Visa to Vietnam

The most important thing is to make sure your Vietnam visa is stamped with the correct dates and the correct entry and exit points. The standard tourist visa is valid for a period of up to 30 days. If your vacation is less than 30 days, you can either specify the exact dates, but the best thing to do is to ask for the maximum period to give yourself more flexibility.
Processing normally takes between a week and ten days (some embassies offer an express service for an extra fee), but longer for overseas Vietnamese. To be on the safe side, allow several weeks as mistakes are common and inexplicable delays often occur.

When applying for a Vietnam visa, in general two application forms are needed with two passport photos. One of these forms, with photo attached, will be returned to you with your visa.

For some odd reasons, many people throw this form away. It is a big mistake as it is required at immigration on arrival. If you don't have it with you, blank copies are available at immigration.

A spare photo in your travel documents is always helpful. If not, you'll have to engage the services of a handy airport photographer for the princely sum of $2-5.

Extended visa is relatively easy to get and can be handled by tour agents. The first renewal costs around $25-30 (including a handling fee) and takes three working days to process (please note that government offices are only open Monday to Friday).

The maximum period can be extended is 30 days and it costs the same whether it is 1 day or 30 days. A second 10-day extension is applicable at a cost of around $35-40. For this second extension you will be asked to show an air ticket dated after the expiry of your visa.

A. How many types of Vietnam Visa?

There are 3 main types of Vietnam Visa as followed: 

1. Tourist Visa

  • 1 month single entry and 1 month multiple entry.
  • Maximum stay of one month and can be extended after your arrival in Vietnam.

2. Diplomatic and offical Visa

  • No fees applied unless otherwise agreed upon between Vietnam and applicant’s country.
  • On applying this visa, an official letter by the concerned agencies of local government, foreign embassies or consulates accredited to the applicant’s country, international organizations, or other accredited organizations based in that country must be submitted

3. Business or other types of Visa

  • It is required to get an approval from sponsors in Vietnam when applying for this category.
  • Multiple entry and stay of 3 month or 6 month is possible.

B. Visa on Arrival (abbreviation as: VOA)

This is fastest and the most convenient way to avoid the expensive and unnecessary time-consuming queuing at Embassies and the like. The entry visa will be stamped locally at the Immigration office on arrival international airports within Vietnam comprising Hanoi/Noibai, Ho Chi Minh City/Tan Son Nhat and Danang - procedure is rather fast.

You can choose either to settle directly the stamp fee (US$25-net person/one month tourist visa) to the Authority or you pay to your travel agent - it is always the same. Although, the validity of visa is 30 days but you can easily extend it when you arrive Vietnam.

You need to have what is called an Approval Letter from Vietnam Department of Immigration to be able to get a stamp at airports. We will do this for you taking within 2 working days then we send you a copy either by email or fax, you hold it to board your flight - stamp procedure will be done when you arrive Vietnam.

C. Visa Requirement

The following personal data is needed 
01. Your full name (exactly as in your passport)
02. Date of birth (DOB)
03. Place of birth (POB) 
04. Nationality
05. Passport Number
06. Date of issuance of Passport 
07. Date of expiration of Passport 
08. Proposed arrival date

09. Flight details/reference 
10. Port of arrival - Hanoi/Noi Bai, Ho Chi Minh/Tan Son Nhat or Danang 
11. Purpose of your visit (Vacation/Business/Visit family)
12. Type of service (Visa approval code or Visa on arrival)
13. The city in which a Vietnam embassy or consulate is located, where you plan to get the visa (only applicable for visa approval code case)

1. Does Vietnam travel visa start on entry or on date of approval?

The effective date will be on entry date (date give in the approval letter) or simply the date you arrive Vietnam as the approval date may be many days in advance prior to your date of arrival. From the entry date, you can delay your arrival but no longer than the duration of your whole stay approved. You are not normally allowed to enter Vietnam before the date of entry.

2. Is validity of passport important?

Very important as you cannot apply for a Vietnam visa if your passport is expired. However, for some cases, you still can plan yourself that by the date of passport expire, your Vietnam visa (traveling period) is expired as well then you can go back after finishing holiday in Vietnam to extend your passport.

3. How many pictures (photos) exactly do I need to bring and what size?

2 pictures (photos), size 4x6 cm

4. What exact procedure do I have to do at arrival airport?

Hand in the approval letter (the one agency gave you in advance), your pictures and pay required visa stamp fee then your passport to be stamped for a valid visa then you exit the airport.

5. Do different passport holder have to pay different price?

Same for all once you are in the list of countries which need Vietnam visa.

6. Vietnam ports of visa on arrival?

  • Hanoi/Noi Bai airport
  • Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon )/Tan Son Nhat airport
  • Danang airport.

7. List of visa exempt countries?

Country and its citizen do not need Vietnam visa at the moment (list might be extended in the future)


Asian Countries (10)
a. Thailand (exempt validity: 30 days)
b. Indonesia (30 days)
c. Singapore (30 days)
d. Malaysia (30 days)
e. The Philippines (30 days)
f. Laos (30 days)
g. Kingdom of Brunei Darussalam (30 days)
h. Japan (15 days)
i. South Korea (15 days)
k. Cambodia (14 days)


European Countries (5)
a. Sweden (exempt validity: 15 days)
b. Denmark (15 days)
c. Finland (15 days)
d. Norway (15 days)
e. Russia (15 days)

8. What does the letter mean in the Vietnam visa?

The Letter, in other word, is the Letter of Approval - a document issued by Vietnam Department of Immigration (A18) to certify that you are accepted to get Vietnam visa on arrival at airports (either Hanoi , Danang or Ho Chi Minh City). Without this letter, you can't have visa and you will have to return to your original departure. Make sure you have this before flying.

9. Can go to Vietnam passport valid rest 3 months?

This will depend
a) If you have already a valid Vietnam visa into your passport and the validity of your visa does not override the validity of your passport then it is ok.
b) If you do not have a visa yet and you are going to ask for the 'visa on arrival' this is NOT possible as the Immigration requires, at least, your passport with 6 month validity.

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