If you are planning a visit to the fascinating country of Vietnam, you will likely need to obtain Vietnam visa to enter the country. The most common and cost-effective method to apply for the Vietnam visa is to buy the visa on arrival (VOA) which is easily organised online.
Also, Vietnam has granted permission for citizens from 23 countries to entry the county visa-free for a short period (14-30 days), several of the countries are ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations).
4 options for your visa
1) Visa for 1 month - A single entry visa is practical for the tourist planning to enter and exit the country on the single occasion. It is useful for travelling within the borders of Vietnam. If you leave to visa a neighbouring country like Laos or Cambodia, you will need to make a new application for a visa.
2) Visa for 1 month - A multiple entry visa gives more flexibility on the Vietnam travels with the option to enter and exit the country as required. This is perfect for travellers hoping to visit attractions in neighbouring countries, such as the world famous Angkor Wat in Cambodia, then returning back to Vietnam.
3) Visa for 3 months - A 3 month single entry visa is a practical option for the more in-depth tour of Vietnam and makes it possible to create the relaxed itinerary, but does limit the travel to within Vietnam only. If you do leave Vietnam during the period of the visa, it would be necessary to organise a new Vietnam visa to get back in the country even if the original visa is still valid.
4) Visa for 3 months - A 3 month multiple entry visa is a useful option for travellers looking to live long-term in Vietnam, but still want the option to enter and exit neighbouring countries.
Also, when organising the Vietnam visa it is necessary to have at least 6 months remaining on the passport from the date of leaving the country, and at least two blank pages in the passport for the visa stamp.
How to organise the cheap visa to Vietnam
The easiest option to organise the cheap visa to Vietnam is to apply for the visa on arrival (VOA) via a trustworthy travel agent or tour operator based in Vietnam such as Vivutravel. This basically involves having an “approval letter” issued which is printed out and taken to Vietnam in order to get the official visa stamp at one of the country’s international airports (Danang, Ho Chi Minh City, or Hanoi). The VOA is only appropriate for tourists planning to enter the country by air, and not by land border crossing or sea port.
There are other options to apply for the Vietnam visa such as directly from a locally based Vietnamese embassy, but that option is typically more time-consuming and significantly more expensive.
How to apply for the Visa on arrival
The basic process of applying for the Vietnam visa on arrival (VOA) is to complete the online application form provided by the chosen Vietnam travel agent. This only needs a few details like information about you, residence time, entry date, etc. Also, it is necessary to pay a service fee to the agent to cover their work and time.
The processing time to receive the “approval letter” is typically in the region of 2-3 business days. However, a rush service is available for those travellers to Vietnam that have left things until the last minute.
The visa approval letter is received by email and it is worth spending a few minutes to make sure the details are correct because any mistakes or errors can lead to complications when trying to get the official visa stamp in Vietnam. If any mistakes are noted it is essential to get these corrected as soon as possible.
In addition to the approval letter and 2 passport size photos it is also necessary to complete an entry and exit application form to present at the visa counter at the airport. This can be printed out and completed before travelling to save a few minutes, or it can be left until you arrive at your destination airport.
After arriving in Vietnam
Once you arrive at your chosen international airport (Danang, Hanoi, or Ho Chi Minh City) in Vietnam you simply make your way to the immigration office or visa on arrival counter. This is a popular place for tourists to visa on arrival so it is certain to be well signposted.
Besides the service fee paid to the travel agent or tour operator in Vietnam to organize the letter of approval there is also a processing fee to pay for the visa stamp which costs $25 for the single entry visa or $50 for the multiple entry visa.
The waiting time to queue for the visa stamp is directly related to the number of tourists and time of day. At quiet times, the entire process to get the stamp can be completed in 10-15 minutes, but at busy times the wait can be 60 minutes or more.
How much is the Visa on arrival
There is every possibility of organizing the cheap Vietnam visa when you are able to partner with a trustworthy travel agent or tour operator such as Vivutravel.
For a single entry, one month stay in Vietnam the price to organise the letter of approval is an attractive low price of $8 (execution of the pre-approval letter) plus the extra processing fee of $25 (payable at the airport) of a total of $33.
Also, when using a reliable provider like Vivutravel you also get access to prompt responses, reliability, proven services, fast processing and online payment.
Read more: Complete Vietnam visa guide