Vietnam Entry Visa Info

  1. Tourist visas allow visitors to enter and exit Vietnam at Hanoi, Hochiminh City and Danang airports, or at any of its twelve land borders, of which three with Cambodia and China, and six with Laos.
  2. Tourist visas are valid for a single 30-day stay. The Government often talks about issuing visas on arrival to certain favored nationalities. Arranging the paperwork for a Vietnamese visa has become fairly straightforward, but it remains expensive and unnecessarily time-consuming.
  3. It is possible to arrange a visa on arrival through a Vietnamese travel agent. They will need passport details in advance and will send a confirmation for the visa to be issued at your airport of arrival. In Asia the best place to pick up a Vietnamese visa is Cambodia, where it costs around US$30 and can be arranged on the same day. Bangkok is also a popular place as many agents offer cheap packages with an air ticket and visa thrown in.
  4. If you plan to spend more than a month in Vietnam, or if you plan to exit Vietnam and enter again from Cambodia or Laos, arrange a three-month multiple-entry visa. These cost around US$95 in Cambodia, but are not available from all Vietnamese embassies. In our experience personal appearance influences the reception you receive from airport immigration – if you wear shorts or scruffy clothing, look dirty or unshaven, you can expect problems. Try your best to look ‘respectable’.

Visa Exemption
Only citizens of certain countries can visit Vietnam without Vietnam entry visa. Those countries include: most citizens of ASEAN countries are no need Vietnam visa for visit Vietnam within 30 days; citizens of Korea, Japan & Scandinavians (Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland passport holders) are no need Vietnam visa for visit Vietnam within 15 days. All other citizens are required to get Vietnam entry visa before departure (Vietnam visa issued prior to departure by Vietnamese consulates or embassies) or a pre-approved Vietnam entry visa (visa is issued on arrival at Vietnam’s International Airports) supplied before arrival in Vietnam.

  1. No Vietnam entry visa required for travel less than 30 days: Citizens of Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Brunei and Laos.
  2. No Vietnam entry visa required for travel less than 15 days: Citizens of Japan, South Korea, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.
  3. No visa required for travel less than 90 days or several visits within 6 months: Citizens of France holding valid diplomatic or official passports.
  4. No Vietnam entry visa required for travel less than 60 days: Citizens of Chile holding valid diplomatic or official passports.
  5. No Vietnam entry visa required for travel less than 60 days: APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) Holders from Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies.
  6. No Vietnam entry visa for traveling to Phu Quoc Island – Vietnam : Foreigners and Vietnamese nationals bearing foreign passports who enter Vietnam through an international border gate and then travel to Phu Quoc Island and stay in Phu Quoc less than 15 days will also be exempt from Vietnam visa application. Passports must be valid for at least 45 days. After arriving in Phu Quoc Island, if visitors want to travel other localities or stay in the island for more than 15 days, the immigration department will be responsible for issuing visas right on the spot.

How to apply for a visa to Vietnam?
You can either apply by yourself at Vietnamese embassies or consulates in your country or have a local travel agent (your sponsor) do part or all the procedures.
By yourself:

  • Required documentations: you have to submit:  passport of six months’ validity,  visa application forms, and  probably some others required by Vietnamese embassy or consulates in your country. Visa forms are available by getting directly or by mail with a stamped, self-addressed envelope addressed to their Visa section. Request by email is perhaps acceptable (in some cases).
    See Visa application form  and list of  Vietnamese Embassies and Consulates abroad (also available  Foreign Embassies and Consulates in Vietnam).
  • Time: processing tourist visa application typically takes four or five working days.
  • Cost:: fees vary from embassy to embassy; about $50 in Bangkok and $85 in Washington, for example.

By local travel agency:
Provide two types of visa services: Visa Application letter and Full-packaged service (on-arrival visa). Please refer to the detailed visa procedure and services for more information
For more information and/or to apply for a visa to Vietnam, please click here

Visa to Vietnam: DOs & DON’Ts
Visas are still an expensive aspect of travelling to Vietnam.
DO ensure that you apply for a visa well in advance. If you do so from outside Asia, it may take even longer. Ask for a multiple entry visa (same price, but not always granted) or at least a double entry visa.
DON’T forget to arm yourself with a sheaf of passport photos: vital for visa applications and useful for other official dealings within Vietnam.
DO check for up-to-date information: regulations change frequently, as do visa lengths and prices. Once you are on your way to Vietnam, usually on the flight or when you arrive at the airport, you will be asked to fill in an entry/exit form and to keep a (yellow) copy.
DON’T lose this form, you may need it to open a bank account or show an officious hotel receptionist and if you do mislay it, you may have to fill out another one before you leave the country.
DO beware of the double dating system. Your visa will contain a termination date and your passport will most likely be stamped with a permit to stay until… date. These two dates are rarely identical! And, of course, the earlier of the two is the one that counts.
In case of staying for work in Vietnam;
DON’T leave home or lose a copy of your employment contract or an official letter from the company or agency as this is required for issuance and extensions of your visa.
DO contact the Immigration Police in Hanoi or Hochiminh City for extension of your tourist visa. A long-term visa must be renewed, although, in special circumstances, it can be extended for a few days. However, if you need to change visa category (for instance, from a tourist visa to a business visa), you will have to leave the country in order to get the new visa issued.
If you plan to leave Vietnam during your visit, for example to visit a neighboring country and then to return to Vietnam, DO make sure that it says multiple entry or double entry on your visa, or you will not get back into Vietnam without a fresh visa!
If you know where you wish to enter or exit Vietnam (other than at the three international airports in Hanoi, Da Nang, and Hochiminh City), BEFORE you apply for your visa, DON’T forget to specify these border crossings so that they can be added to your visa. Otherwise, you can have them added from within Vietnam, but with a little more hassle – and money, of course.