Visa to Vietnam: A Comprehensive Guide 2022
Vietnam has been ranked among the most attractive destinations in the world thanks to a variety of sublime landscapes and unique cultural experiences. Famous tourist locations throughout the nation welcome millions of international travellers every year. While visitors who come from several countries are exempted from Vietnam visa requirements, others have to apply for a visa to Vietnam. This article will provide a detailed instruction on Vietnam visa application in order to assist first-time tourists in your preparation for upcoming Vietnam trips.
Vietnam visa exemptions
Here is the list of countries whose citizens are allowed to travel to Vietnam without a visa for a short-term period (14-90 days):
- Up-to-14-day visa exemption: Brunei, Myanmar
- Up-to-15-day visa exemption: South Korea, Japan, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Belarus
- Up-to-21-day visa exemption: The Philippines
- Up-to-30-day visa exemption: Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Kyrgyzstan
- Up-to-90-day visa exemption: Chile
On 15th March, the Vietnam Government issued Resolution No. 32/NQ-CP on visa exemption for citizens of the following countries: Federal Republic of Germany, French Republic, Republic of Italy, Kingdom of Spain, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Russian Federation, Japan, Republic of Korea, Kingdom of Denmark, Kingdom of Sweden, Kingdom of Norway, Republic of Finland and Republic of Belarus.
The citizens of those countries are exempted from a visa to Vietnam with a stay duration of 15 days from the date of entry, regardless of passport type and entry purpose, provided they fully satisfy the conditions prescribed by Vietnamese Law. This policy is implemented for a 3-year period, from 15th March 2022 to the end of 14th March 2025 and will be considered for an extension in accordance with Vietnamese Law.
Types of visa to Vietnam
The Vietnam Immigration Department issues the following types of Vietnam visa that are applicable to foreigners entering Vietnam:
- Vietnam Tourist Visa (DL): issued to foreigners entering Vietnam for tourism and recreational purposes, not related to business/studying, etc.
- Vietnam Business Visa (DN): a short-term visa issued to business people entering Vietnam for business-related purposes (attending a meeting, holding a conference, etc.)
- Vietnam Work Visa (DN/LD): issued to foreigners entering Vietnam in order to work or conduct business with a Vietnamese company.
- Vietnam Student or Internship Visa (DH): issued to foreigners entering Vietnam to study in a Vietnamese educational institution or to do an internship.
- Vietnam Diplomatic Visa (NG1 – NG4): issued to foreign diplomats or government officials and their accompanying/visiting family members.
- Vietnam Investor Visa (DT): issued to foreigners entering Vietnam in order to invest in a business in Vietnam.
- Vietnam Transit Visa: issued to those who change planes in a Vietnamese airport and intend to leave the airport’s international transit area.
Requirements for a visa to Vietnam application
There are several necessary documents that you must submit to apply for a visa to Vietnam, including:
- A passport that is valid for at least six months
- 4×6 passport-size photos that are taken recently (white background, without glasses)
- The Vietnam Visa Application Form (you can either download it or get the form at the Embassy/Consulate)
- Proof you have paid the Vietnam Visa fee
- Any other additional documents that the Vietnam Embassy/Consulate may require (e.g: a Letter of Invitation or Sponsorship from someone in Vietnam, depending on your travel purpose)
- If you are applying for a Vietnam visa on arrival:
- Pre-obtained Approval Letter
- Entry and Exit Form, which you will receive on the airplane. Then you must complete the form before handing it in at the Immigration Officer at the port of entry
- Cash to pay the Vietnam visa stamping fee
How to apply a visa to Vietnam
There are three main methods of Vietnam visa application that tourists can apply:
- In-person: at an Embassy or Consulate of Vietnam abroad
- Online: if you come from one of the eligible countries
- On Arrival: after getting an online Approval Letter before traveling
Apply for a Vietnam visa at an Embassy or Consulate
- Contact the Embassy/Consulate to make an appointment or learn about any specific requirements. Find a list of the Vietnamese Embassies and Consulates here.
