January 1, 2020
Visa On Arrival

Vietnam Visa On Arrival For All Nationalities 2020 – Fee, Requirement and How to Apply

This post is about Visa on arrival for those who want to visit Vietnam. Please note that there are 3 ways to obtain visa to Vietnam, but this post is mainly details of visa on arrival.

  1. Three different ways to get Vietnam visa

You should know that there are 3 ways to get Vietnam visa. Understanding these different ways helps you to figure out which one is the most suitable for your case, and you know how to get it effectively. Below is a quick summary of these 3 ways:

  • Apply for Vietnam visa at the Vietnam embassy/consulate in your country (before coming to Vietnam). This is the way many people think about when preparing for a visa. It is more reliable because you will get the visa from a reliable organization before visiting Vietnam. However, the time for processing your visa at the embassy is longer than what it takes if you apply online. The fees for applying at the embassy is non-refundable and usually high-compared to the 2 other ways. You also need to spend a lot of time for moving to the embassy a couple of times and prepare some paper works.
  • Vietnam E-Visa (electronic visa): It takes about 15 minutes online application process on Vietnam Government Official Website and you will get the E-visa delivered online in your mail box within 3 working days. In case you are looking for a single entry and less than 30 days of stay, you should apply this kind of visa. However, E-Visa is only eligible for 46 countries. Another point is if you want to stay more than 30 days, or enter multiple times, you should think about visa on arrival.
  • Vietnam visa on arrival: This way is helpful when you are looking for multiple entries or more than 30 days of stay. Procedure is divided into 2 stages: Getting a visa approval letter online – around 15 minutes online application (before coming to Vietnam) and getting visa at the airport – around 30 minutes (when arriving Vietnam).
  1. What is Vietnam visa on arrival

Visa on arrival, as its name, is the visa you get when arriving Vietnam. Vietnam Visa on Arrival is slightly different from other countries’ Visa on Arrival. If you are thinking that you will apply for your Visa once you land in Vietnam, you are seriously mistaken.

Vietnam Visa on Arrival requires you to complete following 2 steps:

  • Getting a visa approval letter prior to your Vietnam trip: This letter is required. You cannot get visa at the airport if you do not hold this letter in your hand. So, make sure you apply it at least 2 days before your entry date. This letter cannot be directly applied with the Vietnam Immigration Department. It is only accepted if you apply through a third party, such as a travel agency.

you must apply a visa approval letter before coming to Vietnam

 

  • Getting your visa stamp once you land in Vietnam: You get the actual visa and visa stamp at the airport when you arrive Vietnam by submitting approval letter and some related documents (passport + Vietnamese visa application form + photos).

then getting visa stamp on arrival at the Vietnam airports

 

So, do not get confused by Visa on Arrival Term. Even for Visa on Arrival, please arrange your Visa Approval Letter in advance, prior to your Vietnam Trip (by applying online through a Private Agency in Vietnam). Please note that Airlines will check your Approval Letter and if you do not have Visa Approval Letter, Airlines may deny your trip or you may not get your visa stamp on arrival in Vietnam.

  1. Who are eligible for visa on arrival

Vietnam Visa on Arrival is eligible for citizens of all countries, but only if you travel by air and arrive in Vietnam at one of the six international airports. Vietnam Visa on Arrival is NOT available for those who travel by LAND or by CRUISE. In case you are travelling by any other means of transportation (other than airplane), please apply for your Visa at nearest Vietnam Embassy/Consulate or choose E-visa.

Applicable Airports for Vietnam Visa on Arrival:

  • Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi city)
  • Cat Bi International Airport (Hai Phong city)
  • Da Nang International Airport (Da Nang city)
  • Cam Ranh International Airport (Nha Trang city)
  • Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City)
  • Phu Quoc International Airport (Phu Quoc island)
  1. Documents requirement of visa on arrival

Before we explain Vietnam Visa on Arrival process, here is the list of documents that you need to apply for one.

4.1 – Documents required to get Vietnam Visa Approval Letter

To apply for Visa Approval Letter, you do not need to submit any documents. You only need to provide your travel information to the private agency through which you are applying for Visa Approval Letter. Below are the details that you need to provide:

  • Type of Visa Required – 1 month/3 months/6 months/1 year Visa either for Single/Multi Entry
  • Entry and Exit date
  • Purpose of Travel (travel or business)
  • Arrival Airport
  • Details of the applicant: Full Name, Passport Number & Expiry Date, Date of Birth, Nationality & Gender

4.2 – Documents required to get Vietnam Visa on Arrival once you land in Vietnam

When you land in Vietnam airport, you have to submit these documents to get visa stamp:

  • Passport: With at least 6-month validity
  • Photo: Two passport sized photos (4×6 cm) – with white background, front view, bare head, without sunglasses (01 photograph is pasted on form and 01 is enclosed – Keep few more copies handy).
  • Vietnamese Visa Application Form: You can download it here and can keep pre-filled copies to save your time once you land in Vietnam
  • Vietnam Visa Approval Letter: Take a print out of Visa Approval Letter for all travelling members as this is required if you want to obtain Vietnam Visa on arrival at Vietnam’s airport.
  • Cash for Visa Stamping Fee: This fee needs to be paid in cash upon arrival (Depends on kind and duration of visa ($25 for single entry and $50 for multiple entry))
  1. Vietnam visa official government website for Visa on arrival

Unfortunately, there is no official Government website for visa on arrival. If you apply for an E-visa, you can find out the government website for applying online. But if you apply visa on arrival, what you see is travel agency websites who try to sell their Vietnam visa.

