Expatriates residing in Vietnam face the intricate and expensive process of extending their visas, a procedure allowed only once for each visa. Consequently, many individuals find themselves in a position where exiting and re-entering Vietnam with a new visa becomes a necessity for prolonged stays. An economical solution adopted by those in proximity to Ho Chi Minh City is the visa run to Moc Bai, a border checkpoint with Cambodia, known for being the most cost-effective option.
In preparing for a visa run to Moc Bai, it's essential to be aware of the prerequisites, the steps involved, the duration of the run, and the associated costs. Be it traveling via motorbike or shuttle bus, this information is crucial for anyone looking to navigate the process smoothly and efficiently.
Essentials for Your Moc Bai Visa Run
Prior to embarking on your visa journey to Moc Bai, ensure you have these items:
Valid Passport: Should be valid for minimum six months from the date you anticipate entering Vietnam.
Visa Documents: Carry the relevant visa documentation:
Writing Instrument: Bring a pen to complete necessary documentation.
Visa Fees: Have the following fees on hand:
Photographs: Two passport-sized photos in compliance with visa on arrival photograph specifications.
Additional items include the Vietnam E-visa and the approval letter for obtaining a Vietnam business visa upon arrival. Make these preparations to ensure a smooth process at the Moc Bai border crossing.
Executing a Visa Run at the Moc Bai Border Checkpoint
Traveling to Moc Bai from Saigon
Individuals wishing to reach the Moc Bai border from Saigon can select from various transport modes such as motorbike, city bus, private bus, taxi, and hired vehicle.
By Motorbike or Hired Vehicle:
One can travel via motorbike or private car towards Cu Chi and then take Route QL22 straight to the border, a distance of approximately 70 kilometers from Saigon. Although the journey via motorbike may be somewhat taxing due to heat and the necessity to secure parking at the border, it provides a chance to appreciate the scenic route.
By Public Bus:
Taking the economical blue public bus No.703 from the 23/9 Park bus station is an affordable option. For a round trip on the same day, it's advisable to commence the visa run early, preferably by 9am, as buses from Moc Bai back to Saigon cease operations around 4-5pm. The trip generally lasts 3 hours.
By Private Bus:
Office locations along Pham Ngu Lao Street offer bookings for private buses that travel directly to Moc Bai, with prices ranging from $10 to $12.
Upon arrival at Moc Bai, you should leave your vehicle or bus, then proceed on foot to the Vietnamese immigration building. Here, you'll wait in line at a designated booth to obtain an exit stamp on your passport—a process which can take up to half an hour. Following this, you’ll proceed towards the Cambodian frontier.
Crossing into Cambodia and Leaving
After exiting Vietnam, you'll head towards the Cambodian checkpoint just a short walk away. At the visa booth, you'll either present a pre-obtained visa or purchase a visa on arrival for roughly $30. Whilst filling out necessary forms, some locals might offer assistance for a fee, a service which is optional.
Once in Cambodia, you'll need to obtain an entry stamp at a nearby building. It's wise to have U.S. dollars ready for any visa fees to avoid high exchange rates. Smaller, unblemished bills are preferable and can be exchanged at gold shops near Ben Thanh Market prior to departure.
To conclude your visa run, return to the Vietnamese side and enter the immigration building once more. Should you require a COVID test, it can be done at the border for about $10. With your passport, entry paperwork, and health test certificate in hand, you’ll go through the process to re-enter Vietnam.
Successfully completing these steps will grant you a new duration of stay in Vietnam. The entire visa run can take between 3 to 5 hours, dependent on whether health certificates are arranged beforehand. Then, you're ready to return to Saigon using your chosen means of transport.
Expedited Visa Run to Moc Bai
The service provides a comprehensive solution for those seeking assistance with their visa runs to Moc Bai. The all-inclusive package includes:
Clients will receive a personal pickup from their location, followed by guidance through the necessary immigration procedures, including securing an exit stamp from Vietnam at Moc Bai and the corresponding entry stamp at Ba Vet in Cambodia. The support continues for the return trip, simplifying the re-entry into Vietnam.