Visa Information

Most travellers to Vietnam require a visa, but not all. Please be aware that even travellers with a nationality eligible for visa exemption most likely still require a visa. The visa exemption is valid for only a limited amount of countries and over a limited time period: only 15 days for the majority of visa exemption program members. Please click here for a list of countries eligible for visa exemption and the maximum allowed stay per nationality. All other travellers require a visa, which can be obtained as follows: By applying for a Visa on Arrival (Option 1), by applying for an e-visa (Option 2) or through a Vietnamese embassy or consulate (Option 3).

Option 1: Applying for a Visa on Arrival (VOA)

The most secure, reliable, easiest and usual way to ensure you will be able to set foot on Vietnamese land, is by applying for a Visa on Arrival. The VOA is a proven concept, used for decades by the Vietnamese government and visa service providers. Nonetheless this option has its limitations, as it is only valid if you arrive in Vietnam by air and if you land on one of Vietnam’s major airports: Ho Chi Minh City (SGN), Hanoi (HAN), Danang (DND) or Nha Trang (Cam Ranh, CXR). If you plan to go to Vietnam by crossing a land border, for instance via Cambodia or Laos, then please proceed to Option 2 or 3.  To pick up your actual visa upon arrival, you have to bring the following documents (click the arrow for a more elaborate explanation):

Authorisation / Invitation / Approval Letter

Visa providers use different names for this letter, but its the same letter. It is an official document that allows you to pick up your visa on arrival in Vietnam. You cannot request this letter yourself. To obtain it you need a visa provider such as YourVisaforVietnam.com. At fees starting from only €12.50 our costs are considerably lower than our competitors, who provide you with the same letter at typical rates of €18 to 25. Please read our costs page for an overview of ours costs and an explanation of the fee differences. All we need to know from you to arrange your approval letter is the following:

· Your passport details.
· Your date of arrival.
· Your desired period of stay.
· Whether you wish a single or multiple entry visa.
· Whether you prefer a special private letter, where your passport details are not shared with others.

If you continue reading, you will find a more elaborate description of each of the listed points. Or apply now for your visa on arrival.

Application Form (N1-form)

Upon arrival in Vietnam, you receive another application form from the Vietnamese immigration. This form is named the N1-form and can also be found here, such that you can fill it in before your travels saving you time at the immigration. If you have questions regarding the N1-form, then please first have a look at the Frequently Asked Questions.

Passport photo

Usually one passport photo is sufficient, but sometimes the Vietnamese immigration might require two passport photos per person. Therefore we recommend to bring two photos per person. Officially passport photos need to be 6×4 cm, but in fact the Vietnamese immigration accepts photos of all sizes. In case you forget to bring a photo, you are obliged to have a photo taken upon arrival at a cost of $5.

Passport

You also have to hand in your passport, such that Vietnamese immigration can glue your actual visa in your passport. Be aware: Upon arriving in Vietnam your passport needs to be valid for at least 6 months and contain at least 3 empty pages.

Stamping fee

Besides the costs for the approval letter, you pay a stamping fee upon arrival in Vietnam. The stamping fee is dependent on the type of visa applied for: stamping fee for a single entry visa is $25 and $50 for a multiple entry visa. As such, by booking with us, the total costs for your visa are considerably lower compared to the costs of getting your visa at the embassy (Option 3). We recommend to bring the stamp fees in cash, as  withdrawing money upon arrival is difficult or impossible and the Vietnamese immigration does not accept payments by card, 

Once you handed in all above listed documents at the Vietnamese immigration, your passport will be given back shortly after and contains your actual visa. You pay the stamping fee and are ready to start your Vietnamese adventure! 

visa on arrival procedure

So a VOA is all about obtaining an approval letter. We can arrange this at lower costs than our competitors, but as indicated above we need to gain some information: the duration of your stay, whether you prefer a single or multiple entry visa and whether you prefer a private letter or not. Please let us explain this to you:

Duration of stay

The Vietnamese immigration offers only two options in terms of visa duration: one or three months.

One month

This visa is really valid for only one month. As such the amount of days this visa is valid may differ, dependent on your travel month. For instance: 12 February until 12 March is only 28 days, whereas the same visa from 12 October until 12 November provides you 31 days access to Vietnam. If the date does not exist, for instance from 31 October until 31 November, the latest day of the last month (30 November) will be the expiry date of your visa. So please be not misinformed by websites and visa providers who claim to have 30-day visas -this is dependent on your date of arrival!

