Vietnam Visa | Your Ultimate Guide To Get A Visa For Vietnam

Avatar photo
Tiffany Hoang

Last Updated: March 3, 2024

Most international visitors to Vietnam must get a visa in advance in order to enter Vietnam. Luckily, it’s a very simple and pain-free process if you know how to go about it.

This guide will help you understand the numerous types of Vietnamese visas available, from tourist visas to special visas, and guide you through the application procedure.

Related Article: Best Time To Visit Vietnam 2024

Do I Need A Tourist Visa For Vietnam?

vietnam visa
Vietnam Visa // Photo by Vietnam Embassy, Madrid, Spain

Most international travelers to Vietnam (including travelers from the US and Australia) must get a visa in advance in order to enter the country. There are, however, certain exceptions to this rule. Check out a list of nationalities allowed to enter Vietnam without a visa for a certain amount of time.

Vietnam E-Visa (Electronic Visa)

This is the visa type the vast majority of travelers to Vietnam should use, as it is comparatively hassle-free. The Vietnamese e-visa was made available to all nationalities in November 2023. E-visa holders can stay in Vietnam for 90 days and is available in single-entry and multiple-entry versions for $25 or $50 respectively.

How To Apply for a Vietnam E-Visa

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Vietnam // Photo by Francisco Anzola

The process is simple but can seem daunting unless you know what you’re doing. So let’s go through it step-by-step for the uninitiated.

Step 1. Acquire a 40mmx60mm passport image of yourself. You can get the image taken at a photo studio or take it yourself if you make sure to adhere to passport photo standards (solid neutral-colored background, neutral expression, no accessories). Also take an easily-readable photo of the page of your passport containing your personal info. Upload both of these images to your computer.

Step 2. Go to the official Vietnam e-visa website. There are several fake sites that will try to scam you, so ONLY USE THIS SITE! On the site, click on “for foreigners.” After ticking the checkbox on the page stating you’ve read it, click “continue.” The tickbox will also state that you’ve already completed the application, but you can just ignore that typo.

Step 3. Click on the sample image next to the text that says “portrait photography” and upload the passport image you took. Then click on the sample next to the text “passport data page image” and upload the photo of your passport page.

Step 4. Fill out all the personal information, requested information, passport information, contact information, occupation information, and information about the trip and its expenses on the page. If you’re traveling with kids, there is also a section on the page for you to enter basic info and passport photos for them.

Many travelers are worried about entering information that they’re not entirely sure of (like the address of the hotel you’re staying in if your plans are still up in the air). Don’t worry too much about that stuff, though. The only information that is really important to get correct is the info that the official at the airport immigration office will cross-reference with your passport. In other words, pay close attention to:

  • Surname (only your last name)
  • Given name (your first name, plus any subsequent names other than your last name. For example, George W. Bush would enter “George Walker” as his given name)
  • Date of birth (make sure to enter in the form DD/MM/YYYY, the standard in Vietnam)
  • Place of birth (enter the country you were born in)
  • Sex
  • Current nationality
  • ID card number (enter your passport number)
  • Email (your e-visa will be mailed here, so make sure you have access to the address)
  • Single-entry or multiple-entry (both are good for 90 days, but the single-entry costs $25 whereas multiple-entry costs $50)
  • E visa valid from/to dates (After entering the “valid from” date, the “valid to date” will be automatically calculated when you submit this form)
  • Passport type (99% of people will enter “ordinary passport”)
  • Passport number
  • Issuing authority (enter the name of the country that issued your passport)
  • Date of issue (make sure to enter in the DD/MM/YYYY format)
  • Expiry date (same as above)
  • Intended length of stay in Vietnam (help yourself out and enter “90 days”)
  • Intended date of entry (any date on or before when you will enter is fine. The 90 days of the visa will start on the date you enter. The latest date your visa permits you to exit Vietnam may calculate automatically after you input your entry date)
Vietnamese Tourist Visa 1 - Vietnam Visa | Your Ultimate Guide To Get A Visa For Vietnam
Vietnamese Tourist Visa // Photo by U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Vietnam

You should enter all of the other information on the page as accurately as you can, too, but the fields listed above are the ones you need to MAKE SURE to answer definitively and 100% accurately. That means there are some fields like religion, intended port of entry, and hotel address that you don’t need to worry too much about. Just try to be accurate if you can.

Step 5. Before proceeding, DOUBLE-CHECK all the information on the form to make sure it’s right.The current system makes you restart your application if you try to come back later and amend any information, so save yourself some time.

Step 6. Click on “submit application” and click “continue” on the pop-up that appears. Triple check that all the information on the application review page is correct and click “payment” at the bottom of the page. Then, click on “pay e-visa fee” on the next page.

Step 7. Choose “pay by Visa/Mastercard/JCB/Amex” and select your type of card. Then enter your credit card info. Click off all the fields after entering your info and select “I agree.” Then click “pay.” Hopefully, you’ll be shown a progress wheel that spins for a moment and then turns green, informing you your payment has been accepted.

Step 8. Go to the email you entered during the application and check for a confirmation email with a registration code in it. You can go to the Vietnam visa results portal at any time and enter this code along with a few pieces of personal info to check if your visa is being processed. If it isprocessing and your payment went through, that means you’re done!

Prepare Your Vietnam E-Visa Before The Airport

For your Vietnam E-Visa, ensure you have a printed copy before heading to the airport. After the 3-4 business days processing time, download the visa from the Vietnam visa results portal and print it. At the airport, both during departure and arrival in Vietnam, officials will need to see this printed copy alongside your passport. Though they might accept a digital version on your phone, having a physical copy is crucial to avoid any delays.

