Visa differences between Vietnam and Thailand

in #life2 months ago

I've been talking for quite some time about how the changes in policies regarding visas in Thailand have finally tipped the scales and after more than 15 years of me living there I am gonna get out of Thailand. I was unsure, until today about how the visa situation with Vietnam, my future home, would end up being.


Getting a long-term visa for Thailand is nigh on impossible these days. It doesn't seem to matter what the circumstances surrounding your case are; if you have already had a 1-year visa, their objective seems to be to find any reason they possibly can to say "no" to the following year.

In the past I was able to circumvent this by simply returning to USA and getting a new passport but recently, Thailand has installed biometric machines where they take down all of your finger and thumb-prints. So that avenue is now closed as well.


When I left Thailand today, they asked me a bunch of patronizing and aggressive questions about what I have been doing the entire time like they weren't going to let me leave if I didn't provide the "correct" answers. At the end of it all, the uniformed gentleman gave my passport back to me almost with disdain.

It is also worth noting that in order to obtain my 1 year visa I was forced to sign up for classes, constantly let immigration know my whereabouts even if staying with a friend for a few days, report in every 90 days to be subject to questioning (after waiting in line for the pleasure), submit hundreds of pages of documents, pay over $1200, and at the end of it all, get treated like crap anytime I was interacting with an immigration official.

Let's compare this to the process in Vietnam:

You apply for a "approval letter" online with the Vietnamese embassy and pay something like $20 to have the .pdf sent to you. It is a one-page form and the questions are simply easy things like your name, your passport number, and what kind of visa you want to have. It was so easy I was convinced it was a scam.

You get the letter a few days later, presumably if you are not on an FBI or Interpol list, print it out, and fill out a 1-page form in ALL CAPS!

Then when you arrive at the airport you submit it to an immigration official. Too easy right? no way this could be true, right?

Well it is.


Today when i turned in my 3 PAGES of documents and paid the $135 visa fee I had a 1-year multiple entry visa in my passport 5 minutes later. The staff behind the counter even smiled and called me "sir." I don't think I have ever seen a Thai immigration official smile, ever.

There were no questions, no giving intimate details about where I am going to be living, no grilling about "what are you doing in my country?" It was a simple exchange and it was extremely efficient and pleasant.

I don't have much of an opinion about Vietnam yet, because I have only been here about 10 hours, but so far the country is already winning me over. Now I just gotta go figure out some of the language.

Keep in mind this is not the case with short-term visas. Tourism visas for the short term are still very easy to obtain and they are free for the most part. It seems to me that this is the only sector of foreign involvement they are interested in and for their sake, I hope they have a good reason for doing that because people like myself are leaving in droves


You are moving to Vietnam? wow. nice
Yearly multi visa seems cool, I thought as a communist country, immigration will be more difficult. Otherwise I would consider Vietnam a nice place to live.

I always thought that German authorities are strict but it's nothing compared to Thailand. The amount of nonsense bureaucracy is just ridiculous (This strategy will not work in the long run and they might highly regret it)..

I'm lucky enough that I work for a company and they do all of the Visa work for me. But as soon as I will start to work on my own I definitely need to consider another country (even I really like Thailand).

Anyway, I wish you a good start on this new chapter!

thanks buddy. It wasn't always like this in TH... the ease of living there was what attracted me to the country in the first place. I don't know why they are changing everything but it's their country, and I supposed they are going to do what they want! I just hope they have a plan in place of the Thai people that are going to be potentially negatively affected by this.

Glad you had such an easy time with this and didn't have to worry about any government official ripping the condom off and spreading your cheeks to show you how truly to integrate into their society.

Also, I figured you had to be moving due to some dumb shit with visa's. Thailand's process sounds about as fun as eating a bowl of glass and cat piss.

well they want us to come in, stay for a month or two, spend a crap ton of money and then fuck off. However, those numbers are suffering as well and they are losing the valuable retiree population who simply take their pensions out of their own countries and spend it all over in Thailand. I think they will end up regretting this bigly.

Although this doesn't really apply to the teacher folk like myself I do hear constant rumblings about how difficult it is becoming to keep a visa in Thailand. The thing is, if all of these estranged people move to Vietnam, how long before they do the same thing?

well it's funny you would say that. There is proposed legislation that could make my visa celebration end a bit early! It's a long story so i'll get to that later :(

Any issues getting your hound across the border? We need pet passports over here, it's a lot of hassle getting animals in other countries. The rabies scare for one, it's in Europe but thankfully not in the UK.

the doggo stuff isn't so difficult if you have the doge passport and all the shots up to date.

In my situations that was a piece of cake bc i was doing all of those things anyway but yeah, if someone wasn't getting the shots and what not and tried at the last minute to get a dog across the border, it would be really tough if no impossible.

I don't blame you for getting out as that is just crazy. They will be crying in a few years to see what the damage has done. Vietnam sounds amazing and progressive and look forward to you filling us in on how it is going.

In thailand u eat rice mostly, in vn you eat noodle. Thailand they want to push you out because there are too many western people there, vn will so the same thing to you once they see too many of you.

We eat alot of noodles too surprisingly 🍜🍜🍜

I think vn food got more noodles dishes than thai.

That's very surprising Thailand being so foreigners unfriendly. I thought they'd welcome them, as they have all these years. What changed?

I don't know to be honest but I have seen the changes coming gradually over around the past decade. When i first moved to Thailand in 2004 it was similar to the way the visa system in Vietnam is now... they just let anyone in.

I know my opinion is jaded because I am a bit anti-government in a general sense but I think this might be a case of 'over-managing" the situation. The saying goes "if it isn't broken the government will fix it until it is!"

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Damn shame! Had some good days hanging out in Thailand.

Glad to hear things are going smoothly for once. Hope the rest of the move goes just as smoothly. Good luck with the new language! Looking forward to seeing the new area as you explore it!!!

I am already loving Vietnam, it's a visa stress free country💖

That is pretty awesome. It sounds like Vietnam is going to be a really great fit for you and you are really going to find a great home there. It's funny that you were basically forced into this move, but it may end up being one of the best things for you. I wish you the best of luck getting the lay of the land and figuring out where your place in this new country will be.

Howdy sir gooddream! Amazing. Do you plan to stay there long? I heard it's a fascinating and modern country now. I wish you much success.

i plan to live in Vietnam at least for a year. I am totally new to it at this point and everything is an adventure. I live in a very touristy area so there is a lot of English spoken but the cuisine, traffic, and customs are all very new to me.

It is quite modern but i base this on having been here 3 days and the electricity and electric has been pretty solid so far!

OH man, this experience is going to produce such interesting posts!

Nice outline. Thanks for sharing that. Happy Friday GoodDream.

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