Being one of the best countries in terms of tourism, people usually love traveling to Vietnam. Also, since Vietnam is in Southeast Asia, traveling here is easy. A lot of people prefer getting their Vietnam visa on arrival. Of course, there is a list of other options to get a Vietnam travel visa.
Types of Visas
A lot of nationalities have now changed their complicated visa situations to an easier one. Always look for the recent regulation.
Firstly, if your trip is more than 15 days, you'll need a visa or letter of approval from an agent even if you are from a western country. However, if your stay is less than 15 days, there are some nationalities that can exempt visa, but this is only valid for single entry.
Tourist visas are either for 30 days or 90 days. If you want a 30-day single entry visa, it will cost up to US$20 whereas a 90-day multiple visa costs around US$70. Yearly visa is only given to USA nationals.
Generally, there are two methods for applying for a visa: either you can get a visa on arrival via online visa agents or you can get a visa through a Vietnam embassy or consulate. Travelers can also go for advanced e-visas.
Visa on Arrival (VOA)
Visa on Arrival (VOA) is the most preferred method by travelers as it is faster, cheaper and comes with the great advantage of keeping your passport with you rather than posting it to the embassy. VOA is emailed to you directly
VOA is only valid if you are using any one of the six airports for your flying and not traveling by lands. It's an easy process. All you must do is fill out an online application and pay US$20 to the agency. An email is received to you by the agency with an approval letter signed by Vietnam immigration, you must print out this letter and show it on arrival. Here you will be paying stamping fees in US dollars, for single entry, it is US$25 while multiple entry fee is up to US$50
Finding a good visa agent is important to make sure you don't end up paying more than you should. It is better to stick with the professionals. Two well-known companies are mentioned here:
Vietnam Visa Choice is providing online support from native English-speakers. They also make sure you get your visa in the specified amount of time
Vietnam Visa Center is a great, all-rounder staff. They are helpful people and aware of the latest visa situation. They also offer you two-hour express service if you book on last minutes.
Visas via an Embassy or Consulate
Another way to get a visa is by contacting the Vietnamese embassy or Consulate present in your countries. This is a comparatively expensive process and depending upon your country location, the pace of the procedure varies too. In Asia, visa gets issued in 2 to 3 working days whereas in Cambodia, Europe or North America it can take up to 1 week. Also, you must post your passport to the embassy.
This process was introduced in 2017 through which people can apply for visas online through the Vietnam Immigration Division. However, only 40 countries are eligible for this type of visa including many countries of USA and UK. It's not yet applicable for citizens of Australia, New Zealand or Canada.
It is a single-entry visa for 30 days and cost up to US$25. The visa can't be extended, and the process takes up to 3 to 5 days
However, there are many faults associated with this e-visa system. The website has glitches and it is heard that there is a possibility of pictures getting rejected for not being picture-perfect. A lot of applications has also gone to AWOL.
Worst scenarios like being deported have also been seen with these e-visas due to misprinting of information like date of birth or names. If you are going to apply for them, make sure to check all your information more than twice. Make sure they are completely accurate.
E-Visas can be applied here.
Here is the list of countries which don't have to apply for advance Vietnam visa whether they travel through land or air. Make sure to double check this list on the Vietnam Embassy because the policies change frequently. The visa-exempted countries are Finland, France, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Swede, UK, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Belarus, Columbia, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Brunei, Laos, Indonesia, Cambodia.
If you have a multiple entry visa, it is possible to leave Vietnam once and enter without having to pay for another visa. You can't change a single entry visa to multiple entry visa inside Vietnam anymore.
Visa extension for tourist cost just up to $10 and can be arranged by agents. Although, you can only extend it up to 30 days for US$40 and 60 days for US$60 depending upon your visa. The process can take up to 7 to 10 days.
If you wish to extend your visa to a big city, you can also do that although if the extension is different than your city of arrival, you must pay US$50 to US$70. Extension work is easier in Hanoi, Danang, HCMC, and Hue.
Extension of visa is possible at the end of your stay during the visa exemption, but it is not a practical option. You have to pay around US$35, it can take 10 working days, also you have to submit your passport, therefore, it's not a useful option.
Make sure to check your passport for validity (6 or more months left to expire) and left pages before applying for Vietnam visa. Visa on arrival (VOA) is only valid if you travel by air.
Step by step Guide:
1. Fill out a quick application form (Make sure you know your arrival date and airport of arrival)
2. Submit the visa servicing fee online
3. You will receive an official Vietnam visa approval letter within two working days in your email issued by Vietnam Immigration Department.
4. Take a print of that email (Approval Letter) and attach two photographs (4cmx6cm)
5. Bring your photos along with the printed Approval Letter and the government Stamping Fee. Make sure to carry your passport and any other important document that you think you will require.
6. After arriving at the destined airport, show the letter and photos to the immigration office.
More articles about Vietnam
Click on the links in the article for more information.