Vietnam has attracted high sums of foreign investment from around the world and continues to enjoy strong economic growth. This has lead to more foreign businesses looking to Vietnam as a place to market and operate their company. In order to conduct work in Vietnam, it is necessary to first organise the relevant business visa.
However, this rule may not apply for businessmen located in one of the visa waiver countries who get a short-term exemption to visit Vietnam and explore business opportunities. The exemption rules often change so it is worth checking with your local Vietnamese embassy to see the most up-to-date information.
Vietnam business visa
The Vietnam business visa (classified as visa DT, DN or LV) is issued to any foreign person who intends to conduct business related activity while in the country. The latest business visa can be valid for 3 months for the shorter trips or 6 months or 12 months (single or multiple entry) for the longer term ventures. However, it is also a standard requirement to obtain a sponsorship or an invitation letter from a locally-based business in Vietnam.
If the business visa application is processed through a local embassy, their rule is to organise sponsorship or an invitation letter from an employer or business partner in Vietnam. However, for travellers looking to organise the cheap Vietnam visa on arrival, which is completed online, it is not necessary to get a sponsorship letter and the visa can be processed without this document.
Single vs. Multiple entry visa
A single entry visa for Vietnam gives the option to visit the country on the single occasion. If you leave the country for any period of time it is necessary to organise a new visa before being granted permission to enter Vietnam again.
The multiple entry visa gives more flexibility in the travel itinerary and visitors have the option to come and go as they please provided it takes place within the time-frame of the visa. There is no need to re-apply for a new visa after each exit from the country.
How to apply for the business visa
There are two options to apply for the Vietnam business visa, including:
1) Visit an embassy, or
2) Visa on arrival (organised online)
Either method is relatively straightforward, but the option to apply for the Vietnam visa on arrival is becoming more favoured because it is the fastest, cheapest and most convenient method.
HOW TO APPLY CHEAP VIETNAM VISA
Here is an overview of the different business visas
A visit to a local Vietnamese embassy gives the option to apply for a Vietnam visa in advance. The rules to apply for the business visa are likely to vary with the different embassies, but the standard requirements are certain to ask for the following:
Passport - the passport must have at least 6 months remaining which is a basic requirement with most airlines. It generally helps to have a few blank pages in the passport for the stamp, but in the event of no blank pages, a loose-leaf visa can be issued.
Application form - the application form is quick and easy to download from the local embassy's official website. Alternatively, it can also be picked up directly at the embassy. The form must be completed with 100% accuracy (avoids problems with issuing the visa), signed, and also attach a single passport size photo.
Letter of entry clearance - any supporting letters can be obtained from your business partner based in Vietnam.
Visa fee - the actual Vietanm visa fee is entirely dependent on the issuing embassy and will vary in relation to the number of entry and length of stay. It is practical to check the applicable fees while in the process of obtaining the application form.
The business visa is typically processed in 3-5 business days, although an express service may also be available for travellers looking to make last minute arrangements.
Visa on arrival
The visa on arrival is a practical option for the business opportunities up to 3 months. The actual application process is much the same as the Vietnam tourist visa. This is simply a process of applying for a visa approval letter which is received from a third-party travel agency or tour operator located in Vietnam. This “letter of approval” is enough to board a flight to Vietnam for the purpose of business activity and the actual visa stamp is received on arrival at one of the country’s major international airports (Danang, Ho Chi Minh City, or Hanoi).
Note: this visa to Vietnam is only applicable for travellers that plan to travel by air and arrive at one of the international airports. For travellers planning to enter the country using alternative routes such as a land border crossing or sea port, it would be necessary to organise the visa in advance via a local embassy.
Once you arrive at the immigration or visa on arrival counter at the airport, you simply need to submit your completed application form (this may also be done at the airport), visa approval letter, original passport, and a passport size photo.
Plus, there is a stamping fee to pay at the airport for the visa which is in addition to the service fee paid (likely to be about $17-$24) to the third-party travel agent for organising the visa approval. The stamping fee at the airport is $25 for the single entry visa and $50 for the multiple entry visa.
The stamping fee payable at the airport much be made in cash in USD currency. Most airports don’t have ATMs available and credit card payments are not accepted, so it is necessary to travel with the relevant currency.
The typical wait time to apply Vietnam visa stamp is in the region of 10-15 minutes, but this will depend on the time of day and how busy the airport is.