Several Things You Need to Know about Vietnam Visa (Part 1)

 

For those interested in traveling to Vietnam for tourism or business purposes, you should always check visa policies of the country before entering it. Vietnam is luckily not so complicated when it comes to their visa policies but confusion can arise, so I’ve written this article for you in order to ease your process. It contains almost all necessary information for you to have a hassle-free entrance to the country.

The article covers:

         Tourist Visa

  • The countries that do not need visa to enter Vietnam and duration of Visa Exemption (Ordinary & Diplomatic/Service Passports)
  • Pre - applying for visa at Vietnam embassies/consulates in your country
  • Applying online for Visa On Arrival - VOA
  • E-Visa
  • Visa extension/renewal
  • Visa runs
  • Overstaying visa (Likely consequences)

    Transit Visa (Requirements)

    Business Visa

  • Exempted countries (including APEC card holders).
  • Application via embassy or online for Visa-On-Arrival.

TOURIST VISA

The Lucky Nationalities That Do Not Need Visa to Enter Vietnam for Travel Purposes

As a general rule, all visitors to Vietnam must provide a valid passport and an entry visa/visa approval letter at the port of entry, but certain nationalities are eligible for a visa exemption due to unilateral and bilateral visa exemption agreements between the Vietnamese government and their respective countries. The only documents you need to provide to the immigration officer, in this case, are your passport and return ticket, and once approved and stamped, you are good to go!

Here is the list of 22 nationalities that can enter Vietnam without a visa (irrespective of type of passport – diplomatic/official/ordinary) and the time period they are allowed to remain in the country under the condition:

List of Nationalities

Time Allowance

United Kingdom
Spain 
France
Italy
Germany
Sweden
Norway
Danmark
Finland
Belarus
Russia
Japan
South Korea

15 days

 

Thailand
Cambodia
Malaysia
Singapore
Laos
Philippines

30 days

Brunei
Myanmar

14 days

* Countries marked with asterisk are granted visa exemption from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017 only

If You Hold A Diplomatic / Official Passport

Those that hold diplomatic or official passports of the following countries do not require a visa to visit Vietnam either. You will be granted either a 1-month/3-month, single/multiple entry visa, depending on nationality.

 

A
Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
Angola
Argentina
Armenia
Azerbaija

 

B
Bangladesh
Belarus
Brazil
Bulgaria

 

 

C
Chile
China
Colombia
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cuba
Cyprus
Czech Republic
D, E, F, G, H
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Estonia
France
Germany
Hungary

I, J, K
India
Iraq
Israel
Italy
Japan
Kazakhstan

 

M
Malta
Mexico
Moldova
Mongolia
Montenegro
Morocco
Mozambique
Myanmar

N, P
Nicaragua
North Korea
Pakistan
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Poland

 

 

R, S
Romania
Russia
Serbia
Seychelles
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
Sri Lanka
Switzerland

T, U, V
Tanzania
Tunisia
Turkey
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
Uruguay
Uzbekistan
Venezuela

 

 

 
Obtaining Visa Prior to Arrival at Vietnam embassies/consulates in your country

But if your nationality is not mentioned in the table above then your options are to either obtain your visa at a Vietnamese embassy or consulate in your country, a travel agency granted the authority to do it for you, or apply online for a visa-on-arrival.

The time taken to process your pre - applied visas vary from country to country as well, but usually takes between 3-7 business days to complete. The fees for visa also vary depending on nationality, location of application, duration of stay, and whether you are applying for a single or multiple entry visa. But if the embassy or consulate is not in your city, you may have to DHL your passport over and back, so bear in mind that you will need to cover the costs of the prepaid couriers too.

Along with the required documents which generally includes only your passport and two standard passport-sized photos (make sure it is a recent one and not one that is drastically different to how you look right now), you will have to fill in the visa application form for submission. Either print it out in advance or fill it up at the consulate. Once you submit these together along with the fee (payable only by cash), the consular officer will give you a receipt which you must have with you when you return to pick up your visa in the time period specified.

Visa-On-Arrival

Another option for those of you who are strapped for time or do not want to send your passports away if there is no Vietnamese embassy or consulate in your home town, is to pre-arrange a visa-on-arrival. Visa-on-arrival means to get your visa approved by the Vietnam Immigration Office in advance, and then getting it stamped on your arrival. There are numerous agencies authorized by the Vietnamese government to collect passport details and arrange for an “approval letter” to facilitate this process. These agencies charge a small fee and sometimes this fee adds up to being less than what you end up paying at the consulates If you apply for visa the “normal” way.

With visa-on-arrival you are able to apply for any of the standard tourist visas (1-month/3-month, single/multiple entry). But the only difference is that VOA only works for those flying into the country via Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Nha Trang and Da Nang International Airports. For those crossing the border by land or arriving on cruise, unfortunately this option is not for you.

Your passport must also be valid at least for six months from the date of exit and have enough empty pages so it can be stamped.

E-Visa

E-visas (electronic visa) are now issued to foreigners by the Vietnamese Immigration Department. These are valid for a maximum of 30 days and only allow a single entry into the country. Unfortunately, not all nationalities are eligible to receive an e-visa but the list of countries that are eligible can be found in the following: List of countries that allowed e-visa issued

Apply E Visa here: Apply for E Visa

Please read for further information about visa here Vietnam Visa Application

 

Further readings