Common Issues in the Vietnam E-Visa Process

Some commonly reported issues include:

  • Card declined. Sometimes, cards don’t go through for no apparent reason. The solution is often calling the card company and making sure the card is authorized for international transactions. In fact, take this opportunity to let your card company know you’re traveling to Vietnam so that they can remove any travel bans.
  • Long processing. The visa often takes more than 3 days to process. Remember that processing takes 3 business days, meaning weekends and Vietnamese holidays will not count towards that time. The solution is to apply at least 2 weeks before your trip. In fact, we’d recommend a month in advance to avoid any unwanted complications.

Visa On Arrival

In emergency situations where you cannot wait 3-5 business days for your passport (like a medical emergency, legal matters, etc.), a visa on arrival is a good option. Note that it is more expensive than an e-visa and will require a bit more effort, though.

How to Get Vietnam Visa on Arrival

vietnam visa
Vietnam visa // Photo by Vietnam Embassy in Venezuela

Step 1. Get an approval letter. Before traveling, you must obtain an approval letter from a Vietnamese travel agency. This letter is a pre-approval for your visa that you will then officially get stamped upon arrival in Vietnam. The fee for obtaining the letter is usually in excess of $25 and can be much more depending on length of the visa and number of entries it allows. The fee does not include the actual stamping fee you’ll pay in Vietnam, either, which is why most opt for an e-visa.

Step 2. Gather up the following documents and bring them with you on your flight:

  • Vietnam Entry-Exit Form: Also known as the NA1 form, this needs to be filled out and presented upon arrival.
  • Passport Photos: Typically, two passport-sized photos are required for the visa application.
  • Stamping Fee: As of the last known update, the stamping fee for Visa on Arrival is $25 for single entry (up to 30 days) and $50 for multiple entries (30 days to 90 days), but fees can change, so it’s recommended to verify current rates.
  • Valid Passport: Your passport must be valid for at least six months from your planned entry date and have at least two blank pages

How to Use a Vietnam Visa on Arrival at the Airport

At the departing airport, you don’t usually need to show the approval letter for the Visa on Arrival; instead, you show it along with other documents upon arrival in Vietnam at the designated visa-on-arrival counter.

Countries That Could Be Granted Vietnam Visa Exemption

vietnam visa exemption
Vietnam Visa Exemption // Photo by vietnamvisatourist

Currently, the following countries are exempt from visa requirements for short-term visits to Vietnam:

  • Belarus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Sweden, Russia, South Korea, Spain, United Kingdom (Not applicable to BNO) can be granted visa-free travel for up to 15 days. See the Government’s Resolution for this exemption!
  • Brunei and Myanmar can be granted visa-free travel for up to 14 days.
  • Cambodia, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand have visa-free travel period for up to 30 days.
  • Chile and Panama have the longest visa-free travel period for up to 90 days!
  • Philippines has visa-free travel period for up to 21 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Obtaining a Vietnamese visa can seem tricky to first-timers. Let’s dive into some frequently asked questions that our members often ask us!

Extending a visa in Vietnam is feasible but might be complicated, often necessitating help from local agencies. If the process seems too daunting, a common alternative is to make a “border run,” exiting and re-entering Vietnam. This effectively restarts your visa period, but it comes with its own considerations and costs. It will cost about $75 for a new three-month visa, including bus fares and visa fees for the neighboring country + Vietnam. It will likely take around 6 hours in total to make the trip.

The evisa process usually takes 3-5 working days for tourist visas and 5-8 working days for business visas. Expedited processing options may be available through agents for an added price. Vietnamese visas obtained through visa-on-arrival often process more quickly, though they are more expensive and require more effort.

The most common form of visa for Vietnam is the Tourist e-visa, which is good for 90 days. There’s also a 30 day option available when applying, but the cost is the same.

Yes, you may apply for a Vietnamese visa online through the official website of Vietnam Immigration Department. The e-visa application procedure normally takes three business days, and the visa is emailed to you.

For an e-visa, no, you do not need to present proof of onward travel. If you are applying for visa-on-arrival through an agency, they may ask to see proof of onward travel.

Most nationalities need a visa for Vietnam. Here is the list of countries that can stay in Vietnam visa-free for a limited time.

If your visa application is denied, you may reapply with new or amended documentation, or you may appeal the decision through the embassy or consulate. A visa agency may issue a refund or reapply for a visa on your behalf in specific instances. There is no certainty, however, that your visa application will be accepted.

You can only get a Vietnam Visa on Arrival at the airport if you already have an approval letter, issued by the Vietnam Immigration Department. ( See “Visa on Arrival” Section above). But the good news is you can easily apply for an e-visa which allows multiple entries and is valid for up to 90 days! As of August 15th, 2023, the e-visa will be available worldwide to all countries and territories. Travelers can apply for the e-visa directly through the Vietnam e-Visa Official Website.

Vietnamese visa regulations change often and the official channels for Vietnamese immigration are not always easy to work with. Believe it or not, the Vietnam Visa Advice Facebook Group is a great place to get up-to-date information about the Vietnam visa and ask questions about visa issues.

Related Read: Want to know more about Vietnamese cultural differences? Learn more about Vietnamese culture here!

Wrapping Up

The visa application process for Vietnam may seem daunting at first, but rest assured that it’s easy if you know what steps you have to take. We hope that this information has provided you with a clear knowledge of the Vietnam visa requirements and application procedure.

Applying for a visa is certainly not the most fun part of planning a Vietnam trip, but it’s a necessary evil. Once you get it over with and finally arrive here, you’ll be free to explore the wonders of Vietnam, from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City and beyond! You can kick-start your daydreaming with these excellent wildlife and nature tours!

Avatar photo
Tiffany Hoang
Brand Representative - Vietnam Is Awesome

Book Tours

Unique experiences and activities curated by 183.000 community members