The most updated Guide on how to get a visa to Vietnam

the most updated guide to how to get a visa to vietnam saigon food tour

Do you have a plan to go to Vietnam soon? From the natural UNESCO Heritage sites, the rich culture to the heaven of street food, the country has almost everything to offer. Now before going ahead with booking the accommodation or tours, learn about the visa first. Understand your visa concern, I write in this article the most updated information about the Vietnam visa.

Newest update on July 2018 about How to get a visa to Vietnam

Since I want you to get enough information you need, first start with the most popular questions you might have

  • Do I need a visa?
  • How to get a visa to Vietnam and how many options I have?
  • What is the cheapest way to get a Vietnam visa?
  • What is the pros and cons of each option?
  • I enter Vietnam at the port, what kind of visa should I get?
  • Coming for a business trip, what do you recommend?
  • Plan to stay for more than 30 days, which options I have?
  • Will I get a refund if my Vietnam visa fail?

Now let’s read the guide carefully then know how to get a visa to Vietnam. There is a mistake for the first-time visitors to Vietnam that they think they don’t need a visa. That assumption can lead to a visa mess and cost you a lot when paying for the visa emergency service at the airport.

To help you stay out of that trouble, know the visa exemptions first.

Vietnam Visa Exemptions list – updated 2018

Vietnam allows nationals of 23 countries to enter Vietnam without a visa for varying time periods. If you hold a passport from one of these countries, plus your stay is 30 days or less. Then you don’t need a visa to enter Vietnam.

  • Cambodia
  • Thailand
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Indonesia
  • Laos

However, this rule does not apply for Phu Quoc island region. All foreign travelers flying directly to Phu Quoc are all given 30 days Visa Exemption. But, if you plan to travel to the mainland or the other parts of Vietnam, then you need a visa. In this case, which normally applies to travelers coming from Cambodia, Thailand or Laos, you will be required to cross into Vietnam via a border crossing. Then the immigration officers will not allow you to enter Vietnam without a visa. You can not say “I heard that all travelers get a visa exemption of 30 days in Phu Quoc Island and the rule is still in effect”. I’m sorry but the visa exemption for Phu Quoc Island only apply if you visit Phu Quoc directly.

If you hold a passport from one of these countries, plus your stay is 15 days or less. Then you do not require a visa:

  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Denmark
  • Italy
  • Norway
  • Finland
  • Sweden
  • Russia
  • Belarus
  • Germany
  • France
  • United Kindom
  • Spain

Among those above countries, Belarus, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy are exempted to July 30th, 2020.

To get the visa exemption, the passports must be valid for at least 6 months from the arrival date. Once you get visa exemption you can only get another one if your last day in Vietnam is not within 30 days. If you wish to come back to Vietnam earlier than that, you need to get a visa through the Embassy or Visa on Arrival.

Ok, that’s it! Not all foreign travelers need a visa to enter Vietnam. Check first if your passport is in the list of the visa exemption then move to learn about the types of visa you can get.

Vietnam currently offers 4 types of tourist visas in 2018

  • Visa for 1 month, single entry: USD $25 per person
  • Visa for 1 month, multiple entry: USD $50 per person
  • Visa for 3 months (90 days), single entry: USD $25 per person
  • Visa for 3 months (85-87 days), multiple entry: USD $50 per person
  • Visa for 1 year (US citizens): USD $150 per person.

The fees listed above for different types of visas is the stamping fees at the airport when you arrive in Vietnam. If you get an e-visa for your one-month single entry, US $25 is the fee you paid for the visa and there is no stamping fee. But, there are two different fees for each visa except for the e-visa. The second fee is the fee you pay for an agent to get an approval letter to your email before you fly to Vietnam.

The latest update on Vietnam visa for US citizen in 2018:

All kinds of Vietnam visa for US passport holders is 1 year and multiple entry. That means US citizen can’t get one month, 3 months, 6 months visa anymore. The only visa to obtain is one year mulitple entry and they need to exit Vietnam after every 3 months during the valid time of visa. I know that it costs quite a lot if you are a US citizen, pay for the stamping fee USD $135 and the service fee for the agent to get an approval letter somewhere from USD $35 or above. It’s just the way it is! We’re done for the visa exemption list and visa types. Now let’s go check how to get a visa to Vietnam.

Since obtaining a visa through the Embassy is running old, we always have options: through the Embassy / Consulate, Visa on Arrival and E-visa.

Three ways to obtain a Vietnam visa

1. Embassy-issued Vietnam visa

You must have a reason for choosing to obtain Vietnam visa through the Embassy. Whatever it is, what you do is you contact the Embassy in your home country to find out exactly what they require and the cost.

Click to find the Vietnam Embassy or Consulate around the world:

Fees vary from country to country. Plus, obtaining visa through the Embassy or Consulate will cost you the cost for travel to the Embassy. Since I’m not a fan of giving my passport to others to keep and wait for the postal service, this way is not for me!

Once you have your passport back with a Vietnam visa, you are good to go. You pay once and when arriving at the airport in Vietnam, proceed directly to Immigration or Passport control. No more payment at the airport.

2. Visa On Arrival (VOA)

Visa On Arrival is the visa that you get when you arrive at the international airports of Vietnam. Before that, you use an agent to make a visa approval letter for you. More specifically, Vietnam Visa on arrival is the visa which is applied for those who travel to Vietnam by air only.

