Vietnam - Consular Information Sheet
July 27, 2001
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Vietnam is a poor agrarian country
controlled by a Communist government. Tourist facilities are not
well established, but are improving in certain areas.
ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: U.S. passports are valid for
travel in Vietnam. Visas are required and should be obtained from
a Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate before traveling to Vietnam.
Visas may be issued for one or multiple entries but are usually
valid for only one entry. Visas are generally valid for one month,
but increasing numbers of travelers have been successful in having
their visas renewed after their arrival in Vietnam for up to three
months. Entry into and exit from Vietnam is sometimes restricted
to a specific port of entry.
U.S. citizens are cautioned that the Vietnamese immigration regulations
require foreigners entering Vietnam to carry out only the activity
for which the visas were issued. Change of purpose requires permission
from the appropriate Vietnamese authority in advance. U.S. citizens
whose stated purpose of travel is tourism but who engage in religious
proselytizing have had religious materials confiscated and have
been expelled from Vietnam.
Current entry requirements as well as other information may be
obtained from the
Vietnamese Embassy, 1233 20th Street, Suite 400, NW, Washington,
DC 20036, telephone 202-861-0694 or 2293, Fax 202-861-1297, Internet
home page: http://www.vietnamembassy-usa.org; the Vietnamese Consulate
General, 1700 California Street - 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA
94109, telephone 415-922-1577, or from a travel agent who organizes
travel to Vietnam. Overseas inquiries may be made at the nearest
The Vietnam Tourism Company, a state-run enterprise operating
directly under the authority of the Vietnam General Department
of Tourism, has three offices in Vietnam:
VTC, 30A Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Hanoi, Telephone: (84-4) 826-4154,
Fax: (84-4) 825-7583, E-mail:
VTC, 18 Le Loi Street, Hue, Telephone: (84-54) 828-316, Fax:
(84-54) 821-090, E-mail:
VTC, 123 Le Loi Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Telephone:
(84-8) 821-0869, Fax: (84-8) 821-0876, E-mail:
In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments
have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include
requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission
for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian not
present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required,
may facilitate entry/departure.
DUAL NATIONALITY: U.S. citizens born in Vietnam or persons
who are former citizens of Vietnam and their children, while required
to obtain visas, are treated in criminal matters as Vietnamese
nationals by Vietnamese authorities. They also may be subjected
to laws that impose special obligations upon Vietnamese nationals,
such as military service and taxes. U.S. citizens of Vietnamese
origin may be charged with offenses allegedly committed prior
to their original departure from Vietnam. U.S. citizens of Vietnamese
origin should refer to the paragraph on consular access regarding
their rights. Specific questions on Vietnamese citizenship should
be directed to the Vietnamese Embassy. Questions on dual nationality
may be directed to the Office of Overseas Citizens Services, Department
of State, Washington, DC 20520, telephone: 202-647-5226. For additional
information, see Dual
SAFETY AND SECURITY: In February 2001, Daklak and Gia
Lai provinces, in the Central Highlands were the scenes of ethnic
minority protests. These protests stopped traffic on roads leading
to Buon Ma Thuot and Pleiku. Vietnamese authorities closed hotels
to foreigners and prohibited airline travel by foreigners to those
regions. Yok Don National Park in Daklak province, Vietnam's largest
wildlife reserve and a major tourist destination, was also closed.
The situation remains fluid, and neither the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi
nor the Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City are able to state
when this situation will change. Official U.S. personnel are not
authorized to travel to the Central Highlands areas without prior
consent from the Government of Vietnam. These travel limitations
hinder the ability of the U.S. government to provide assistance
to private U.S. citizens in those areas.
Vietnamese security personnel may place foreign visitors under
surveillance. Hotel rooms, telephone conversations, fax transmissions,
and e-mail communications may be monitored, and personal possessions
in hotel rooms may be searched. Large gatherings, such as those
forming at the scene of traffic accidents, can become violent.
Taking photographs of anything that could be perceived as being
of military or security interest may result in problems with authorities.
Tourists should be cautious when traveling near military bases
and avoid photographing in these areas.
