How to Apply for a Vietnam Visa

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How to Apply for a Vietnam Visa

Applying for a Vietnam Visa is relatively straightforward and painless. Though most tourists visiting Vietnam require a visa to enter the country, there are some exceptions - read below to see which countries have visa free entry. If you're from a country that requires a visa to enter Vietnam, you may also be eligible for an E-Visa.

As of February 2019, the Vietnamese Government offers E-Visa applications online for 80 countries. Applying for an E-Visa can be done directly through the Vietnamese Government website. However, this type of visa is only valid for 30 days. What if you want to stay longer than 30 days? No worries, keep reading to see how to apply for a longer visa.

There are a couple different options to get visas valid for 3 or more months. However, these options require a bit more work than the 30 day E-Visa. Read below about how to apply for a Vietnam visa that's valid for 3 or more months.

Tourist Visa Exceptions

Tourist Visa Not Required for under 14 Days: Brunei

Tourist Visa Not Required for under 15 Days: Belarus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom

Tourist Visa Not Required for under 21 Days: Phillipines

Tourist Visa Not Required for under 30 Days: Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand

Tourist Visa Not Required for under 90 Days: Chile

Most citizens from other countries are eligible for a Visa On Arrival (VOA) or an E-Visa. However please note that you must obtain certain documentation prior to arriving in order to obtain the VOA.

Tourist Visa Exception Source: https://www.myvietnamvisa.com/visa-requirements.html

30 Day Vietnam E-Visa

As of February 2019, Vietnam E-Visas are available for 80 countries which are listed out below. The Vietnam E-Visa is valid for tourists traveling in the country for 30 days or less. Applying online takes roughly 30 minutes and the application is processed within 2 working days. Below are the countries eligible to apply for an E-Visa along with the documents you'll need in order to start your application.

Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bruney, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China - Including Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR passport holders - Not apply to Chinese e-passport holders, Colombia, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea (South), Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia Federated States, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Myanmar, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Timor Leste, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela [2]

Requirements for a Vietnam E-Visa
  • Valid Passport: must not expire within the next 6 months
  • Digital .jpg copy of Passport Photo Page (a scanned copy is best)
  • Digital .jpg Passport Photo (4cm x 6cm)
  • Intended Temporary address in Vietnam: this can be the your address of your first accommodation
  • Intended Entry/Exit Dates and Ports of Entry/Exit
  • Valid Email address to receive travel documents
  • Valid Credit or Debit Card
  1. Go to the Vietnamese Government's website
  2. Provide the required information:
    1. Upload digital passport photo/digital passport copy
    2. Fill in the required personal information: Name, Permanent address, Religion, etc
    3. Provide entry/exit dates and entry/exit ports
    4. Provide Temporary address (i.e. - your first night accommodation)
  3. Pay $25 USD visa fee online via credit/debit card
  4. Enter registration code, registration email, and date of birth to check result in E-visa search menu
    1. Pro Tip: Take a screenshot of your registration code since will need it to complete your application.

3 or 6+ Month Vietnam Visas

What if you want to stay in Vietnam longer than 30 days? Excellent choice, this country has so much to offer that can't be fully experienced in less than a month. Unfortunately, Vietnam doesn't offer an E-Visa for stays longer than 30 days. But don't worry, there are still ways to obtain a tourist visa valid anywhere from 3 months to 1 year.

 

3 Ways to apply for a Vietnam Visa:
  1. Have a tourist agency do the application for you. This is probably the easiest method, but you will need to go an agency in person. Plus you'll pay an added fee on top of $25 USD Vietnam visa fee.
  2. Apply for a visa approval letter online in order to get a Visa on Arrival (VOA). This is our preferred method since it's what we did and had no issues.
    1. In short, this is a letter from the Vietnamese government stating they they will allow you to travel to obtain a visa upon entering their country. However, you will need more than just this approval letter if you plan on getting to Vietnam.
    2. You will only be able to get a VOA at an International Airport with a visa approval letter. Read here if you plan on entering through a land/sea border.
  3. Go to the closest Vietnamese embassy or consulate and apply in person to get the visa stamp. In our opinion, this is will the most difficult and tedious way to get your visa. You may need to travel quite far depending where on the nearest embassy or consulate is located.
    1. We have also heard of Vietnamese Embassies asking for $80 USD for the visa stamp instead of $25 USD so we wouldn't recommend this method.

