Visa On Arrival for Vietnam

Visa On Arrival is no longer available

In the past, travellers could apply for a visa on arrival in Vietnam. Nowadays, this is no longer possible, which means that the visa must be applied for before departing for Vietnam. In 2018, Vietnam introduced an e-visa. Since then, travellers can apply for their visas online.

Visa On Arrival is no longer available

Until the beginning of 2020, travellers could arrange a visa upon arrival at an airport in Vietnam. This so-called ‘visa on arrival‘ (VOA) was highly popular amongst travellers, because it was an easy and fast way to fulfil the visa requirement. Travellers only needed to apply for a so-called ‘approval letter’ before departure. Various travel and visa agencies could arrange the letter on a short notice. Upon arrival, travellers had to pay a ‘stamping fee‘ to get the visa stamped into their passport.

When Vietnam closed its borders for international travellers in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak, no more visas were issued. This affected all types of visas: regular paper visas issued by the embassies, e-visas, and visas on arrival. After reopening the borders in March 2022, the Vietnamese immigration service never resumed issuing visas on arrival on a larger scale. It was never officially confirmed that the VOA was discontinued, but it is virtually impossible to still receive a VOA nowadays. Instead, the e-visa was thoroughly revamped so that it became available for more travellers. The adapted e-visa allows travellers to stay in Vietnam for a longer period of time.

Boat in Vietnam

Alternative to the VOA: the e-visa for Vietnam

Since the visa on arrival for Vietnam is no longer available, another visa might be required to travel to Vietnam. Travellers can choose between two options: the traditional paper visa which you need to apply for at the Vietnamese embassy, or the electronic visa which you can apply for online. Since a visa application at the embassy is more time-consuming and more complicated, most travellers choose to apply for an e-visa. This visa is suitable for tourist and business travel to Vietnam, and allows for stays of up to 90 days.

The electronic visa for Vietnam was introduced in 2018 already. While the visa on arrival could be arranged after arrival in Vietnam, travellers need to apply for an e-visa beforehand. An application is processed in 13 days, on average. The advantage of an e-visa compared to the old VOA is that travellers can pass the border controls more quickly with an e-visa. The visa does not have to be stamped into the passport.

Fraud with the visa on arrival

One of the reasons why the VOA for Vietnam is not available anymore is that it was prone to fraud. Some websites that claimed to be able to obtain the official approval letter for the visa on arrival turned out to issue fraudulent documents. Because of this, travellers experienced difficulties upon arrival in Vietnam and had to pay high fines. Some travellers were even denied entry to Vietnam altogether. Nowadays, one can still find many organisations online that claim to be able to arrange a visa on arrival for Vietnam on a short notice. You are advised to avoid these organisations and to use the e-visa instead of the visa on arrival.

Simple e-visa application

Nowadays, you can no longer receive a VOA upon arrival in Vietnam. However, travellers who need a visa can simply apply for an e-visa online. To be eligible, you need to fulfil a number of visa requirements. Please keep in mind that you need to submit a scan of your passport and a clear photograph. Please also check the page with additional explanations on how to apply for a Vietnam e-visa.

Apply for your e-visa for Vietnam right away