Foreign visitors to Vietnam have been arbitrarily arrested, detained
or expelled for activities that would not be considered crimes
in the United States. Visitors deemed suspicious by Vietnamese
security personnel may be detained, along with their Vietnamese
contacts, relatives, and friends. Local security officials have
called in some U.S. citizens of Vietnamese origin for "discussions"
not related to any suspected or alleged violation of law. These
meetings normally do not result in any action against the traveler,
but are nevertheless intimidating. Visitors are not permitted
to invite Vietnamese nationals of the opposite sex to their hotel
rooms and police may raid hotels without notice or consent. Involvement
in politics, possession of political material, involvement in
business activities that have not been licensed by appropriate
authorities, or non-sanctioned religious activities (including
proselytizing) can result in detention. Sponsors of small, informal
religious gatherings such as bible study groups in hotel rooms,
as well as distributors of religious materials, have been detained,
fined and expelled.
TRAVEL IN BORDER AREAS: U.S. citizens have been detained
after traveling in areas close to the borders with Vietnam's neighbors.
These areas and other restricted areas are not always marked,
and there are no warnings about prohibited travel. Travelers should
avoid such areas unless written permission is obtained in advance
from local authorities.
TRAVEL INFORMATION FOR U.S. VETERANS: Increasing numbers
of U.S. military personnel who served in the armed forces during
the Vietnam War have returned to Vietnam on personal travel. Neither
the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi nor the U.S. Consulate General in Ho
Chi Minh City is aware of any Vietnamese government restrictions
on former U.S. military personnel visiting Vietnam. Neither the
Embassy nor the Consulate General provides special assistance
in reaching battlefield sites. Visitors should understand that
some battle sites are relatively inaccessible, and access to battle
sites may be denied by the Vietnamese government.
The U.S. Government has stated that its highest diplomatic priority
in Vietnam is accounting for U.S. armed forces personnel reported
missing in action or killed in action during the Vietnam War.
Military or civilian personnel with any knowledge of the location
of possible personnel missing or killed in action are encouraged
to contact the Joint Task Force-Full Accounting at:
JTF-FA, Det 2, Hanoi
130 Doc Ngu Street
Ba Dinh District, Cong Vi Ward
Phone: (84-4) 823-3709/10/11
Fax: (84-4) 823-3628
CRIME: While Vietnam is generally a safe country, street
crime is a serious problem in Ho Chi Minh City and, to a lesser
extent, throughout Vietnam. The growing nature of incidents warrants
caution on the part of the U.S. traveler. Generally, crime in
Ho Chi Minh City is limited to pick-pocketing or snatch-and-grab
type of incidents, and the theft of unattended bags, briefcases
and other personal items. Violent crime directed against foreigners
is rare and the last known incident occurred in June 1997. Travelers
are advised not to resist such theft attempts and to report them
both to police and to the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi or the U.S. Consulate
General in Ho Chi Minh City. Motorcyclists, mostly carrying passengers,
frequently grab bags, cameras, and other valuables from pedestrians
or passengers riding in pedicabs or at the back of rented motorcycles.
Thieves also congregate in large numbers around hotels frequented
by foreign tourists and business people. Assaults have been reported
in outlying areas. As some pedicab drivers have reportedly kidnapped
passengers and extorted money, it may be risky to hire pedicabs
not associated with reputable hotels or restaurants.
Passengers in pedicabs may be especially prone to thefts of personal
possessions by snatch-and-grab thieves because passengers ride
in a reclining position that does not allow good visibility or
movement and readily exposes their belongings.
Travelers are strongly advised to keep passports and other important
valuables in hotel safes or other secure locations. Travelers
are advised to carry a photocopy of their passport with them when
going out. The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should
be reported immediately to the local police and the U.S. Embassy
in Hanoi or the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City. U.S.
citizens may refer to the Department of State's pamphlet, A
Safe Trip Abroad, for ways to promote a trouble-free journey.
The pamphlet is available by mail from the
Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office,
Washington DC 20402, via the Internet at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs,
or at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi or the U.S Consulate General in
Ho Chi Minh City.
Travelers to Vietnam are advised to exercise caution when visiting
places where drinking of alcoholic beverages is prevalent. There
have been a number of incidents reported in which a suspected
toxic or other unknown type of substance was used to taint drinks,
leaving the victim susceptible to further criminal acts. Travelers
should avoid purchasing liquor from street vendors, as the quality
of the contents cannot be assured.
In Ho Chi Minh City some U.S. citizens have reported death or
physical injury threats related to personal or professional matters.
The U.S. Embassy in Hanoi and the U.S. Consulate General in Ho
Chi Minh City do not provide personal protection services. U.S.
citizens who do not have confidence in the ability of the local
police to protect them may wish to depart the country expeditiously.
