Nearly everyone travelling to the Vietnam will need to apply for a standard or urgent Vietnam visa, although there are a few exceptions. Check with your local consulate to see if a visa is a requirement in your case. Foreign visitors planning the Vietnam holiday have the option to apply for a single-entry visa or a multiple-entry tourist visa. Plus, tourists can extend the duration of the visa after arriving in Vietnam.
Here are the three ways to apply for the Vietnam tourist visa:
The latest visa application option is the E-Visa which has let Vietnam catch up the latest conveniences and technologies in the travel world. This only became available in February 2017 and is available to citizens from 40 countries around the world.
The E-Visa is only available for single-entry use and valid for a period of up to 30-days. The fee to apply for Vietnam E-Visa is $25.
Any traveller to Vietnam that has applied for the E-Visa has the option to enter the country in a number of different ways. It is usable at the 13 international land border crossings, via the country’s main 8 airports, and 7 sea ports along Vietnam’s beautiful coastline.
The E-Visa is organised by visiting the official Vietnam government immigration website. During the submission process it is necessary to provide a digital copy of the passport biographical page and photo.
On arriving in Vietnam, travellers are requested to visit the immigration officer or counter with their digital code email and passport to get officially stamped in. The digital code email is intended to serve as your visa which helps to avoid taking up a full page in your passport.
Qualifying countries include:
Great Britain, France, Ireland, Japan, Germany, United States of America, Bulgaria, Argentina, Northern Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Spain, China (except e-passport holders), Colombia, Sweden, Romania, Cuba, Philippines, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Greece, Azerbaijan, Venezuela, South Korea, Myanmar, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Armenia, Poland, Russia, Timor-Leste, Czech Republic, Belarus, Chile, Mongolia, Panama, Uruguay, Slovakia, Brunei, Peru.
Visa on Arrival (VOA)
The Vietnam visa on arrival is a popular option to organise a visa when planning the holiday to this fascinating country. It is the most practical option for citizens that aren’t listed as one of the 40 countries that qualifies for the e-visa. Also, it gives the option to apply for a Vietnam visa online that lasts longer than a standard 30-day single-entry visa.
The Vietnam visa on arrival is only available to travellers planning to arrive in Vietnam via one of the main international airports (Hanoi, Danang, or Ho Chi Minh City).
Before the VOA is approved, it is first necessary to organise a “letter of approval” from a locally based Vietnam travel agent. There are a number of agencies throughout Vietnam that will be willing to help with this requirement.
This letter is a basic part of the application process and must be presented at the arrival airport in order to gain the official entry visa.
A visa processing fee is charged by the agencies which is likely to cost in the region of $17 to $25 (depends on the travel agency). In most cases, the letter of approval arrives within 2-3 business days. This typically comes in the form of a colour PDF which is printed off and taken on the trip.
On arrival in Vietnam, you need to visit the immigration desk and present your letter of approval, an application form and two passport photos (must be taken within the last six months) in order to get your visa officially approved.
A further stamping fee is applied at the airport to approve the visa which costs $25/$50 (must be paid in USD), but this will be higher for stays in Vietnam lasting 6 months or more. The processing time at the airport is approx 15 minutes plus any time queuing at the counter.
Also, for the travellers with little time and in a rush there is the option of an express service for the urgent visa to Vietnam at an additional cost.
Anyone travelling to Vietnam can start the application process up to six months before the actual start date of the Vietnam holiday. Also, the passport must have at least six months remaining from the date of departure from Vietnam.
Local Vietnamese Embassy
The final option to apply for the Vietnam visa is via your local Vietnamese embassy. Any visa obtained through an embassy or consulate gives the travellers complete freedom to enter the country via any means (air, land, or port).
The application process is in the region of 5 business days, which is a litter longer than the alternatives, but it is a fail-safe option. It is necessary to conduct a little research to find the location of your local embassy. Also, it is necessary to print off a PDF document which forms the application process.
The cost of this type of visa to Vietnam is set by the embassy and will vary for citizens from different countries. A great positive of organising the visa via a local embassy is not needing to queue at the immigration counter on arrival in the country. You will have everything already prepared and you can simply walk through immigration.
Visa Free Entry
Vietnam has certain visa exemption rules in places that update often, but permit certain travellers to enter the country for a short stay without needing a visa.
Countries that qualify for a maximum 15 day stay in the country without a visa include:
Belarus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom
Travellers must hold a passport with at least 6 months remaining and also hold the return flight ticket on arrival.
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