When you arrive at the international airports of Vietnam, you can get the visa stamped onto your passport at the Immigration check-in by submitting the approval letter together with your passport and two passport-sized photos. The passport must be 6 months validity and the photos must be taken within six months too. Finally, you will be ready to pass over the check-in door before entering Vietnam.

the most updated guide to how to get a visa to vietnam immigration gate

Pros: No need to trust the postal service to get your passport back from the Embassy. Good if you stay in Vietnam for more than 30 days or multiple entry.

Cons: Right after landing at the airport, you get to present your approval letter before getting stamped and get your visa. If the line is long, it takes you a bit longer from 30 mins to 2 hours and a half. Moreover, Visa on Arrival will not get you through the land borders or seaports.

Common mistakes when obtaining Vietnam Online Visa:

To prevent you from getting troubles when applying for Vietnam visa on arrival, below is some common mistakes to avoid:

  • Getting visa on arrival without applying online: Never assume that you can get a Vietnam visa directly at the airports in Vietnam without taking time to apply online. Applying for visa emergently at the airport will cost you a lot of money. Even with that, it can cause the delay or cancellation of your flights.
  • Get visa on arrival at the border:  Please note that visa on arrival is only applicable for those who travel by air. In other words, there will be no visa on arrival at the border. So if you travel by any other kinds of transportation, you have options to get your visa through the Embassy or e-visa.
  • Spelling or Typo mistakes: filling in the Application form with wrong details: passport full name, passport number or date of birth. Once the application form and your approval letter do not match, you will be kept longer at the airport. For sure, it will be not a pleasant experience.
  • Visa extension: If you are not sure about the time you will stay in Vietnam, better apply for types of visa that allow you to stay longer. Visa extension can be pricey and time-consuming and you should avoid this. Let’s say that you want to long stay but only apply for a one month visa with the thinking that you will extend your visa to three months later. Don’t plan on doing that.

3. Vietnam E-visa

This is a great new for tourists, a brilliant idea that Vietnam launched the electronic visa system that makes foreigners go ahead with the visa easier than ever.

Currently, there are 46 countries that can get Vietnam e-visa for one-month single entry. That means if you need to stay in Vietnam for more than 30 days or want to visit multiple time, then you need to use either the VOA visas, or obtain via the Embassy. Please also note that the fee of e-visa application is non-refundable, which means that if you fail for the Vietnam visa, your USD $25 will be returned.

Below is the official website to obtain e-visa. Any other websites with the domain including “e-visa” will be the third party or commercial website:

the most updated guide to how to get a visa to vietnam saigon food tour

Let’s check it out if you have the passport in those countries

List of countries that are eligible for e-visa Vietnam

1. Argentina
2. Armenia
3. Azerbaijan
4. Bulgaria
5. Belarus
6. Brunei
7. Chile
8. China (Only for passports with letter G at the beginning;  Not for Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China mainland with E letter in passport number)
9. Colombia
10. Cuba
11. Czech Republic
12. Germany
13. Denmark
14. Finland
15. France
16. Greece
17. Hungary
18. Ireland
19. Italy
20. Japan
21. Kazakhstan
22. Korea (South)
23. Luxembourg
24. Myanmar
25. Mongolia
26. Norway
27. Panama
28. Peru
29. Philippines
30. Poland
31. Romania
32. Russia
33. Slovakia
34. Spain
35. Sweden
36. Timor Leste
37. Uruguay
38. United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
39. United States of America
40. Venezuela

In 2018, six more countries have been added to the list of nationalities eligible for e-visa to Vietnam

41. Australia
42. UAE
43. Canada
44. India
45. The Netherlands
46. New Zealand

List of Vietnam International Airport:

1. Can Tho VVCT VCA International Airport
2. Chu Lai VVCA VCL Chu Lai International Airport
3. Da Lat VVDL DLI Lien Khuong International Airport
4. Da Nang VVDN DAD Da Nang International Airport
5. Hai Phong VVCI HPH Cat Bi International Airport
6. Hanoi VVNB HAN Noi Bai International Airport
7. Ho Chi Minh City VVTS SGN Tan Son Nhat International Airport
8. Huế VVPB HUI Phu Bai International Airport
9. Nha Trang VVCR CXR Cam Ranh International Airport
10. Phú Quốc VVPQ PQC Phu Quoc International Airport
11. Vinh VVVH VII Vinh Airport

List of Vietnam landport:

1 . Bo Y landport
2. Cha Lo landport
3. Cau Treo landport
4. Huu Nghi landport
5. Lao Bao landport
6. Lao Cai landport
7. Moc Bai landport
8. Mong Cai landport
9. Nam Can landport
10. Song Tien landport
11. Tinh Bien landport
12. Xa Mat landport

List of Vietnam seaport:

1 . Da Nang seaport
2. Hon Gai seaport
3. hai Phong seaport
4. Nha Trang seaport
4. Quy Nhon seaport
5. Ho Chi Minh seaport
6. Vung Tau seaport

Follow our Vietnam Travel Guide for more helpful insights.

Once you travel to Vietnam, everybody will say that the motorbike tour is a must. Yes, they are more than right! Saigon Kiss Tours has been ranked as an excellent choice by users of Tripadvisor over the past years. Check the most acclaimed Motorbike Food Adventure and the Motorbike Day Tour to get the most authentic experience in Ho Chi Minh city. Protection Status

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Natalie Vo
Natalie Vo
100% Vietnamese, my passion is traveling and running projects related to tourism. I'm here to share what I know about Vietnam for travelers.

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