T-32: Vis à Vis

T-32: Vis à Vis

Amongst the many things you need to organise before travelling there are certain countries that require visas.

Side note: thanks to Brexit a whole lot more very soon…. but at least the £ hasn’t fallen…

£ drop

Oh.

We are travelling to the following countries; Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand and (potentially) the Cook Islands. In order to get our information we went to Gov.uk – however all countries have their own visa requirements website for the latest information.

For a quick summary skip to the bottom.

Please note all the information below is for British passport holders.

.

Thailand

For less than 30 days we do not need a visa and our passports have 6 months validity. At first we thought we may need one as we are returning after our ‘Stray Asia’ trip to do the south islands however according to the Thai EmbassyForeigners who enter Thailand under the Tourist Visa Exemption category and would like to leave and re-enter may only stay for a cumulative duration which does not exceed 90 days and is within a 6-month period from the date of first entry.‘ So no visa required.

To note, while the Thai Embassy website is in Thai – the visa page is english! 

.

Laos

Visas can be secured before arrival via your local Laos Embassy however they appear to be easy to get on arrival. They cost around Thai Baht 1,500.00 (around £32) each. You need 6 months validity on a British passport. We will be getting ours at the Chiang Khong/Houay Xai border.

 

Cambodia

Travelling from both Laos and Vietnam to Cambodia you can get a visa on arrival, however be aware not all border crossings are open to tourists, and not all border crossings allow visa on arrival. We will be passing through Don Det and therefore we can get a visa on arrival. The visa costs 30 USD or around £23.

Additionally according to Gov.uk there are a few key things to note:

  • ‘Tourist visas issued by a Royal Cambodian Embassy abroad may appear to have a longer validity than 1 month. The validity of the visa refers to time you have to enter Cambodia.’
  • ‘The visa is valid for 30 days from the actual date of entry into Cambodia.’
  • ‘Make sure your passport is stamped on arrival, and keep the departure form.’

.

Vietnam

The Vietnamese visa is the “most complicated” to get (it’s not very). A visa is required to be purchased before travel, this can be done via post or in person at the Embassy. There are certain companies that will do e-visas however it’s advised by the Embassy that many of these companies are fraudulent so we avoided!

As a postal visa requires your passport to be posted to the Embassy and we don’t have a printer to print the forms (ours broke recently) we decided to visit the Embassy. On arrival at the Embassy a form is filled in and your passport plus a passport photo is handed over. You then pay the fee of £52 and come back around a week later to collect your passport and visa.

The Embassy was about an hour away from us and the queues were pretty long, but visiting allowed us to ask questions, such as ‘we aren’t sure our travel dates yet’ – turns out you can enter any day after the date you enter, but it’s only valid for 30 days from the date on the form.

The London Embassy of Vietnam address:

Embassy of Viet Nam (Consular Section)
12-14 Victoria Road,
London W8 5RD
Tel: 0207 937 1912
Fax:  0207 565 3853 or 0207 937 6108
Email: consular@vietnamembassy.org.uk

Opening Time: 09.30 to 12.30 ONLY, Monday to Friday
Please note that there is NO appointment system at the Embassy.

 

To note (and not waste your time), there are two queues at the Embassy (left is application, right is payment and collection) don’t stand in the wrong queue for 20 minutes for no reason!

We are a little concerned we applied for our visas to start too early, however they can be easily extended at a number of locations; Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, and Hanoi. Just be aware it takes a few days to process.

.

Malaysia

A visa is not required for less than 3 months; however it is highlighted that Malaysia are running a number of strict campaign against illegal immigration – make sure you don’t go over.

.

Indonesia

You don’t need a visa to enter Indonesia for visits of up to 30 days; however to note visa-free visits can’t be extended or transferred to another type of visa.

.

Australia

A visa is required and can be ordered online. I found our ‘eVisitor’ visa via their visa finder. The process was simple, and no dates were required which is good as our dates near the end of the trip become a little rough!

Key thing to note: Proof of funds and an onwards ticket may be required as evidence on arrival. 

.

New Zealand

You don’t need a visa to enter New Zealand for visits of up to 6 months; however an onwards ticket is required when entering.

.

Rarotonga (Cook Islands)

Unfortunately Gov.uk does not have a page for the Cook Islands, however I have found that no visa is required for less than 30 days, a passport must be valid for 6 months, and an onwards ticket must be held.

.

Summary

Pending on your home country and the country you are heading to a number of different requirements are held – and this isn’t even including medical certificates! We have done tonnes of research into visa’s however it was only while writing this blog I realised we didn’t require a visa for our second stint in Thailand. The below is a summary of our requirements for ease:

 

Country

Visa Requirements

Cost

Passport Requirements

How to get Visa

Website

Thailand

Not required for less than 30 days N/A 6 months validity N/A Click

Laos

Yes Thai Baht 1,500.00

£32 each

6 months validity On arrival Click

Cambodia

Yes  30USD

£23 each

6 months validity On arrival  Click

Vietnam

Over 15 days £52 each 6 months validity for 15 days

1 month validity for 15 days +

At the Vietnamese Embassy Click

Malaysia

Not required under 3 months N/A 6 months validity N/A Click

Indonesia

Not required for less than 30 days N/A 6 months validity  N/A Click

Australia

Yes No fee Length of stay Online Click

New Zealand

Not required for less than 6 months N/A 1 month validity from date of exit N/A Click

Rarotonga

Not required for less than 31 days N/A  6 months validity N/A N/A

 

All information is correct as of 09/07/2016 for a British Passport – please check directly before you travel

 

General Update

We have now shopped till we dropped, have all our visa’s ordered and are almost done with our vaccinations (thank god!) We have only a month to go and it’s finally starting to feel like we might actually be doing this.