- Collect the required documents for your Vietnam visa application.
- Submit the documents and pay the Vietnam visa fee.
- Wait for your application to be processed.
- Collect your passport and learn about the result of visa application.
- If your application is approved, the Vietnam visa will be stamped on your passport and you can use it to enter Vietnam.
- Depending on what country you are applying from, you may be allowed to submit your documents by mail.
- Depending on your travel purpose as well as the Embassy/Consulate, you may also have to submit an Approval Letter from the Immigration Department of Vietnam.
Apply for Vietnam Visa online (Vietnam e-Visa)
What is Vietnam’s e-Visa?
Vietnam’s Electronic Visa (e-Visa) is issued by the Vietnam Immigration Department to foreigners entering the country. The e-Visa is valid for 30 days and single-entry only. It costs 25 USD for card payments and requires three full working days to process. As of July 2020, Vietnam’s e-Visa is available to citizens of 80 nations.
How to apply
- Prepare the required documents for your Vietnam visa application.
- Conduct an online application through the Vietnam Immigration Portal
- Upload a scanned copy of your passport data page and a passport-size photo of yourself.
- Enter all the required information on the online application form and submit your form.
- Pay the Vietnam e-Visa fee (US$ 25). Copy down the provided document code.
- Wait for your application to be processed (up to three working days).
- Check this website to learn the visa result.
- If you get the eVisa, you have to download the PDF file and print it in two copies.
How to use an e-Visa in Vietnam
Your e-Visa is valid for entry at 28 international checkpoints in Vietnam, including eight international airports. You can check the full list of airports, seaports, and border crossings which accept an e-Visa. When you arrive in Vietnam, submit your passport and printed e-Visa at the immigration counter.
Apply for Vietnam Visa on arrival
Tourists can get a Vietnam Visa on arrival if you enter Vietnam through one of the nation’s international airports as belows:
- Tan Son Nhat International Airport – Ho Chi Minh City
- Noi Bai International Airport – Hanoi City
- Danang Airport – Da Nang City
- Cat Bi Airport – Hai Phong City
- Cam Ranh Airport – Nha Trang City
The prerequisite for a Vietnam visa on arrival is an Approval Letter from the Vietnamese Immigration Department. You can make an application through a travel agency or visa application agency that operates with the permission of the Vietnam Immigration Department.
- Online (through the website of the agency handling your application):
- Enter your passport information and the port you will enter through
- Pay the service fee
- Wait for the request to be processed (between 2-4 working days)
2. You will receive the Approval Letter for Vietnam visa on arrival by email. A copy will also be forwarded to the Immigration Officers at the airport you will enter through.
3. Print the Approval Letter, and travel to Vietnam. You must also prepare at least 4 passport-size photos of yourself (4x6cm), your passport, and cash to pay the Vietnam Visa On Arrival stamping fee.
4. Queue up at the Visa On Arrival counter at the airport in Vietnam and apply to get your visa stamped on your passport.
5. Pay the Vietnam Visa On Arrival fee (US$ 25 for a single-entry visa; US$ 50 for a multiple-entry visa).
The duration of processing a visa to Vietnam
- For a Vietnam visa at an Embassy/Consulate: It depends on each specific Embassy/Consulate
- For a Vietnam e-Visa: About three working days
- For a Vietnam visa on arrival: Between 2-4 working days (sometimes more) for the Approval Letter
The validity of a visa to Vietnam
- Single-entry visa: issued for 1 month or 3 months
- Multiple-entry visa: issued for 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year
The duration of your visa depends on your travel purpose. Specifically, tourist visas are usually issued for a single entry, while work or business visas can be issued for multiple entries for up to one year.
Vietnam visa application fees
- For a Vietnam visa at an Embassy/Consulate: It depends on each specific Embassy or Consulate.