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical facilities in Vietnam do not
meet U.S. standards and frequently lack medicines and supplies.
Doctors and hospitals expect immediate cash payment for health
services. Common U.S. medications are not available in Vietnam.
Medical personnel may speak only halting English.
Travelers may obtain lists of local physicians from the U.S.
Embassy in Hanoi or the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh
City. Travelers are reminded that neither office may recommend
specific medical practitioners or hospitals.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: The Department of State strongly urges
U.S. citizens to consult with their medical insurance company
prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies
overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as
a medical evacuation. U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover
health costs incurred outside the United States unless supplemental
coverage is purchased. Further, U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs
do not provide payment for medical services outside the United
States. However, many travel agents and private companies offer
insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred
overseas including emergency services such as medical evacuations.
When making a decision regarding health insurance, U.S. citizens
should consider that doctors and hospitals require payment in
cash prior to providing service and that a medical evacuation
to the U.S. may cost well in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers
who require medical care overseas often face extreme difficulties.
When consulting with your insurer prior to your trip, ascertain
whether payment will be made to the overseas healthcare provider
or whether you will be reimbursed later for expenses you incur.
Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric
treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.
Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas
insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau
of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical
Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available
via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202)
The companies listed below are the only emergency medical assistance
firms with representative offices in Vietnam. The Department of
State assumes no responsibility for the professional ability or
reputation of the medical assistance companies listed below or
for the travel insurance companies listed on its web page.
AEA International/SOS assistance
Central Building, 31 Hai Ba Trung Street
Hoanh Kiem District
Telephone: (84-4) 934-0555
Fax: (84-4) 934-0556
From U.S.: TELEPHONE 1-800-548-7762
24-hour number within the U.S. (Seattle, WA)
65 Nguyen Du Street, District 1
Ho Chi Minh City
Alarm center telephone: (84-8) 829-8520
Clinic telephone: (84-8) 829-8424
Fax: (84-8) 829-8551
From U.S.: TELEPHONE: 1-800-523-8930
1 Le Ngoc Han
Ba Ria, Vung Tau Province
Telephone: (84-64) 858-776
Fax: (84-64) 858-779
Hanoi Family Practice
Hanoi Family Practice is part of the MEDEX network. It also offers
insurance policies directly in Hanoi.
Hanoi Family Practice (or Van Phuc Clinic)
Building A1, Suite 109-112,
Kim Ma Road, Van Phuc, Hanoi
Telephone: (84-4) 846-1748 or 1749
Fax: (84-4) 846 1750
24-hour Emergency: 09040 1919
(U.S. point of contact) MEDEX International
9515 Deereco Road, 4th floor
Timonium, MD 21093 USA
Tel: 410 453 6300
Fax: 410 308 2929
Mondial Assistance - Their network operates in many countries.
In USA it is called:
ASA - Assistance Services of America
8050 Southern Maryland Boulevard
Owings, MD 20736
Tel: 410 257 9505
Fax: 410 257 2704
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Travelers should be cautious
when drinking non-bottled water and in using ice cubes in drinks.
Travelers may wish to drink hot tea and coffee and bottled water
and bottled drinks.
Information on vaccinations and other health precautions may
be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's
hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747);
fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299), or via CDC's
Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign
country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ
significantly from those in the United States. The information
below concerning Vietnam is provided for general reference only,
and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside/Ambulance Assistance: Poor
Traffic in Vietnam is chaotic. Traffic moves on the right, although
drivers frequently cross to the left to pass or turn. Horns are
used constantly, often with no apparent reason. Traffic accidents,
most involving motorcycles and resulting in traumatic head injury,
are an increasingly serious hazard. At least 30 people die each
day from transportation-related injuries. Traffic accident injuries
are the leading cause of death, severe injury, and emergency evacuation
of foreigners in Vietnam. It is the single greatest health risk
that U.S. citizens will face in Vietnam.
Streets in major cities are choked with motorcycles, cars, buses,
trucks, bicycles, pedestrians and pedicabs. Sudden stops by motorcycles
and bicycles to purchase food from sidewalk stalls make driving
a particular hazard. Nationwide, drivers do not follow basic traffic
principles. There is little adherence to traffic laws or enforcement
by traffic police. There are few traffic lights. Vehicles do not
yield right of way. Most Vietnamese ride motorcycles and an entire
family often rides on one motorcycle.
Road conditions are poor nationwide. Outside the cities, livestock
compete with vehicles for road space. Exercise extra caution in
the countryside and on national Routes 1 and 5, as sections of
both routes are in very poor condition.
