Located 450 km away from Hanoi, the province of Lai Chau is known for its fascinating landscape consisting of high mountain ranges, narrow alleys, majestic rivers, and fascinating hot springs. Situated at an altitude of 1,500 meters above sea level, Lai Chau is a popular destination for mountain trekkers. It’s home to the highest mountain of Indochina, Mount Fansipan. Indeed, Lai Chau is a dream destination for tourists who love nature and adventure, so it’s not a surprise why thousands of foreign tourists would flock to this beautiful province each year, with some of them deciding to stay a little bit longer.
If you are a foreigner based in Lai Chau and you wanted to extend your stay in Vietnam, you don’t need to travel to Hanoi or anywhere else to process your visa. You can simply go to the Vietnam Immigration Office in Lai Chau and request a visa extension or renewal.
When extending your Vietnam visa in Lai Chau, the first thing to do is to fill out the form known as the NA5 form. This form is available to download online. Just go to the website of Vietnam Immigration and download the form. Print it out and fill out the form completely. Submit it to the Vietnam Immigration Office in Lai Chau along with your passport and visa. Make sure your passport’s validity date is at least six months from the extension date of your visa. So if you’re requesting for your visa to be extended until February 2021, your passport should not expire before August 2021.
There’s a processing fee that you need to pay when getting your visa extended and you need to exit Vietnam before your visa expires. Take note that you can only extend your visa a maximum of two times. Also, you cannot request an extension of more than the validity period of your visa. So if you’re holding a visa that is only good for 30 days, you can only get it extended for 30 days or less.
The processing time for the Vietnam visa extension is 3 to 5 business days. It could take longer depending on the number of applications they will receive. To avoid delays, make sure to send in your visa extension request as soon as you can.
If the visa extension will not work for you, consider applying for a visa renewal to get your visa extended in Vietnam. This option is suitable for those who are not holding any visas because they are part of the visa exemption program of Vietnam.
To request a visa renewal, go to the Vietnam Immigration Office in Lai Chau. Inform the staff that you need a visa renewal request and they will ask you to fill out the form. After you fill out the form, submit it together with your passport. Since you will be issued a new visa, make sure that your passport has extra blank pages for the visa sticker to be attached. The cost of the processing fee for a visa renewal is higher than that of the visa extension. But since you no longer need to exit the country and you will be issued a new visa, the visa renewal is still a good option.
After submitting your visa renewal application, wait for 3 to 5 business days for your request to be processed. If it’s approved, the Vietnam Immigration Office in Lai Chau will call you to claim your passport. When you receive your passport, it will have the new visa attached to it.
If you’re confused about the process of applying for a visa renewal or extension, you can get assistance from a local agency. The agency will process the visa renewal or extension on your behalf and all you need is to submit the requirements and pay for their services. Their services don’t cost a lot, but they can make the process of applying for a visa extension or renewal easier for you.
The agency can also explain the difference between visa extension and renewal. This allows you to make the best decision on which option will work for you. If you needed the request to be approved as soon as possible since your visa is about to expire, you can ask for their help in expediting the process of your visa renewal or extension. These agencies have direct contacts to the Vietnam Immigration Office in Lai Chau and they can help in facilitating the fast approval of your request. They are experts in this field, so they could address whatever issues you have concerning your Vietnam visa.