How to apply Vietnam visa on arrival

The Vietnam visa on arrival (VOA) is an option to apply for an entry visa to Vietnam in which travellers are asked to organise a “letter of approval” before travelling and picking up the official visa after arriving at one of the designated international airports.

The visa approval letter is obtained online for a small fee and presented at the immigration counter at one of Vietnam’s international airports - Ho Chi Minh City, Danang or Hanoi - in exchange for the visa stamp.

Applying for a cheap visa to Vietnam isn’t always the most straightforward compared to other countries in SE Asia. Besides the few nationalities that are granted short-term exemption from applying for a visa, any foreign traveller will be denied entry to the country without a valid visa or pre-arranged letter of approval. In fact, most airlines will stop travellers boarding a flight without the appropriate paperwork in place.



How to apply for a VOA
The basic application process involves applying for the approved letter using a third-party travel agent and on arrival at the airport the official visa stamp is provided. The process is typically completed in four steps:

Apply for your approval letter online
Complete the application form issued by the Vietnam based visa agent with the exact information printed in your passport. Make sure there are no mistakes to avoid any potential delays in approving the Vietnam visa.

Make the appropriate payment quoted by the travel agency using a debit or credit card. Third-party travel agents are likely to charge a price of $17 - $25 (varies with the different agents) to process the visa application. An extra fee may be applicable for travellers in need of a rushed service.

Any communication related to the VOA application is handled by the Vietnam travel agency, but any missed information is certain to mean a delay in the approval process. For this reason it is essential to fill in the application form first time round without any mistakes.

Even though the process of applying for the VOA is relatively short, it is still worth starting the application well in advance of the actual date of the flight/holiday. While it is not necessary to have a flight booked prior to starting the application, you cannot enter the country on a date before the arrival date noted on the application.

cheap visa to vietnam

Print your approval letter
Wait the 2-3 day processing time to receive the visa approval letter via email which should be printed out. Also, an entry-exit form NA1 form is needed. Any print out must be clearly legible, so printing out of few copies can be a worthwhile safety measure.  

Applications for a tourist visa beyond the standard 30-days can increase the processing time with longer stay visas taking 7-10 days to process.

Book your flight
If the flight to Vietnam is not already booked, this can now be safely organised after receiving the letter of approval. While it is possible to book the flight without displaying proof of an appropriate visa, you will need to show the pre-approved visa letter or a Vietnamese visa in your passport before it is possible to board your flight.

Arrive in Vietnam
On arrival in Vietnam take the printed approval letter, original passport (must have at least 6 months of validity remaining), completed NA1 form and 2 passport-sized photos (white background is required) to the appropriate visa on arrival desk to get the visa stamp. If you arrive at the airport without the passport photos, most airports have a photo kiosk to use.

The visa application form (NA1) can be completed at the airport or printed out before hand to speed up the application process. Once the visa application is processed, you will get back a Vietnam one-page visa sticker in your passport.

Also, the stamping process at the airport is subject to a fee (payable in cash) of $25 for the single entry or $50 for the multiple entry. This is in addition to the $20+ that was previously paid to the local agent to organize the approval letter.

Depending on how busy the airport is the entire process to get the VOA is likely to be in the region of 15-25 minutes.

cheap vietnam visa vivutravel

Visa on arrival airport process
Tourists wishing to apply for the Vietnam visa on arrival must enter the country using one of the country’s international airports (Ho Chi Minh City, Danang or Hanoi). This type of visa isn’t applicable for arrival via sea harbours or land border crossings.

On arrival at Tan Son Nhat international airport (Ho Chi Minh City) tourists will need to visit the VOA window in the immigration hall. The appropriate counter is marked as Landing Visa.

For arrivals at the Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi) the counter to obtain the visa is located opposite the immigration desks.

At the Danang International Airport (Danang) the visa counter is located in the huge hall that is easily found by following the exit signs.

Countries with visa exemptions
Several nationalities are exempt from the standard rules for entering Vietnam. Travellers from Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand are permitted visa-free travel for a period of up to 30 days. Citizens from the Philippines can stay in Vietnam for up to 21 days without taking the steps to apply Vietnam visa, while travellers from Italy, Spain, Germany, Great Britain, and France can enjoy visa-free travel for up to 15 days. Visa-free travel is subject to complying with relevant Vietnamese laws, and any travellers planning to stay longer than the duration of the visa-free period must organise the visa extension in advance.

APPLY VIETNAM VISA is cheap Vietnam visa service run and managed by Vivutravel, you can visit and submit your passport details. No copy of passport is needed. As soon as we receive, our visa specialist will check. If all correct, we will send you an invoice that you can pay the fee ($8 per person) online then we process the visa right away. Urgent case from 2-8 hours, normal case will take 2 working days.