Driving at night is especially dangerous and drivers should exercise
extreme caution. Roads are poorly lit and road signs are minimal.
Buses and trucks often travel at high speed with bright lights
that are rarely dimmed. Vehicles of all types often stop in the
road without any illumination, and livestock are likely to be
Motorcyclists and bicyclists should wear helmets. Vehicle passengers
should use seatbelts in cars or taxis. The Vietnamese government
has mandated the use of motorcycle helmets on major roads leading
to large urban centers. Enforcement of this law began in January
2001 but application has been slow and sporadic at best. New laws
have been promulgated concerning the use of motorcycle helmets
in urban areas as well, though they have not been enforced. Child
car seats are not available.
Penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or causing
an accident resulting in injury or death can include fines, confiscation
of driving permits or imprisonment. U.S. citizens involved in
traffic accidents have been barred from leaving Vietnam before
paying compensation (often determined arbitrarily) for property
damage or injuries.
Emergency roadside help is available by dialing at nationwide
telephones: 113 for police, 114 for fire brigade and 115 for an
ambulance. Efficiency of these services is well below U.S. standards
and locating a public telephone is often difficult. Trauma care
is not widely available.
The urban speed limit ranges from 30 to 40 km/h. The rural speed
limit ranges from 40 to 60 km/h. Both speed limits are routinely
International driving permits or U.S. drivers' licenses are not
valid in Vietnam. Foreigners renting vehicles risk prosecution
and/or imprisonment for driving without a Vietnamese license endorsed
for the appropriate vehicle. Potential drivers should contact
any office of the Vietnamese Department of Communications and
Transport to obtain a Vietnamese driver's license.
Most Vietnamese travel within Vietnam by long-distance bus or
train. Both are slow and safety conditions do not approach U.S.
For additional information about road travel in Vietnam see the
U.S. Embassy Hanoi home page, http://usembassy.state.gov/vietnam/,
U.S. Consulate General Ho Chi Minh City home page, http://www.uscongenhcmc.org.
additional general information on road safety, including links
to foreign government sites, see the Department of State,
Bureau of Consular Affairs Home Page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html.
For specific information concerning Vietnamese driving permits
and other travel information, contact the Vietnam National Administration
of Tourism in Hanoi at phone (84-4) 825-2246.
SEASONAL FLOODING: Heavy rainfall during Vietnam's annual
rainy season, usually June through September, and again during
the typhoon season from October to December, coupled with outdated
and poorly maintained infrastructure, places much of Vietnam at
high risk for seasonal flooding. Northern Vietnam is most likely
to experience seasonal flooding during the rainy season, while
Central and Southern Vietnam are most likely to experience seasonal
flooding during from August to November.
While minor flooding is fairly common in Hanoi, the source of
any major flood in Hanoi is the Red River. In the event of a major
flood, Vietnamese authorities would destroy a portion of the protective
dike around the river well upstream from Hanoi. U.S. citizens
living near the Red River, upstream of Hanoi, should be aware
of this potential risk. If a major flood is not diverted before
striking Hanoi, experts predict the flood would be devastating.
There is also a serious risk of flooding in Central Vietnam and
in the Mekong River delta regions in Southern Vietnam.
U.S. citizens living in flood prone areas are urged to have a
home escape route from rising water levels, stock drinking water
and canned food at home, keep a fully stocked first aid kit, keep
passports and other important documents in a safe place, and keep
informed of weather conditions during the rainy season.
Prior to the onset of a flood, Vietnamese television channel
VTV One (which broadcasts in Vietnamese) is a good source for
weather information. The
Vietnamese government maintains an English-language flood website
The U.S. Embassy in Hanoi and the Consulate General in Ho Chi
Minh City will make available any information they have on possible
flood situations which could affect U.S. citizens residing in
AVIATION OVERSIGHT: Because there is no direct commercial
air service between the U.S. and Vietnam, the U.S. Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) has not assessed Vietnam's civil aviation
authority for compliance with international aviation safety standards
for oversight of Vietnam's air carrier operations. For further
information, travelers may contact the U.S. Department of Transportation
at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the
FAA Internet home page at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some
foreign air carriers for suitability as official providers of
air services. For information regarding the DOD policy on specific
carriers, travelers may contact DOD at (618) 229-4801.