- For a Vietnam e-Visa: US$ 25
- For a Vietnam visa on arrival:
- Single-entry, 1 month: US$ 25 for stamping fee on arrival (plus the additional service fee for the Approval Letter)
- Multiple-entry, 1 month: US$50 for stamping fee on arrival (plus the additional service fee for the Approval Letter)
- Single-entry, 3 months: US$ 25 for stamping fee on arrival (plus the additional service fee for the Approval Letter)
- Multiple-entry, 3 months: US$ 50 for stamping fee on arrival (plus the additional service fee for the Approval Letter)
- Multiple-entry, 6 months: US$ 95 for stamping fee on arrival (plus the additional service fee for the Approval Letter)
- Multiple-entry, 12 months: US$ 135 for stamping fee on arrival (plus the additional service fee for the Approval Letter)
Where to visit in Vietnam
Halong Bay – The leading destination
After getting a visa to Vietnam, it’s time to pack a suitcase and start your exciting journey in such a beautiful country. Naturally gifted a wide range of magnificent landscapes, from majestic mountains to picturesque beaches, Vietnam definitely offers global travellers exceptional experiences and ultimate enjoyment. Among the nation’s outstanding tourist sites, Halong Bay is undoubtedly the first destination that anyone must visit when arriving in Vietnam.
Halong Bay, located in the Gulf of Tonkin (the Northeast of Vietnam), covers an area of 43,400 ha and includes over 1600 islands and islets of various sizes and shapes. This property is centered around the drowned limestone karst landforms, displaying sublime pillars with a collection of arches and caves which form marvelous natural scenery. Thanks to its significant geographical values and exquisite seascapes, Halong Bay was recognized as a UNESCO World Natural Heritage twice in 1994 and 2000 and was voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature in 2011.
Cruising in Halong Bay – a must-try experience
In order to discover and admire the charms of the Heritage to the fullest, you are suggested to take a cruise in the bay. Besides selective itineraries including the sightseeing of the most famous and splendid landscapes, cruises also provide all-inclusive packages of accommodation, cuisine, entertainment, and other complementary services. There are numerous choices of Halong Bay cruise with different tours, routes, standards, facilities, or activities. If you desire luxurious and high-quality leisure experiences, why not trying Ambassador Cruise – the largest 5-star ship in Halong Bay? Featuring a sophisticated design and state-of-the-art facilities as well as premium conveniences, this luxury cruise will promisingly elevate your vacation in the heart of Halong Bay.
In conclusion, foreign tourists are required to apply for a visa to enter Vietnam (except for citizens of countries that are exempted from Vietnam visa). Three official ways of visa application include in-person (at an Embassy/Consulate of Vietnam abroad), e-Visa (if you come from one of the eligible countries), and on arrival (an Approval Letter needed). You are advised to prepare enough documents that accurately satisfy the given requirements for visa acceptance. By following our step-by-step guide presented in this article, you may find the procedure of Vietnam visa application easier, helping save your time and effort.
How can I extend my visa when I am in Vietnam?
The maximum period you are allowed to stay is 3 months. You can extend your visa while you are in Vietnam, by visiting the Vietnamese Department of Immigration, located at No. 44 – 46 Tran Phu Street, Ba Dinh District, Ha Noi City or No. 333-335-337 Nguyen Trai Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
If my e-Visa is refused or unused, will my payment be refunded?
No. Payments for e-Visa applications are non-refundable.
Could I travel without an Approval Letter and get the visa after arrival?
No, you cannot. The approval letter is required by airlines in order for you to be able to board the aircraft. It is also a prerequisite if you want to get your visa at Vietnam international airports.
Can I change the details after I get the Approval Letter?
Once you receive the Approval Letter issued by the Department of Immigration, you cannot modify the information stated on the letter such as your name, gender and date of birth. In case you need to change these details or plan to arrive earlier than the approved date, you will need to reapply for a new visa letter.
What if my passport expired? Can I apply for a visa to Vietnam?
If your passport is expired, you cannot apply for your Vietnam visa. In this case, you must renew your passport before visa application. You need to check your passport to make sure it is valid at least 6 months since your date of arrival in Vietnam.