Vietnam Visa – Everything you need to know

For most nationalities, the Vietnamese visa application process is quick and simple. While some countries are exempt, most tourists will need a visa if they stay in the country for more than 15 days. Many others will require a visa even for a short stay.

Standard Vietnam tourist visa is usually valid for 1-3 months and can be entered single or multiple-entries.

Sample Vietnam visa
Sample Vietnam visa

Urgent: updating visa to Vietnam from 1 July 2020.

Before the COVID-19 outbreak that took place in the spring of 2020, Vietnam updated its rules and regulations regarding visas. Vietnam will issue electronic visas to citizens of 80 countries starting July 1, 2020 according to Resolution No. 79 / NQ-CP. Details on the list of countries can be found here.

Eligible persons for e-visa can enter Vietnam by flying on one of eight selected international airports. They can also enter by land, through one of the international border gates or by sea, at 13 different ports across the country.

Eight international airports are: Noi Bai, Tan Son Nhat, Cam Ranh, Da Nang, Cat Bi, Can Tho, Phu Quoc and Phu Bai international airports.

Please refer to this link for a complete list of international border gates and ports that e-visa-eligible citizens can use to enter Vietnam, starting 1 July. 2020.

Note: this information is subject to change so please check the situation near your travel date. The information below refers to the time prior to the Covid outbreak and will be updated as the situation becomes more stable.

Do I need to apply for a visa to Vietnam?

Whether you need a visa to enter Vietnam or not depends on your nationality and the length of time you intend to stay. If you hold British citizenship, you can stay up to 15 days without a visa. If you plan to stay longer, you will need a tourist visa.

Many other nationalities can enter Vietnam from 2 weeks to 90 days without applying for a visa. Check here to see if your country is one of them.

Visitors from the United States or Australia require a tourist visa even for short stays.

Special Situation: Phu Quoc Island

If you travel directly to Phu Quoc Island then you can stay there visa-free for up to 30 days. This applies to all countries. You will have to present your flight ticket once in Vietnam.

Vietnam visa requirement

For tourists, a tourist visa is required. Depending on your nationality, you can normally apply for a Vietnam tourist visa for up to 3 months.

Make sure your passport has at least 6 months of validity and at least 2 pages left blank.

If you are traveling for long-term work or study, you can apply for a work permit through your employer or education institution.

Vietnam Tourist Visa

There are 3 ways to apply a Tourist Visa:

  1. Apply Vietnam visa on arrival (VOA)
  2. Apply E-visa
  3. Apply Embassy visa (from the Vietnamese Embassy in your country)

1- Apply Vietnam Visa on Arrival (VOA)

Visa on arrival is a 1 or 3 month Business or Tourist visa that you receive on arrival in Vietnam. You will need an Approval letter (to receive your visa) before you leave and the easiest way to do this is online from a reliable online website.

Fill out the quick application form online (you will need to know your arrival date and the name of the airport you will be arriving at).

  • Pay the visa service fee online
  • Within two working days, you will receive an email with the Vietnam Immigration Department’s official Vietnam visa approval letter.
  • Print out the Approval Letter and prepare two photos (4cm x 6cm) of you.
  • Bring your printed Approval Letter, photos and Government Stamping Fee (along with your passport and any other required documents) on your trip to Vietnam.
  • When you arrive at the arrival airport in Vietnam, please proceed to the Visa Counter at the counter and present the Approval Letter and photo to the immigration officer.
  • Pay the required amount (US $25 for single entry and US $25 for multiple-entries – in cash).

Trusted Online Sites

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the airport queue up at the Visa counter?

You don’t have to wait in line but with the advent of E-visas that most eligible tourists get today, the queue is much shorter. Wait? 20-40 minutes can be expected.

I don’t trust getting something out there, isn’t it better to get a visa directly from the Vietnam Embassy?

Visa on arrival is formal and easy. Visas applying for through the Embassy take more time.

2- Apply E-Visa: Where to get a Vietnam visa online

E-visa is the easiest, fastest and cheapest Vietnam visa. Effectively it has replaced the Embassy visa.

However, not all countries are eligible for an E-visa. Check out this link to see if your country is eligible.

If you are not eligible for an E-visa then the next best option is VOA (Visa on arrival). It’s a lot cheaper than the Embassy stamp visa and also quicker to get.

  • Get started at the official website of the Vietnamese government.
  • Upload your passport photo (page with your name, date of birth, passport number, etc. on it) and passport photo (also in .jpg format).
  • Fill in all required information.
  • Pay the E-visa fee using any of the payment methods provided.
  • Get your registration code and save the number.

What happens next?

You need to wait for 3 working days and then search your visa. After accessing your visa with using the registration code, email, and date of birth, you will be able to download and print it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my E-visa doesn’t show up after 3 working days?