PASSPORT SEIZURES/EXIT BANS: The Vietnamese government
may seize, and has in the past seized, the passports and blocked
the departure of foreigners involved in commercial disputes. Passports
should never be used as security for rental of vehicles, collateral
for hotel payments, etc. The hotel may retain a passport until
checkout. In such circumstances, the U.S. Government may issue
a new passport to a U.S. citizen. The Vietnamese exit ban, however,
could remain in effect, preventing departure.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Vietnamese government authorities
have increased the seizure of documents, audio and video tapes,
compact discs, literature, and personal letters they deem to be
religious, pornographic, or political in nature or intended for
religious or political proselytizing. The authorities are also
increasingly detaining and expelling individuals believed to be
engaged in such activities. Individuals arriving at airports with
videotapes or materials considered to be pornographic have been
detained and heavily fined (up to U.S. $2,000 for one videotape).
Authorities may search rooms and luggage without notice or consent.
It is illegal to import weapons, including firearms, knives, and
Vietnamese law restricts the export of antiques, but the laws
on the subject are vague and unevenly enforced. Antique objects
are subject to inspection and seizure by customs authorities with
no compensation made to owners/travelers. The determination of
what is an "antique" can be arbitrary. Purchasers of
non-antique items of value should retain receipts and confirmation
from shop owners and/or the Ministry of Culture and the Customs
Department to prevent seizure upon departure. Prior to purchasing
antiques, travelers may wish to determine from the Ministry of
Culture whether the object can be exported and the amount of duty.
The process of exporting antiques can be difficult and time-consuming;
however, travelers can insist that sellers obtain all necessary
permits from the Ministry of Culture and Customs Department before
final purchase is made. Travelers are advised to contact the Embassy
of Vietnam in Washington, DC or the Vietnamese Consulate General
in San Francisco for specific information regarding customs requirements.
CURRENCY: Foreign currency (including notes, coins and
traveler's checks) in excess of USD 3,000 and cash exceeding Vietnamese
Dong (VND) 5,000,000 must be declared at customs upon arrival
and departure. There is no limitation on either the export or
import of U.S. dollars or other foreign currency by U.S. citizens,
provided that all currency in excess of USD 3,000 (or its equivalent
in other foreign currencies) or in excess of VND 5,000,000 in
cash is declared upon arrival and departure, and supported by
VIETNAMESE CIVIL DOCUMENTS AND PROCEDURES: U.S. citizens
who plan to marry a Vietnamese national in Vietnam should contact
the Vietnamese Embassy in Washington, D.C. or the Vietnamese Consulate
General in San Francisco concerning documentary requirements.
Several documents will require notarization at the U.S. Embassy
in Hanoi or the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City.
Children born in Vietnam to one or two U.S. citizen parents may
apply for an adjudication of their child's claim to U.S. citizenship
at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi or the U.S. Consulate General in
Ho Chi Minh City. A U.S. citizen parent who was formerly a Vietnamese
national is required by Vietnamese law to certify that the child
is a Vietnamese national in order to obtain the child's Vietnamese
Vietnamese law requires an autopsy before a death certificate
may be issued for a deceased foreigner. In some cases this requirement
may be circumvented with a diplomatic note from the U.S. Embassy
in Hanoi or the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City, particularly
if the deceased was elderly or in documented poor health and the
cause of death can reasonably be ascribed to age or ill health.
INS SERVICES IN VIETNAM: U.S. citizens who wish to file
fiance/e visa petitions, immigrant visa petitions, or immigrant
visa petitions for orphan children should contact the U.S. Immigration
and Naturalization Service in Ho Chi Minh City at 65 Le Loi, Saigon
Center, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, telephone (84-8) 821-6237,
fax (84-8) 821-6241.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S.
citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which
sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States
and may not afford the protections available to the individual
under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe
than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating
Vietnam's laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or
imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal
drugs in Vietnam are strict, and convicted offenders can expect
long jail sentences and heavy fines.
Foreigners have been executed for drug smuggling. The death penalty
applies to anyone caught possessing 100 grams of heroin or five
kilograms of opium. A Canadian national of Vietnamese origin was
executed in early 2000 for drug smuggling. Both the sentencing
and execution were carried out swiftly, without what would be
considered due process in the United States.
Vietnamese authorities often detain foreign nationals for lengthy
periods - months if not years - before concluding their investigation
into an alleged crime and sending the case forward for prosecution.
The criminal justice process is also lengthy.
