Monday, June 27, 2022

Visa & Passport Requirements for Vietnam

AsiaVietnamVisa & Passport Requirements for Vietnam

Read next

Visitors from the following countries do not need a visa and can stay for the following number of days.

  • 14 days: Brunei, Myanmar
  • 15 days: Belarus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Russia (from 1 July 2015)
  • 21 days: Philippines
  • 30 days: Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia

All other nationalities need a visa in advance to visit Vietnam. You can apply for a visa online.

To boost tourism, the Vietnamese government has made Phu Quoc Island a visa-free zone. If you travel there by plane via Ho Chi Minh City or by boat, you do not need to apply for a visa beforehand. This applies regardless of your nationality. Visitors have 15 days to stay on the island. Those wishing to travel to other countries can apply for a proper Vietnamese visa at the local immigration office. All passports must be valid for at least 45 days upon arrival in Phu Quoc.

The visa can be applied for at most Vietnamese embassies and consulates or online. The cost of applying for a visa depends on your nationality and the embassy or consulate where you apply. Check with the Vietnamese embassy or consulate in your country of residence. If there is no Vietnamese embassy or consulate in your country, a popular alternative is to apply at the Vietnamese embassy in Bangkok.

Some Vietnamese embassies offer a “While you wait” service (May 2008), where a single-entry visa can be applied for within 15 minutes. This service costs 92 USD, but approval is immediate. You must bring a valid passport, photo ID and cash (credit cards are not accepted).

Embassies are reluctant to publish a fee structure as the relatively high cost of visas is a source of embarrassment, revenue and disincentive to tourists (EU and US). The decline in the number of Western tourists has been partly offset by the abolition of visa fees for some nationalities (but not for former Vietnamese), which has allowed neighbouring countries to fill the gap, although visa exemption for neighbouring countries is part of Vietnam’s commitment to exempt its ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) citizens from visa requirements.

Foreign citizens of Vietnamese origin can apply for a visa waiver, which allows multiple entries for 3 months at a time and is valid for the duration of the passport’s validity.

An increasingly popular alternative is a visa on arrival, which is not only much cheaper but also reduces the need to send passports to the Vietnamese embassy in the country of origin.

Visa fees for Vietnam

In April 2014, a 30-day single-entry visa issued by the Consulate General of Vietnam in Vancouver, Canada, cost 100 CAD. The same visa cost about 115 euros (plus postage) at the Vietnamese Consulate in Turin, Italy. At the Consulate General of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in Sydney, Australia, the visa cost $95 in Sept 2014.

Visa on arrival in Vietnam

The term “Visa on Arrival” (VOA) is somewhat misleading in the case of Vietnam, as a letter of approval must be obtained prior to arrival. This type of visa is processed by a growing number of online agencies for costs ranging from USD 14 to 21 (2016), depending on the agency and the number of people applying together. Most agencies accept payments by credit card, some – by Western Union.

The official in Vietnam obtains an approval letter from the immigration office with the visitor’s name, date of birth, date of arrival, nationality and passport number and sends this letter (in PDF or JPEG format) to the visitor by email or fax, usually within three working days. It is common to receive the letter together with some other information about the applicant’s passport (passport number, date of birth, name, etc.). You can share your personal information with up to 10 to 30 other applicants on the same letter(s). For those who are concerned about privacy or security, it is advisable to first check if the agencies offer the possibility to obtain a separate or private approval letter (private visa on arrival) on their website. Very few online agencies have this option. Another solution is to apply for a standard visa through the embassies in order to maintain the confidentiality of your personal data.

After landing at one of the international airports (Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Vinh or Phu Quoc), the visitor goes to the “Visa on Arrival” counter, presents the letter, fills out an additional arrival form (which can be pre-filled before departure), pays the stamp fee and receives an official stamp (sticker) in his passport. The stamp fee is 25 USD (50 USD for a multiple entry visa) (2016). Only USD are accepted (no other currencies or credit cards) and tickets must be in new condition or they will be rejected. A passport photo is also required. Some agencies state that two photos are required, but usually only one is needed.

Please note that Visas on Arrival are not valid for border crossings and the official stamp is only available at the three international airports. Visitors arriving by land from Cambodia, Laos or China must therefore be in possession of a full visa on arrival at the border.

Passengers of most, if not all, airlines flying to Vietnam must present the approval letter at check-in, otherwise check-in will be denied.

Arrival/departure cards are not used in Vietnam.

Depending on the current status of SARS, bird flu, you may be subject to a “health check”. However, there is no check, but another form to fill out and of course another fee. If you can get a handful of dong, it only costs 2,000 dong per person, but they charge 2 USD for the same “service” if you only have greenbacks!

