight; they will hold the seat provisionally for a couple of days. When you have that your sponsor books the quarantine hotel. (The list of hotels comes from the local authority who has approved your entry)

    6: You then give the 3 Govt department authorisations and the hotel booking to EK, they check them in a couple of hours then you pay for the flight. The booking is done through EK VN and my understanding is payment has to be done in Vietnam as these bookings cannot be done online.

    7: max 96 hours before flight get a Covid test done in UK and as soon as you have results pass to EK in Vietnam. They will then send that to the CAA VN to do final approval 48 hours before take-off.

    Step 4-6 took my Vn staff and EK 5 hours to do and I have a confirmed seat (subject to CAA approval 2 days before flight) in J for the 14th $4200 LHR-DXB-SGN with a return in November (which I will no doubt push out)
    Of course like all things at these times it can go wrong at any step as the situation is fluid but I have been in touch with many people all around the world who have the approvals to enter but are stuck with commercial seats not available or as in my case being cancelled a week before, including a seat on EK. I know of at least 6 people who have entered this way in past 2 weeks and 8 others going in the next 2 weeks. Facebook does have its uses at times! If it all goes pear shaped because of a 2nd wave hitting some parts of VN I will post up on here

    Hope this helps someone and if the person who advised me how to do it is a reader on here, I owe you and your family that dinner when I get it out of quarantine.

    6 users thanked author for this post.

    Tramor01
    Participant

    Thanks stevescoots for the update.
    I spoke yesterday to a friend of mine who works for the Ministry of Information and Trade in Hanoi. He was telling me that business is suffering badly, and that in his words much of society is closed or at a standstill as people still fear covid-19 returning.
    I’m hoping/aiming to get over to Hanoi early in December, but who knows?


    simeoncox
    Participant

    (So, Stevescoots: how much was the coffee?)

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Stevescoots
    Participant

    Thanks stevescoots for the update.
    I spoke yesterday to a friend of mine who works for the Ministry of Information and Trade in Hanoi. He was telling me that business is suffering badly, and that in his words much of society is closed or at a standstill as people still fear covid-19 returning.
    I’m hoping/aiming to get over to Hanoi early in December, but who knows?

    All sectors are struggling , just like everywhere else i would guess. Its the people with family that have my sympathy, i know many cases where families are split apart because one member is not a Vn citizen or they are but cannot get a repatriation flight (or afford one)


    Stevescoots
    Participant

    Just an update, Vietnam announced today that only Experts/investors etc who held a valid work permit before the outbreak will be able to enter. So business visitors who have a sponsored invite and immigration approval will not be able to enter now (unless you have some seriously high connections!) this is due to the current new breakout there but also the many cases of non experts getting in due to false declarations by companies in VN (i know myself of a couple of ESL teachers who got in by being named as “experts” in something else)

    so far this does not affect people such as myself who have work permit and residency


    ASK1945
    Participant

    ……………….. did anyone else notice the rolling advert alongside the pitch at Wembley during Saturday’s FA Cup Final which stated “Vietnam is now open”? A bit misleading given the above.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    7: max 96 hours before flight get a Covid test done in UK and as soon as you have results pass to EK in Vietnam. They will then send that to the CAA VN to do final approval 48 hours before take-off.

    My colleagues finally got approval and tickets for a repatriation flight this week. However, they were initially told during a meeting at the VN embassy that a Covid 19 test was NOT needed for their travel date, this week.

    Today they were told to go to London for a Covid 19 test and if the results are not back in time, they will be refused boarding.

    This was after they shelled out for a new ticket as they cant use the unused voucher from their original ticket (repatriation not a scheduled flight) and having to pay for 2 lots of accommodation for quarantine (husband and wife being separated).

    This is how Vietnam handle returning nationals and ex-pats….6 months in..

    Sadly, I can not see Asia opening up to us Brits very soon.. 🙁


    Stevescoots
    Participant

    7: max 96 hours before flight get a Covid test done in UK and as soon as you have results pass to EK in Vietnam. They will then send that to the CAA VN to do final approval 48 hours before take-off.

    My colleagues finally got approval and tickets for a repatriation flight this week. However, they were initially told during a meeting at the VN embassy that a Covid 19 test was NOT needed for their travel date, this week.

    Today they were told to go to London for a Covid 19 test and if the results are not back in time, they will be refused boarding.

    This was after they shelled out for a new ticket as they cant use the unused voucher from their original ticket (repatriation not a scheduled flight) and having to pay for 2 lots of accommodation for quarantine (husband and wife being separated).

    This is how Vietnam handle returning nationals and ex-pats….6 months in..