Three months

This visa is valid for 87 days. So dependent on your travel date, this visa may be valid for exactly 3 months but it may as well be less than 3 months. Nonetheless many websites and visa providers call this a 3 months visa, so be aware of this if you were planning to fully benefit from your allowed period of stay. 

The date of arrival you provide us in the application form, is the date your visa starts to run. This means you are able to enter Vietnam later than the provided date of arrival, but not earlier. You also need to be aware that you leave Vietnam before your visa expiry date. If for example your approval letter allows you to stay 30 days but you arrive 3 days late, you only have 27 days left.

Tip: It is possible to extend your one month visa in Vietnam, but this is very inconvenient and comes with very high costs. If you are not sure how long you will stay in Vietnam, we therefore recommend you to apply for a 3-months visa as this is not significantly more expensive.

Single- or multiple entry visa

Each of the abovementioned two options, comes in two variants. Hence in total there are four types of visa you can apply for.

Single entry visum

This type of visa is used immediatly after you enter Vietnam. Afterwards you can obviously still leave Vietnam, but you cannot enter Vietnam again in the same time period with the same visa. 

Multiple entry visum

I you wish to enter Vietnam multiple times during your period of stay, for example if you plan to combine your travels to Vietnam with Cambodia and/or Laos, you need a multiple entry visa.

The private letter

To ensure as low as possible costs, the Vietnamese immigration processes multiple VOA-requests simultaneously. Therefore your approval letters contains other travellers who usually arrive in Vietnam around the same time as you. You don’t know those people and will probably not meet them either. However, that is not of importance to you in terms of receiving your visa. For you it is only of importance that your personal details are correct. Some visa providers arrange a private letter that you don’t share with other travellers, but this comes at higher costs and is unnecessary. However, we understand that some of our customers do not wish to share their personal details with unknown others. Hence in our application form we provide the option to choose for a private letter that contains only your own details.

Option 2: Obtaining an E-Visa

As of February 2017, the Vietnamese government has started a pilot project to provide travellers an e-visa. Potentially the e-visa concept is even more convenient and also cheaper than the approval letter of Option 1. The idea is that you apply directly for your actual visa: this visa will be emailed to you and all you need to do is to glue it in your passport. As such you no longer need to pick up your visa on arrival and neither do you pay additional stamping fees. Therefore, once the e-visa has shown to be a secure and reliable concept, you may expect YourVisaforVietnam to facilitate this. However, currently we recommend you to avoid the e-visa as it comes with major disadvantages and the concept is unfortunately still unreliable:

· It is a pilot project: as such the e-visa system still experiences serious bugs and issues
· The e-visa is only available for a one month, single entry visa
· Processing times are very unreliable: the indicated processing time is 3/4 working days, but expect processing times of at least 8-10 working days and up.
· Processing/application mistakes cannot be fixed when applying for an e-visa
· An e-visa cannot be extended in case you wish to stay longer in Vietnam
· The e-visa is only available for a limited list of nationalities

From a better safe than sorry perspective, we therefore recommend you to go for Option 1 -the proven concept of a visa on arrival by means of an approval letter-, especially as the total cost differences between both options are minimal.

Important Note: Please be aware and careful of other visa providers and websites. Many of them have misleading names: often their URL’s contain the word e-visa or a derivative thereof, while in fact they provide approval letters (Option 1) and not an e-visa. Some visa providers even pretend to sell e-visas whereas in reality they sell invitation letters. As such please be careful where you order to avoid any unwanted costs and disappointment. 

Option 3: Through a Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate

The last option to arrange your actual visa for Vietnam in advance by going to a Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence. This option essentially requires the same steps and documents as Option 1, except that an approval letter is not needed. Instead you go to the embassy in person to apply for your visa. This option comes with major disadvantages. This option is not only time consuming, you have to go to the embassy in person twice (the first time to request your visa and the second time to pick it up), it also comes with potentially high travel costs. Furthermore the visa itself is at embassies considerably more expensive as compared to applying for your visa through Option 1. However, if you plan to travel to Vietnam by land, Option 3 might be the only possible option for you.