If I am from Canada and my girlfriend is from Sweden, what visas do we need (each) for traveling to South East Asia?

My girlfriend and I are flying to Thailand in February. We are going to Thailand for about 30 days, Laos for about 15 days, Vietnam for about 15 days Cambodia for about 15. Do I need to apply for a visa before going to Thailand? Does she? What visas does she need and what visas do I need?

Any information will be greatly appreciated as it is complicated and confusing trying to figure this out with two different nationalities. I think we both have different visa rules being from different countries.

(Someone told me that I can go to Thailand without a visa, but I NEED a departure ticket via plane or bus in order to enter the country. is this true?)

Answer

Will you need visas? Yes

Based on hippietrail’s great comment, here’s the breakdown:

Canadian:

  • Fiji: No visa

  • Indonesia: Visa on Arrival (VOA)

  • Thailand: No visa (expect to get entry stamps in your passports)

  • Cambodia: VOA

  • Laos: VOA

  • Vietnam: Visa required before entry (or pre-approval, read below)

Swede (same requirements as Canada for these countries):

  • Fiji: No visa

  • Indonesia: visa on Arrival (VOA)

  • Thailand: No visa (expect to get entry stamps in your passports)

  • Cambodia: VOA

  • Laos: VOA

  • Vietnam: Visa required before entry (or pre-approval, read below)

Notes

  • Many countries require at least six months of validity left on your
    passports when you enter. This means that when you enter the last
    country of your itinerary you need at least six months of validity
    .
  • It looks like you’re getting close to 30 days in Thailand. The limit
    for you in Thailand is 30 days. Do not overstay your visa in any
    country. It is not worth the risk of complications and it’s usually
    easy to get your stay legally extended. Prevention in better than the
    cure.
  • Indonesia VOA will require money (not a bribe, a legitimate charge).
    They accept Indonesian Rupiah, US dollars and credit card (I wouldn’t
    count on the credit card, the system may be down). There is an ATM
    right next to the area where you pay for your visas. However, I would
    make sure I have the funds in US dollars before I arrive in
    Indonesia.

Visas for Vietnam

There are two ways to go about this for your particular situation.

  1. Pay online to get you visa preapproved. You’ll get a letter e-mailed
    to you with your name, passport number, and date of entry and
    departure on it. When you pass through immigration present the
    letter and your passport to the agent and you will get a visa put in
    your passport by them (you may need to submit a passport photo too).
    It feels a little sketchy doing it online but it works. Do your due
    diligence to make sure you aren’t getting scammed, it looks like
    there are a lot of websites you can go through. The price varies depending on how quickly you want the approval done.
  2. Request your visa through your nearest Vietnamese embassy or
    consulate. This will require, among other things, mailing your
    passport to the Embassy or Consulate (with a self addressed
    andstamped return envelope) and they will put the visa in.

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