Spouse Visa In Vietnam: All You Need To Know

Navigating the labyrinth of paperwork for visas can feel like deciphering an ancient code.

And if it’s for a spouse visa in Vietnam? Well, let’s just say it’s like playing charades with a mime.

But fret not! We’ve demystified the process for you.

Let’s dive in!


What Is A 5 Year Visa Exemption?

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This is issued to foreigners and functions as a document/certificate that allows you to travel to and from Vietnam to visit your spouse. 

This is a free visa granted for a period of 5 years, and if you are already in Vietnam, you do not need to leave the country to apply for it.

This is one of the longest visa certificates issued by the Vietnamese immigration authority, and saves a great deal of time and energy from having to apply for and renew a Vietnamese visa repeatedly. 

While the maximum validity of the document is 5 years, it will expire 6 months prior to the expiry of your passport. So be sure to keep that in mind if you wish to have the full 5 year validity. That is, your passport must have the required validity too.

The document ensures that you can enter Vietnam any time during the time that it is valid. However, it restricts your stay to 6 months or 180 days each time you enter the country. You must exit the country every 6 months and cannot stay consecutively for the 5 year period.

Who Is Eligible To Apply For The 5 Year Exemption?

You must fulfill certain conditions before you apply for the visa exemption document. In particular:

  • You are an overseas Vietnamese (i.e. a Vietnamese residing abroad), are a spouse or child of either an overseas Vietnamese or a Vietnamese citizen.
  • You have a passport with a validity of at least 1 year.
  • You have all the necessary documents to prove that you qualify for the visa exemption.
  • You have not been banned from entering Vietnam.

How Can I Apply For The 5 Year Visa Exemption?

Here is the procedure you will need to follow if you wish to apply for the spouse visa exemption:

  1. Prepare the necessary documents
  2. Submit the documents at the embassy
  3. Wait for your application to be processed

Prepare The Necessary Documents

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You must have the following documents before you submit your application:

  • A passport or equivalent international travel document with a 1 year validity.
  • A completed copy of the NA9 visa application form.
  • 2 recent passport sized photographs on a white background. One of these will be attached to the application form and the other is to be put in separately.
  • A notarized copy of the original document that is proof that you are married to an overseas Vietnamese or a Vietnamese citizen (this can be a registration of marriage or a family relationship certificate).
  • A copy of the ID document or passport of your Vietnamese spouse. You will also need their house registration book (also called the Red Book).

Submit The Documents At The Embassy

If you are applying from a foreign country, you will need to submit the documents via post or in person to the embassy or consulate. If you are already in Vietnam with your spouse, you can submit the documents at the Vietnam Immigration Department in Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi.

If your documents are complete and sufficient as assessed by the immigration officer, you will be issued a receipt. If not, you will be told about other documents you need to submit for the approval process.

Wait For Your Application To Be Processed

Once you have submitted all the documents and forms, you will then need to wait for your application to be processed. This can take around 5 to 7 working days from the date that you submit a complete dossier. In case of missing documents, it might take longer.

Once processing is complete, you will need to present the receipt that was issued to you and collect your visa exemption document. In some locations, you can also request that the documents be sent to you via mail.

How Can I Extend The Stay Duration?

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The longest duration that you can stay in Vietnam with each entry is 6 months during the validity of your visa exemption.

If you wish to stay back in Vietnam without having to exit and enter again, you can apply for a visa extension. This will allow you to stay another 6 months.

You will need to submit all the documents that you submitted for the original visa exemption document, to the Immigration Department.

The only difference is the application form: this time around you will need to submit an NA5 application form.


In the dance of documentation and bureaucracy, knowing the right steps can make all the difference.

Hopefully, with this guide in hand, your journey to securing a spouse visa in Vietnam feels less like a perplexing puzzle and more like a stroll in a Hanoi park. Ready to embark?

Visa Victory!

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