More information indicating that Vietnam blacklist could be a myth

in #vietnam2 months ago

When the visa rules in Vietnam changed dramatically and abruptly earlier this year a lot of people were concerned. There was a bunch of information that was being passed around, mostly on social media (so you know it has to be true) about if people didn't comply with the new regulations they would be fined and then "blacklisted" from re-entering Vietnam for a period of time, some of the graver threats or rumors included not being allowed to re-enter Vietnam for up to 5 years.

Almost immediately people started to look for stories of people that had been blacklisted from coming back into Vietnam and nobody was able to find a single instance of this actually happening to anyone that they know and the only information about this happening to people they did not know was in situations where someone had committed a crime unrelated to immigration.

While I do not know the official word, since immigration here is notoriously tight-lipped about what actually goes on behind the scenes, I do know what has actually been experienced by people that I personally know and here is a new and recent situation.


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Full disclosure: I don't personally know this person, but I do know the person who knows this person and have known him for many years. I trust him and know that he is not the type of person who spews bullshit just to have something interesting to talk about in get-togethers. Basically, he is one of the peopel that if he says something, you can count on it being true and if he doesn't have the details, he doesn't fill in the blanks to create the illusion of being someone "in the know.

He is friends with a guy whose legal visa expired during Covid-times. It was some time in the middle of next year, around March.

This guy, like a lot of other people, has simply been not renewing visas ever since. Something came about in his life and he needed to return to the United States and was prepared to "face the music" when he went to Immigration in order to get his exit visa arranged. He knew he was going to get reprimanded and fined. The current maximum find or anyone overstaying more than 90 days is 20 million VND or around $800.

In the end the biggest hassle of all of this was how long it took. It took around 3 weeks for them to process his exit visa and in the end they didn't even hit him with the maximum fine. It cost him 17 million VND. He was then allowed another month to get his affairs in order and legally exit the country. There was no jail, there were no additional fines, and he was treated the same as everyone else when he went to the airport to board his international flight back to USA.

He lives in a city in the USA where there is a Vietnam consulate and just to see if it was possible, he went to that office to see if he would even be eligible for a return visa. He did not acquire the visa but said that all of the staff there in L.A. were cheerful and told him that as soon as he wants a visa that it would not be a problem. He can go back anytime he wants.

Keep in mind that I am not encouraging anyone to violate the visa rules of any country. I am only bringing this up because when Immigration here sprung this news on us, there wasn't enough time for many people to make arrangements to comply. Some people, like myself, had no choice but to overstay since the 8 days or so that they gave us to wrap things up and get out, simply wasn't enough. Therefore, if you are one of the many thousands of people that are currently in this situation, rest easy. There still isn't a single case that myself of my friends can find of a person actually being denied re-entry to Vietnam, and the amount of time they overstayed doesn't seem to be terribly relevant.

I will continue to monitor this situation as it goes on but at this point the threat of being blacklisted seems to be a narrative that is put out there by agencies seeking to make money off of people and I suppose that is nothing new.

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