You will need to visit the help desk.

Can I apply for a Vietnam E-visa for multiple entries because I want to work one week in Vietnam, one week in Cambodia and then one week in Vietnam?

No, you can only get the E-visa with single entry. If you need a multiple entry visa then you will need to apply for a Visa on arrival or Apply visa at Embassy in your country.

3- Apply Embassy Visa

This visa is obtained from the Vietnamese Embassy (Consulate) in your home country before you leave. The E-visa has effectively replaced this visa but not all countries are eligible for E-visas.

Vietnam Visa Fee

Costs differ depending on different nationalities but expect to pay around $25 for an E-visa (usually up to 30 days) and around $50 for a Visa on Arrival (usually up to 3 months).

The cost varies depending on the different nationalities but is expected to pay around $ 25 for the E-visa (usually up to 30 days) and around $30-$40 for the Visa on arrival (usually up to 3 months).

You can refer to here

How to extend Visa in Vietnam?

The visa extension grants you a new period of stay in Vietnam. This does not replace your expiring visa; it pushes the shelf life back. Since this does not require a new visa stamp or sticker, it is cheaper than the visa extension option.

To be eligible for the visa extension, your current visa must meet a number of conditions, depending on the type of extension you are applying for. Holders of a 1 month visa are only allowed to apply for an additional 1 month extension; 3-month visa holders can apply for an extension of 1 month or 3 months. More specific:

  • If your current visa is a 1-month single-entry, 1-month multiple-entry, 3-month single-entry, or 3-month multiple entry, you are allowed to apply for a 1-month single-entry extension.
  • Only if your current visa is a 3-month single-entry, 3-month multiple-entry are you allowed to apply for a 3-month extension. 1-month visa holders may not apply for a 3-month single-entry extension.
  • The total time of your stay in Vietnam – including the extension – must be no longer than 6 months.
  • You may only apply for an extension 2 times, and the 6-month maximum requirement holds for and includes both extensions.

You must apply for visa extension before your visa expires. Processing and granting extensions take at least 7 working days, and you must submit your passport to the Immigration Department of Vietnam during this period, so plan accordingly.

The 1-month renewal fee will be around US $ 60, depending on your nationality. The 3-month renewal fee will be around US $ 135-225, depending on your nationality. Furthermore, only certain nationalities are eligible to apply for the renewal. Presumably, any nationality eligible to apply for a visa in the first place will be able to apply for that visa extension (of course if the above conditions are met), call the immigration department to find out. :

Vietnam Immigration Department (A18) in Hanoi

  • Address: 44-46 Tran Phu, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi.
  • Phone: (84)2438264026: about entry and exit Vietnam, residing of foreigners in Vietnam, repatriating of Vietnam citizens living abroad.

Vietnam Immigration Department (A18) in Danang

  • Address: 78 Le Loi, Thach Thang, Hai Chau, Da Nang.
  • Telephone: + (84)7511-3823383

Vietnam Immigration Department (A18) in Ho Chi Minh City

  • Address: 196 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai, Ward 6, District 3, Ho Chi Minh city.
  • Telephone:+(84)838299398

If you are eligible to apply for an extension, the fastest way is to do so through a local travel agency that offers visa extension services. If not, you can also directly apply for the extension at the Immigration Department in Hanoi at the address mentioned above. Your passport must be at least 6 months old and have at least 1 or 2 blank pages.

1- Visa Renewal/Extension (from Within Vietnam)

Visa Extension will not be an option for you if:

You entered Vietnam without a visa, because your country had an agreement with Vietnam allowing its citizens to enter visa-exempt;
Your current visa does not meet the conditions for the extension you want to get: e.g., you have a 1-month visa, but want to stay in Vietnam for 3 more months; or
You have a single-entry visa, and wish to switch to or extend your stay with a multiple-entry visa.

Renewing your visa essentially means replacing it. You can renew your tourist visa from within Vietnam; as it requires a new visa stamp and sticker, though, it is more expensive than extending it. It will cost between about US$60 (one month, single), US$135 (three months, single), and US$225 (three months, multiple).

Again, these prices may change depending on your nationality; contact the immigration department for specific details. A set of documents similar to those required for extension will be needed for renewal, and an in-country renewal can be done by travel agencies like the one provided above or at the immigration office. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 more months and have at least 1 or 2 blank pages. You can renew your visa for a maximum of three months.

2- Visa Run from Vietnam

This is probably the option you have heard the most. A visa run as its name implies: a run across Vietnam border to get a new Vietnam visa. There are two main ways to do this: leave Vietnam and fly back, leave Vietnam and re-enter the mainland (usually by bus).