    Sadly, I can not see Asia opening up to us Brits very soon.. 🙁

    TBH Martyn I am not suprised, the Vietnam embassy in london has been about as much use to me getting advise as most UK consulates around the world. I tried for repatriation flight as they put on the website they are organising them and they just kept sending generic replies kicking me back to a department in Saigon for another approval, meanwhile immigration who had to refer me to this other department in Saigon said i don’t need it and round and round it went until i gave up


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    I remember the reaction some months (or was it weeks ago) at the suggestion passengers may need or have the option to wear hazmat suits on flights. Here is a picture of the boarding gate at Heathrow this morning for a repatriation flight to ‘Vietnam’ by Vietnam Airways. Requirements to get on this flight were…

    1. Covid 19 test needed
    2. Comprehensive medical insurance mandated
    3. Special entry visa needed
    4. 14 quarantine at Government facility (although there was an indication this may be changed on arrival, to their home)
    5. Full Hazmat suit for all passengers issued at boarding gate
    6. My colleague was still not aware at check in of the actual arrival airport in Vietnam

    Perhaps the Vietnamese are going over the top, perhaps other countries are being way too casual. Either way, I cant see long haul travel, especially to Asia, being easy to achieve for some considerable time.

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    K1ngston
    Participant

    7: max 96 hours before flight get a Covid test done in UK and as soon as you have results pass to EK in Vietnam. They will then send that to the CAA VN to do final approval 48 hours before take-off.

    My colleagues finally got approval and tickets for a repatriation flight this week. However, they were initially told during a meeting at the VN embassy that a Covid 19 test was NOT needed for their travel date, this week.

    Today they were told to go to London for a Covid 19 test and if the results are not back in time, they will be refused boarding.

    This was after they shelled out for a new ticket as they cant use the unused voucher from their original ticket (repatriation not a scheduled flight) and having to pay for 2 lots of accommodation for quarantine (husband and wife being separated).

    This is how Vietnam handle returning nationals and ex-pats….6 months in..

    Sadly, I can not see Asia opening up to us Brits very soon.. 🙁

    Quid Pro Quo Martyn, no Asian countries on the UK list where they have done far better than the UK…. I think its as simple as that!

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    Completely agree with you K1ngston, Asia has done well in terms of the total number of Covid 19 victims. The point of my contribution to this thread was to highlight the different extremes countries impose on travellers/nationals trying to enter / cross borders.

    One the one side you have countries with open borders (with some sort of semi serious, perhaps casual, quarantine) and the other extreme, countries with strict border restrictions and seriously controlled quarantine.

    Death and infection rates have differed immensely between the 2 extremes….

    The final part of my colleagues’s journey back to Vietnam. They were under the impression prior to travel they were likely (or there was a chance) to be allowed to quarantine is their home. On arrival, they were kept back until all 200 + passengers had been processed and were then told they had to go into a Government approved hotel to quarantine for 2 weeks. Cost ca. $5,000 (for hotel). In total it has cost them around $15,000 to get back to their home (which they will get to in 14 days time).

    Different protocols, different countries, different levels of suffering and also differing effects to the economies.


    Stevescoots
    Participant

    Completely agree with you K1ngston, Asia has done well in terms of the total number of Covid 19 victims. The point of my contribution to this thread was to highlight the different extremes countries impose on travellers/nationals trying to enter / cross borders.

    One the one side you have countries with open borders (with some sort of semi serious, perhaps casual, quarantine) and the other extreme, countries with strict border restrictions and seriously controlled quarantine.

    Death and infection rates have differed immensely between the 2 extremes….

    The final part of my colleagues’s journey back to Vietnam. They were under the impression prior to travel they were likely (or there was a chance) to be allowed to quarantine is their home. On arrival, they were kept back until all 200 + passengers had been processed and were then told they had to go into a Government approved hotel to quarantine for 2 weeks. Cost ca. $5,000 (for hotel). In total it has cost them around $15,000 to get back to their home (which they will get to in 14 days time).

    Different protocols, different countries, different levels of suffering and also differing effects to the economies.

    Sorry to hear that Martyn, nobody can qurantine at home unless they are diplomatic/high party officials or live in a company dormitory and the company has send several staff back (govt needs to approve) Hotels are charging 50-250 USD a night on average depending on what level they want. For example i was originally booked into a very local place 2* and it was $50 a night, as i have hit a snag (see below) I am now booked in the Ibis Q7 in HCM which is $100 a night. not counting air-fair then all the paperwork hotel personell time test blah blah then my costs when i finally get released will be north of $3500


    Stevescoots
    Participant

    So, my cunning plan hit a snag yesterday, or should I say the wonder of government bureaucracy!
    Originally we applied to HCM as I have residency there and that would be port of entry, they said no must to applications through LongAn authorities as my company is registered there (less than 1km over the HCM border) So we did that, all approved, quarantined hotels booked. EK say all is good and submit details to the CAAV….who then say no. because I am entering HCM I have to have application done by HCM, who said cannot do before. HCM now say can do but need LongAn to submit the paperwork to them, they say they have never done that before so not sure what to do…. or have to do all new applications in HCM, another 4-6 weeks. Now I have to wait for one govt department in one province to communicate with another. I think a few coffees may need to be drunk. Looks like I will miss my 14th flight but maybe get the 21st one.

    so, for my original post you need to be sure that application is done by the local authority of your company and then done again by the CDC in the port arrival area.

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