The rest of this post will focus on applying online for a Vietnam visa approval letter in order to obtain a VOA. We ended up getting a 3 month single entry visa through the approval letter process. In total, we paid $40 USD/person: $15 USD for the visa approval letter online and $25 USD for the visa stamp at the border.

 

Required Documents to Apply for a Vietnam Visa
  • Application Form: M3 Entry/exit form (will need to print and in order to obtain a VOA)
  • Passport: Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry/travel. Temporary passports will likely be declined.
  • Photos: Two passport sized photos (4x6 cm) - these must be recent photos with no hats or glasses.
  • Visa Approval Letter: This Approval Letter is required in order to obtain a VOA at any international airport in Vietnam.
  • Stamping Fee: $25 USD for single entry or $50 USD for multiple entry - payable by cash on arrival.
Visa Lengths and Pricing

There are several different tourist visas offered by the Vietnamese Government. The most common are 1 month and 3 month single/multiple entry visas.

6 month and 1 year tourist visas are also available to some countries (USA in particular). Nonetheless, 6 month and 1 year tourist visas granted to US citizens require visitors to exit/re-enter the country every 3 months.

A visa approval letter costs between $6-20 USD - this doesn't include the $25 USD visa stamp fee which is paid at the border.

A visa approval letter costs between $6-20 USD - this doesn't include the $25 USD visa stamp fee which is paid at the border.

Vietnam Visa Approval Letter

I have seen countless services online offering Vietnam visa approval letter applications for ludicrously high prices ($100+ USD) - never pay that much. See the pricing above for how much you should be paying for a visa approval letter. Once you have your letter, you will still need to pay a $25 USD visa stamp fee at the border.

We used VietnamVisaPro.net - this is the same service as VietnamVisaPro.com. Each of us paid $15/person for a 3 month single entry visa approval letter and $25 USD/person for the visa stamp. All together it was $40 USD/person to get into Vietnam for 3 months - not bad!

Link to apply for Vietnam Visa Approval Letter: http://www.vietnamvisapro.net/

*Important Note*: A Vietnam visa approval letter will only get you a VOA if you arrive at an international airport. Read here if you plan on arriving through a land/sea border

Applying for the Visa Approval Letter

Applying for the Vietnam visa approval letter is pretty straight forward and similar to applying for the Vietnam E-Visa. There are just a few simple steps to follow:

  1. Go to http://www.vietnamvisapro.net/
  2. Select Visa type, Number of Applicants, Processing Time, and click 'Next Step.'
  3. Fill out required information:
    1. Personal Details (Name, DOB, etc)
    2. Passport Number
    3. Arrival Details
  4. Pay the visa approval letter fee online.
  5. Email [email protected] a screenshot of your payment.
  6. Wait 2 working days for your application to process.
Applying for a Vietnam Visa Approval Letter

Receiving your Approval Letter

You should receive your Vietnam visa approval letter within 2 working days. We received ours within 2 days from [email protected] - see a sample below of what your letter should look like. Please note that if you apply at the end of January or beginning of February, the Vietnamese Immigration Office will be closed for about 10 days.

This is due to Tết, the Lunar New Year, which a big holiday celebrated in Vietnam. We originally planned on to apply for our Vietnam visas during this time but ended up having to wait until the Immigration offices reopened. Needless to say, it delayed our trip a bit, but that gave us a chance to go back to Pai and relax a bit 🙂

Sources

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By |2019-05-07T14:01:34-04:00February 20th, 2019|Asia, Vietnam|0 Comments

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