As I mentioned above, you cannot apply visa on arrival with Vietnam Immigration Department directly. It is required to submit through a third party (travel agency). So, you need to find out a reliable travel agency, with the cheap price and good support to help you.

You can check the price for getting a visa approval letter here, and compare with other agencies.

  1. How to apply Vietnam visa on arrival

Getting Vietnam Visa on Arrival involves 2 steps:

Step 1: Apply for Vietnam Visa on Arrival Approval Letter.

Visa approval letter is the document which is required for getting the visa stamp on arrival at the airports. Don’t misunderstand with other countries’ visa on arrival. You only could get Vietnam visa on arrival if you already had the visa approval letter. Another notice is that the airlines staff will not let you board the flight if you do not show either Visa on Arrival Approval Letter or Vietnam E- Visa or Vietnam Visa pre-issued by embassy.

You may apply for Vietnam Visa Approval Letter through any of the Private agencies. A quick google search will show a large number of websites and it gets really confused which one to select since all of these are named and positioned for looking like government websites. But please note that there is no government website for visa on arrival. All are travel agencies. You can follow our suggestion to make it less confused: 1) Select one that charges minimum 2) drop an email to their customer support 3) If you get reply, you can ask more and then apply online at their website.

You can apply for your Approval letter from 2 days to 6 months prior to your Vietnam Travel. However, we do not suggest you apply for last minute. Your approval letter processing time normally takes 2 working days. If you apply too late, you may pay an extra fee for urgent process (Charges range from $6 to $50 depending on the agency you select and how fast you want your letter).

You will receive your Vietnam Visa on Arrival Approval Letter through email and it looks like this:

how Vietnam Visa Approval Letter looks like

 

Step 2: Get Vietnam Visa on Arrival once you land at any of Vietnam International Airports

Once you land at any of Vietnam International airports, just head to Visa on Arrival counter. To get your Visa on Arrival stamped, show your Vietnam Visa on Arrival Approval letter and submit your documents (see part 4 – documents for applying visa on arrival) along with Visa Stamping Fee in cash (25 USD for single entry visa and 50 USD for multiple entry visa).

After submitting your documents, it is about 30 minutes for getting back passport with visa stamp. Some travel agencies offer fast track service which helps you to get visa stamp quicker. Once you get your Visa on Arrival stamped on your passport, head to immigration counters.

This is how Vietnam Visa on Arrival stamping looks like

how Vietnam Visa on arrival looks like

 

  1. Visa on arrival fees

There are two fee components for Vietnam Visa on Arrival

7.1 – Vietnam Visa on Arrival Approval Letter (through Private Agencies)

The price for getting a visa approval letter is not fixed. It depends on the travel agency you choose, and it varies from 6 USD to 50 USD (some even higher). You should carefully search for the price of some different agencies, and contact with the cheapest one to ask for detail information.

You can see reference of visa approval letter fee here.

7.2 – Vietnam Visa on Arrival Stamping Fee at Vietnam Airports

The price for getting visa stamp fee at the airport is fixed. You have to pay Visa Stamp fee once you land at any of Vietnam International Airports – $25 for Single Entry/$ 50 for Multiple Entry (less than 3 months of stay), $ 95 for Multiple Entry (6 months of stay) or $ 135 for Multiple Entry (1 year of stay). You can pay Stamp fee either in US dollars or Vietnamese Dong. I recommend you to use US dollars since it has good exchange balance and it is easy to get (Vietnam Dong is a little bit difficult to get when you are outside Vietnam).

  1. Tips for Vietnam visa on arrival

  • It takes 2 working days for processing a visa approval letter, so you should apply it a couple of weeks before your entry date.
  • Visa on Arrival is NOT applicable for travel through land and Cruise. Visa on Arrival is valid only for air travel to 6 international airports in Vietnam.
  • Airlines will not let you board your flight unless you display Visa on Arrival Approval Letter or Vietnam E-Visa or Vietnam Visa issued by Embassy. Either of them is mandatory to even board a flight.
  • There is NO OFFICIAL website for visa on arrival service and there is no way you can get full Visa on Arrival in advance. You have to go through 2-step process only. All websites offering pre-approved visa letter are private agencies. Do not get confused by bulk of websites with organizational internet domain TLDs (org, gov, vn etc.).
  • If you are with children and elderly people, please request officials there for priority.
  • Visa Stamping Fee at Vietnam Airport is the same both for adults and children.

We hope that this information helps you untangle the complex Visa on Arrival process for your next Vietnam Trip. If you have any questions, please feel free to drop us an email and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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