This is a short guide for those wanting to travel to Vietnam sometime soon (or later) and seeking some reliable visa information. As I’m still holding a Bangladeshi passport (as of 2016), I unfortunately needed a visa. But I was (kinda) glad to find out that I wasn’t the only one needing a visa. Apparently many nationalities would require a visa to enter in Vietnam.
So which passport holders don’t require a visa?
Citizens of ASEAN countries (Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Laos, Cambodia, Philippines, and Myanmar), U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Russia, Belarus, South Korea, and Japan can enter + stay in Vietnam up to certain number of days without needing a visa.
All other citizens not listed above will need a visa to enter and stay rightfully!
So how to get a Visa? There are two ways you can obtain a Vietnamese Visa:
Visa On Arrival
This is the ‘easier’ way if you can’t be bothered to go to a Vietnamese embassy or consulate. You get this visa after your arrival at any of the 3 main international airports in Vietnam – Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Da Nang. Keep in mind that this on-arrival visa applies only to air travel and arrival at these airports, therefore this method won’t work if let’s say, you decide to arrive by bus from a neighboring country!
However, to get a visa on arrival at the airport, you first have to apply for a so-called “Approval Letter” online. You can literally find hundreds of sites which offer this service and though most are legit, I would recommend:
My Vietnam Visa ($ 20 / € 18 fee)
Vietnam Immigration ($ 15 / € 13 fee)
Vietnam Visa Pro ($10 / € 9 fee)
These fees are fees for the approval letter (single entry) and not the actual visa – for the actual visa you will have to pay an additional $ 25 / € 22 (single entry) at the visa counter after arrivals. To receive an approval letter, you simply fill up the online form, pay with credit card, and send it. Then you should receive it within a week. When you fly to Vietnam, together with this letter, a passport photo, and the visa fee – you should receive the on-arrival visa without any issue. Oh you obviously need to carry your valid passport with you 😉 .
An important detail to note here would be : getting the approval letter online is easily possible for citizens of over 90% countries. For those few unfortunates whose countries are not listed, the alternative is the second option of obtaining a tourist visa through Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate.
Tourist Visa through Embassy/Consulate
Of course you can also apply for a tourist visa through the embassy, which may be somewhat bureaucratic and annoying. But if you love traveling, you wouldn’t complain much I guess! To get a visa, generally you need to submit the following documents :
– Passport with minimum 6 months validity.
– Filled application form
– A passport photo
– Residence/ID card (if your present country is different than your country of origin)
– Photocopies of your passport and ID
– Visa Fee – which can be anywhere between $50 (€ 45) to $80 (€75) , depending on your nationality and country of application.
If you have submitted all those documents required by the embassy or consulate, you should receive your visa within a week. In my case, it was ready within 3 days!
Did you know? If you go to visit only the Phu Quoc islands and arrive there directly, you can stay without a visa for 30 days, given your passport has at least 45 days of validity!
So choose what suits you best and get ready to fly as long as you have all the valid documents with you! 🙂