How To Travel To Vietnam

By plane Vietnam's main international airports are located in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Both airports are served by numerous flights from major cities in East and Southeast Asia, with some intercontinental connections to Australia, Europe and the United States. Other international airports are located in Da Nang, Vinh, Nha...

How To Travel Around Vietnam

By plane Flights are the fastest way to cross this long country. The flight from Hanoi to HCMC takes only about 2 hours. Numerous flights connect the two largest cities, Hanoi and HCMC, with major cities such as Da Nang, Hai Phong, Can Tho, Hue, Nha Trang, Da Lat, Phu Quoc....

Destinations in Vietnam

Regions in Vietnam North VietnamIt offers some of the most beautiful views of Vietnam as well as the capital and the opportunity to visit the indigenous peoples of the hills.Central CoastThe ancient city of Hue is home to Vietnam's fledgling kings and Hoi An is home to one of Vietnam's...

Weather & Climate in Vietnam

Because of the different latitudes and the great variety of topographical relief, the climate varies greatly from place to place. During winter time or dry season, between November and April, the Monsoon winds commonly blow from the north-east alongside the Chinese coast and over the Gulf of Tonkin, absorbing...

Accommodation & Hotels in Vietnam

Accommodation is not a problem in Vietnam, even if you are travelling on a tight budget. Accommodation in Vietnam ranges from dormitory accommodation for $6 a night in youth hostels to world-class resorts in both major cities and popular coastal and rural destinations. Even hostels and cheap hotels are...

Things To See in Vietnam

Vietnam will show you the sides of Asia you've been dreaming of. Lush rice paddies at the foot of the magnificent highlands, colourful water markets along the rivers of the Mekong Delta and the endless city life of Hanoi, where everything from schoolchildren to refrigerators to huge stacks of...

Things to do in Vietnam

Motorcycling is popular with locals and tourists alike. As motorcycling is the main mode of transport in Vietnam, it can give a particularly authentic impression of travelling in the country. Renting or buying a bike is possible in many towns. Also consider motorbike adventure tours, which take you on multi-day...

Food & Drinks in Vietnam

Food in Vietnam Food is at the heart of Vietnamese culture: every important holiday in the Vietnamese cultural calendar, every important stage in the life of a Vietnamese person, even most important daily events and social interactions - food plays a central role in each of them. Special dishes are...

Money & Shopping in Vietnam

Currency in Vietnam The local currency is the dong (đồng, VND), which is difficult to find or exchange outside Vietnam. Exchange money on arrival and try to get rid of leftovers before leaving the country. Inflation continues and a series of devaluations continue to lower the value of the dong,...

Festivals & Holidays in Vietnam

By far the most important festival is Tết - the Lunar New Year festival - which takes place between the end of January and March. In the period leading up to Tết, the country is in the midst of preparations. Motorcyclists rush to deliver potted mandarin trees and flowering...

Traditions & Customs in Vietnam

In traditional Vietnamese culture, elders are treated with great deference and respect. Although expectations are more relaxed when dealing with strangers, it is a good idea to be polite, respectful and reserved towards those who look older than you. In some regions, it is common for residents to fortify it,...

Internet & Communications in Vietnam

Phone in Vietnam Landline numbers in Hanoi and HCMC have an eight-digit sequence, others have seven digits. Vietnam International dialling code: +84Hanoi area code: (4)Area code for Ho Chi Minh City: (8) VoIP calls Telephone bills are 30 to 40% cheaper when dialled using services 171 or 178. National call: 171 (178) + 0...

Language & Phrasebook in Vietnam

The official language in Vietnam is Vietnamese. Like Thai and most Chinese dialects, Vietnamese is a tonal language that uses a change of tone to inflect different meanings, which can make it difficult for Westerners to master. Although very different from Western languages, a traveller may be surprised to...

Culture Of Vietnam

Vietnamese culture has developed over the centuries from the ancient indigenous culture of Đông Sơn with wet rice cultivation as its economic basis. Some elements of the national culture have Chinese origins and draw on elements of Confucianism and Taoism in their traditional political system and philosophy. Vietnamese society...

History Of Vietnam

Prehistory and ancient history Archaeological excavations have proven the existence of humans in what is now Vietnam as early as the Palaeolithic Age. Fossils of Homo erectus from around 500,000 BC have been found in caves in Lạng Sơn and Nghệ, a province in northern Vietnam. The oldest Homo sapiens...

Stay safe & healthy in Vietnam

Stay safe in Vietnam WARNING!Vietnam treats drug offences with extreme severity. The death penalty is mandatory for those convicted of trafficking, manufacturing, importing or exporting more than 15 g of heroin, 30 g of morphine, 30 g of cocaine, 500 g of cannabis, 200 g of cannabis resin and 1.2...

Asia

Africa

South America

Europe

North America

Most Popular