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Vietnam visa

Everything you need to know

A visa for Vietnam is little bit more difficult to obtain than a visa for most other countries in Asia. You need to apply for your visa or arrange some things so that you qualify for a visa on arrival. Fortunately, this is nowadays a lot easier. In particular, a Vietnam visa on arrival is easy to arrange and in our opinion the best option. In addition, you can also apply for a visa at the Vietnamese embassy or a Vietnamese embassy abroad, for example in Cambodia. You can also get a special visa office to do the work for you for a small fee.

Vietnam visa on arrival

If you fly into Vietnam a visa on arrival would be, in our opinion, the best and easiest way. Unlike most other countries in Asia, you must however arrange things in order to comply with the visa requirements. Namely you need an authorization letter. You apply for this letter in advance and take it with you when you go to Vietnam. See this as a kind of background check they do before you arrive. You can not apply an authorization letter by yourself, but this can be easily arranged through a third party. There are different websites that offer this service.

Additional tips

  • Please note that a visa on arrival is not an option if you want to arrive in Vietnam overland.
  • You can only do this at the airports in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Nha Trang.
  • Your authorization letter is not your actual visa. Take the letter to the immigration office at the airport and get your visa there - after paying $25
  • Don’t forget to bring two passport photo’s of yourself to give to the immigration officer.
  • The following visas are available: 1 month single entry, 1 month multiple entry, 3 months single entry and 3 months multiple entry.
  • Normally you have the letter within three business days. If you forgot to apply for it too late, then there is also an emergency service available. You pay a small extra fee, but you will receive the letter already within a few hours.
Vietnam visa

Vietnam embassy

You can also obtain a Vietnam visa through the Vietnamese Embassy in your country before you trip. However, this is rarely the best option. If you fly directly to Vietnam you better choose for a visa on arrival. To apply for a visa at the embassy, you will need a completed visa form. Then with that form you can go to the embassy yourself. Take a look at the Embassy in your country and check which day and hours you can apply for the Vietnam visa.

Visa applications abroad

If you travel overland to Vietnam, then arranging a  Vietnam visa abroad is usually the best option. In the neighboring countries of Vietnam you find lots of travel agents who can arrange this for you. For an amount of around $40 you get a 30 days entry visa. These are easy to arrange in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville, but also in many cities in Laos and China.