U.S. citizens should be aware that many charges involving business
or driving offenses that are considered civil charges in the U.S.
are considered criminal charges in Vietnam. U.S. citizens of Vietnamese
origin who left Vietnam may be subject to charges for any crimes
they allegedly committed prior to their original departure from
Vietnam, even if that departure was many years ago.
CONSULAR ACCESS: The 1994 Agreed Minute between the United
States and Vietnam provides for reciprocal access to each other's
detained nationals. Bearers of U.S. passports who enter Vietnam
with a Vietnamese visa, including those of Vietnamese origin,
will be regarded as U.S. citizens for purposes of access. Therefore,
U.S. citizens are encouraged to carry photocopies of passport
data and photo pages with them at all times so that, if questioned
by Vietnamese officials, proof of U.S. citizenship is readily
Despite the 1994 agreement, U.S. consular officers in Vietnam
are typically not notified in a timely manner when a U.S. citizen
is arrested or detained. There have been very significant delays
in obtaining access to incarcerated U.S. citizens. This has been
particularly true when the U.S. citizen is being held during the
investigatory stage that Vietnamese officials do not consider
as covered by our bilateral agreement. The investigatory stage
can last months or longer and often proceeds without the formal
filing of any charges. The problem of access has been particularly
evident when the U.S. citizen is considered by the Vietnamese
government to be a citizen of Vietnam irrespective of proof of
U.S. citizenship. U.S. citizens, even dual nationals, have the
right to consular access and should insist upon contact with the
U.S. Embassy in Hanoi or the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi
Minh City. Lack of timely notification of the arrest of a U.S.
citizen and lack of access to detained U.S. citizens is the single
most important consular bilateral issue between the U.S. and Vietnam.
PROPERTY ISSUES AND LIFTING OF SANCTIONS: On January 28,
1995, the U.S. and Vietnam signed agreements resolving diplomatic
property issues and settling outstanding claims between the two
countries. For more information, contact: The Assistant Legal
Adviser for International Claims and Investment Disputes, Department
of State, SA-44, Room 205, Washington, DC 20520, telephone 202-776-8360.
Pursuant to the February 3, 1994, lifting of sanctions against
Vietnam, U.S. visitors to Vietnam are no longer subject to spending
limitations. U.S. visitors must comply with all normal Commerce
Department export requirements. For additional information contact:
The Bureau of Export Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce,
1400 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20230, telephone
information on international adoption of children and international
parental child abduction, please refer to our Internet site
at http://travel.state.gov/childen's_issues.html or telephone
REGISTRATION/EMBASSY AND CONSULATE GENERAL LOCATION: U.S.
citizens living in or visiting Vietnam are encouraged to register
in person or via telephone with the consular section of the U.S.
Embassy in Hanoi or the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh
City and to obtain updated information on travel and security
The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi is located
at 6 Ngoc Khanh, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, Socialist Republic of
Vietnam, telephone: (84-4) 831-4590; after hours emergency telephone
number: (84-4) 772-1500; fax: (84-4) 831-4578, Internet
home page: http://usembassy.state.gov/vietnam/. The consular
section's business hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. The Embassy's
Consular Section provides the full range of services for U.S.
citizens (passport services, consular reports of birth abroad,
notarial services) and non-immigrant visa services (except K-1
The U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City is located at
4 Le Duan, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Socialist Republic of
Vietnam, telephone: (84-8) 822-9433, fax: (84-8) 822-9434, Internet
home page http://www.uscongenhcmc.org. The Consulate General's
business hours are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. The Consulate General provides
the full range of consular services for U.S. citizens (passport
services, consular reports of birth abroad, notarial services)
and the full range of immigrant and non-immigrant visa services.
All immigrant visa processing in Vietnam, including visas for
adopted children and fiance/e visas, is conducted solely at the
Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City.
Callers from the U.S. should note that Vietnam is 12 hours ahead
of Eastern Standard Time and 11 hours ahead of Eastern Daylight
A copy of the U.S. citizen registration form is on the Embassy
website and may be downloaded and faxed to the Embassy's Consular
Section or to the Consulate General.
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated September
14, 1999, to update sections on Entry/Exit Requirements, Safety
and Security, Travel Information for U.S. Veterans, Crime, Medical
Facilities, Medical Insurance, Traffic Safety and Road Conditions,
Seasonal Flooding, Aviation Oversight, Customs Regulations, Currency,
Vietnamese Civil Documents and Procedures, Criminal Penalties,
Consular Access, and Registration/Embassy and Consulate General