The process of applying for a Vietnam visa is a little more complex than some of the other countries in SE Asia. Apart from the short list of nationalities that get to enjoy visa exempt status for a limited time, you will certainly need to arrange an entry visa to visit Vietnam.
How to get a visa for Vietnam?
The number of ways to organize a visa for Vietnam is three which includes the traditional approach of applying at a local Vietnamese embassy or consulate, using a third-party travel agency to help with the visa on arrival, or the latest choice is the Vietnam e-visa that was first made available in February 2017.
Why not take a look at our Vietnam visa guide to see which one is most appropriate for your travel needs.
1) Vietnam embassy visa
The Vietnam embassy visa is the most traditional approach to organize the entry visa in advance for travel to Vietnam. You need to get in touch with the nearest Vietnamese embassy in order to submit the application which is possible to do in person, by post, or by email.
For the travelers that are already in the region and intend to visit Vietnam via a neighboring country; the best course of action is to organize the visa in advance, such as the embassy visa before traveling. The entire process to organize this type of visa is in the region of 5-7 days, so it is important to avoid waiting until the last minute.
Unfortunately, the visa fees, procedures, and processing times can vary quite a lot with the different embassies; so it is worth getting in touch with your nearest embassy before traveling to get an idea of the latest visa rules and restrictions.
Also, it is worth noting that the Vietnamese embassies will be closed for holidays in the local country and all Vietnamese national holidays.
How to apply for the embassy visa
1 – Visit the official embassy website and download the visa application form. Fill out the application form with 100% accuracy and attached any request documentation such as passport sized photos. Send all paperwork (or visit in person) to the chosen embassy and also include the appropriate visa fee (varies with each embassy)
2 – If you wish you can contact the embassy to track the processing of the visa
3 – Received the visa when it is fully processed (in person or via post)
4 – The time-frame to apply for the embassy visa is in the region of 5-7 days. Also, there are certain embassies that will provide a fast-track service, but this isn’t an option with every embassy.
The embassy visa is convenient for:
• Any travelers to Vietnam on a leisure or business trip that want a short of long-term visa
• Any travelers that prefer to organize the visa beforehand
• Any travelers that are not planning to enter the country via air
• Any travelers living relatively close to a local Vietnamese embassy or consulate
The embassy visa is not convenient for:
• Any travelers that need a rush service with the visa issued in a matter of hours
• Any travelers unable to reach a local Vietnamese embassy or prefer to avoid sending the original passport in the post
2) Vietnam visa on arrival
The second option to apply for a Vietnam visa is a very convenient option and appreciated for its fast processing and low cost. Plus, this cheap Vietnam visa is easy to arrange online to eliminate a need to travel to a local embassy in person to deliver the application or send original documents through the post, such as the passport.
How to apply for the visa on arrival?
1 – Find a trustworthy and reliable travel agency or tour operator based in Vietnam such as VivuTravel
2 – Complete the online application form with the relevant information and make sure it is completely without any mistakes
3 – Pay the quoted service fee using an online payment method
4 – Wait the short processing period of 2-3 days to receive the letter of approval via email. Print this document and take it on your travels to Vietnam
5 – Get the official visa stamp after arriving at the designated airport (Hanoi, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City, or Danang) by presenting the completed entry/exit form, approval letter, passport, and 2 passports sized photos. Also, there is a further fee to pay at the airport for the visa stamping; which is $25 for the single-entry visa or $50 for the multi-entry visa.
The Vietnam visa on arrival is convenient for:
• Any travelers planning to visit Vietnam for leisure or business trips
• Any travelers intended to travel to Vietnam by air
• Any travelers that prefer to avoid making a trip to a local Vietnamese embassy
• Any travelers that left things to the last minute and need a visa issued urgently and in a matter of hours
The Vietnam visa on arrival is not convenient for:
• Any travelers planning to enter Vietnam via a land-border crossing or seaport
• Any travelers that prefer to organize the visa beforehand
3) Vietnam e-visa
The final Vietnam application method is the e-visa which was only officially launched in February 2017. This is a further Vietnam visa that can be applied for online, but it does have limitations in relation to visa validity and beneficiaries.
How to apply for the e-visa?
1 – Complete the online application form with all relevant information and make sure to avoid mistakes. Also, it is necessary to send a passport sized photo and a scanned copy of your passport.
2 – Pay the $25 fee online using one of the approved payment methods. This fee is non-refundable even in the event of the application being refused.
3 – Receive a personal code to track the visa status and get a notification when the visa is approved. The approval stage can take 3-5 days to complete.
4 – Once the application is approved print out the visa and bring it with you to Vietnam
The Vietnam e-visa is convenient for:
• Travelers from one of the 40 eligible countries
• Travelers planning a visit that does not exceed 30 days, and a single-entry trip
The Vietnam e-visa is not convenient for:
• Travelers that aren’t from a country in the list of eligible nationalities
• Travelers planning to visit Vietnam for business purposes
• Travelers intending to stay in Vietnam for more than 30 days