When I first went to Vietnam, 15 years ago, getting a visa was pretty straight forward – you would line up at the airport, fill in couple of forms , and wait for your passport to get stamped.
Things have change slightly since then.
For most people, a visa is needed, exceptions to this rule are residents of many Southeast Asian countries as well as Japan, South Korea, Russia and Scandinavia. You have now two different ways of applying for a visa: either go to a Vietnam embassy or apply prior to your departure for a Visa On Arrival.
What kind of visa do I need?
If you are going on holiday to Vietnam you will need the standard visa which is a single entry tourist visa (valid for either 30 or 60 days depending on how long you want to stay). A Vietnam visa for Australians means that you can only enter the country once. If you plan to leave Vietnam and then return on the same trip, if you are planning on visiting neighbouring Cambodia or Laos, you will need a multiple-entry tourist visa, you will need to apply for a multiple entry visa before you leave Australia. This cannot be amended after you arrive in Vietnam.
Visa On Arrival (VOA)
How to apply
- go to vietnam-visa.com and submit your application.
- You will then get sent the approval letter on your email.
- you must take the approval letter with you and get your passport stamped upon arrival.
- it’s simple and easy to apply.
- You don’t need to send of your passport anywhere.
- It will take maximum of 2 working days to get processed, and it will include same conditions, rights and limitations as the ones issued by the Embassy or consulate.
- With the approval letter you will get information about how to find the Landing Visa counter and also an estimated time of waiting. The process at the airport can be slow, up to an hour or two, but if you are travelling in low season or at a quiet time, it can take as little as 15 minutes.
- It is less expensive than apply through the embassy or consulate
- Visa Scams: There are a number of websites that offer visa on arrival for Vietnam, but when you actually land in Vietnam you quickly realise you don’t have a visa, and probably your precious private information is floating on the world wide web – including your passport number! My advice is processing your application through vietnam-visa.com, a reliable website
- visa on arrival in Vietnam is only applicable for travelling by air, if you are entering Vietnam via a land crossing from a neighbouring country (including river cruises that cover more than one country), your approval letter will get you nowhere – remember, you will need to already be in possession of a full visa!