I’m a foreigner bearing a foreign passport and staying in Ho Chi Minh City on my visit to the country. On arrival, I have had my bag stolen with my passport and visa in it. What can I do to have them re-granted?
According to Vietnamese law, you have to request the re-grant of your passport and visa immediately regardless of whether they are misplaced, stolen or otherwise lost.
In your case, within 48 hours after the loss is discovered, you have to fill in a form reporting the loss of passport and visa at the police office of the locality where the loss occurs. In such a form, you have to clearly state your full name, nationality, reason for loss of visa and passport, and the date and place of issuance thereof.
The Immigration Management Department of the Ministry of Public Security will verify the information you provide and issue a notice of immediate invalidation of your visa (it will no longer be valid for anyone else to use for illegal purposes).
As you may know, once invalidated, your passport and visa can no longer be used anywhere. Therefore, you should carefully look for them once again before submitting your request to the police.
Foreigners receive Vietnamese visas at an international airport __Photo: Internet
After your passport and visa are invalidated, you have to contact the Vietnam-based consular office of your country to apply for a travel permit or a new passport, and request such office to issue a diplomatic note to notify the invalidation of the lost passport to the concerned Vietnamese agencies, requesting them to re-grant your entry visa.
If your country has no consular office in Ho Chi Minh City, you have to contact your country’s diplomatic representative mission in Hanoi. In case your country has no representative mission in Vietnam, you have to contact your country’s diplomatic representative mission based in a third country for applying for re-grant of the lost passport.
After obtaining a new passport, you have to file to the Ministry of Public Security’s Immigration Management Department a dossier which must comprise the diplomatic note of your country’s consular office or diplomatic representative mission, the form reporting the loss certified by the local police office and a travel permit or new passport enclosed with the application form for a new visa made according to the form set by the Ministry of Public Security.
If you still possess other personal identification papers such as identify card, air tickets or any kind of paper proving your entry in Vietnam, you may be granted a new visa within five working days.
If you are travelling on an organized group tour or business trip, one of your group members may provide his/her personal visa and certify that you are a group member so that you may obtain a travel permit for return to your country.
If you have lost all of your personal papers, you have to wait for the consular office or diplomatic representative mission of your country to carry out the verification of your personal information, and may be granted a new visa as soon as possible.- (VLLF)