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Navigating from Taipei to Vietnam – Visa Options

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Most travellers entering Vietnam need a visa, which includes those traveling from the USA, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand. If you are in Taipei or elsewhere in Taiwan and are looking to get a visa to Taipei there is an option I recommend that I always choose for obtaining a visa.

 

The easiest way to get a visa is to send your passport to a travel agency that specializes in visa applications. For me I go through Whose Travel, a Taichung-based travel agency that is partially run by a foreigner. I have used this site several times for obtaining visas, including to China and Vietnam. The way it works is that you email them stating your intended travel destination(s) and state that you would like their application services. They then send you details concerning the mailing address and approximate delivery time.

 

I am always a little bit weary sending my passport in the mail but I always go through registered mail and make sure to get a tracking code in order to ensure safety. To send from Taipei to Taichung typically takes 1 day and Whose Travel will notify you when they receive the application. You need to remember to include at least 2 photos in the envelope or how ever many the rep at Whose indicates depending on the applications. For Vietnam alone it is 2 pictures.

 

To pay there are 2 main options – credit card and wire transfer. The credit card option isn’t the most convenient and they will ask for you to fill out a form with your card info in order to process payment. This is safe but I personally don’t like this method unless it is a direct transaction through a SSL certified site. I usually go for the wire transfer to their local bank in Taiwan but as many people know this requires you to physically walk to an ATM and do what otherwise could be achieved via computer in the West (one of my major pet peeves).

 

My entire application process took about 8 business days and was sent back to my doorstep in registered mail. The entire process was smooth and I was very happy with Whose communication throughout the process. The only catch to a getting a Vietnam visa is that you need to know ahead of time when you will be landing, as the Vietnam government calculates the landing period in the visa for 1 month from the date you state on the application. This means you will need to secure a date ahead of time before sending the application. You wont necessarily have to have bought the ticket already but at least know what day you will be leaving for Vietnam. If you don’t buy the ticket though you run the risk of it getting sold out!

 

All flights to Vietnam take off from the Taoyuan International Airport and take about two and a half hours. Getting to the airport can be done via taxi, bus or Uber.

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