Visas for Vietnam
More and more tourists and business travellers are discovering the enchanting country of Vietnam. Keep in mind that you need a Vietnam visa to enter the country. You need to have it in your possession before starting your trip. This requirements applies to all travellers, regardless of their age or nationality.
Pick one of the three application procedures
You can choose from three possibilities to acquire your Vietnam visa. Most travellers make use of the online application procedure; you will then receive a so called Vietnam e-visa. Before the introduction of the online procedure, the Vietnam visa on arrival was the most used method. It is still offered, though usage of it is discouraged by the embassy. Finally, it is possible to have a physical visa affixed to your passport by the embassy. Visitors from a number of countries, including the United Kingdom, can stay in Vietnam for up to 15 days without a visa.
Below you can read more about the differences, so that you can make an informed choice
Most travellers make use of the electronic visa, because it can be acquired the easiest, costs the least and no embassy or consulate needs to be visited.
Possibility 1: The Vietnam e-visa
In 2016, Vietnam introduced an electronic visa issuing system. As a result, it is no longer necessary to visit the Vietnam embassy for a stay of less than 30 days in order to obtain your visa. The automated system works as follows:
- You fill in the online application form in
- You make the payment
- You receive the visa within 3 days by e-mail
Online, simple and fast
Due to the simple online procedure, the Vietnam e-visa is the easiest and cheapest way to meet the requirements. Do you want to know more about its function and the procedure? Read the page with extra explanation.
Requirements and validity
The e-visa for Vietnam has a validity term of 30 days. It can only be used if the traveller possesses a passport which is valid for at least 30 more days after the visa expires. Already at the time of application it must be stated where the traveller will enter and depart from Vietnam (airport, seaport or border post). It is not necessary to have already booked all flight tickets and overnight stays at the moment of application. Read more about this on the page concerning the visa requirements.
Possibility 2: Visa on arrival with an approval letter
This variant used to be popular in the past. Since the implementation of the electronic granting system, the Vietnamese embassy discourages travellers of making use of the visa on arrival. It bypasses the current regular online procedure and the embassy cannot guarantee that with this variant it will be possible to travel without problems.
Take note: if you search online for information about the Vietnam visa you will encounter many commercial visa bureaus that make use of the old procedure of the visa on arrival. Oftentimes this is not clearly mentioned. Because of this, many travellers believe they are buying a visa, while they are only buying an approval letter. In that case, a stamping fee needs to be paid after arrival in Vietnam, which means that the costs are unexpectedly higher. Read more about this on the page concerning the visa on arrival.
Possibility 3: Through the embassy
Do you wish to stay in Vietnam for longer than 30 days. Or are you from a country that does not qualify for the online visa? Then you cannot make use of the online granting system. You will need to arrange for a physical Vietnam visa through the embassy. To do this, you need to make two appointments at the embassy: one to bring your passport, and another to pick it up again with the affixed Vietnam visa.
You can also outsource the method through the embassy to a visa bureau. You send your passport to the bureau, which will deliver it to the embassy and also pick it up. You will then receive it by post or courier. Keep in mind that the costs for this are higher than when using the online procedure for the Vietnam visa.