Vietnam Visas and Formalities


Foreigners who would like to enter Vietnam need a valid passport.

Do I need a visa to visit Vietnam?

Most travelers to Vietnam will need to arrange a valid visa before they enter the country, so the answer is usually yes. There are some exceptions:

Nationals of certain countries may visit Vietnam without visa for a period of time, hereunder is the list of countries and regions that have visa exemption arrangements with Vietnam.

Areas Countries Term of residence
Asia Singapore less than 30 days
Thailand less than 30 days
Malaysia less than 30 days
Philippines less than 21 days
Laos less than 30 days
Indonesia less than 30 days
Japan less than 15 days
South Korea less than 15 days
Nordic Sweden less than 15 days
Finland less than 15 days
Denmark less than 15 days
Norway less than 15 days


 Visa Requirements

Citizens of other countries are required to get an entry visa for Vietnam before departure or an approval letter for a Visa on Arrival (the visa issued on arrival at Vietnam International Airports)

To obtain your entry visa you have to apply to any Vietnam Embassies and/or Consulates worldwide. You need a passport with at least 6 months validity.

What is “Visa on Arrival” (VOA)?

It is the easiest, fastest and cheapest way to get your visa to Vietnam without having to queue at the embassies or consulates. The entry visa will be stamped on the passport as you pass through the Vietnam immigration check-in door at Vietnam visa airports (Hanoi/ Noi bai airport, Ho Chi Minh City/ Tan Son Nhat airport or other). You can choose either to pay directly the stamp fee to the Authority or pay to your travel agent. The validity of visa is 30 days but it can be extended easily when you arrive to Vietnam.

You need to have Approval Letter from Vietnam Department of Immigration to be able to get a stamp at airports. You can receive it within 2 working days (normal service) via email or fax. To get your visa stamped when you arrive to Vietnam, you need to show:

- Your valid passport

- Printed visa approval letter

- The entry and exit form (filled in before)

- 2 passport-sized photos

- Stamping fee

What is “Approval Letter”?

Visa approval letter is a document issued by Vietnam Immigration Department to certify that you are accepted to get Vietnam visa on arrival at one out of three international airports in Vietnam.  Without this letter, you cannot have visa and you will have to return to your original departure. Before issuing an approval letter, the Immigration Department strictly checks your application. So with an approval letter in hand, there is no reason that makes you to be rejected at Vietnam airport.

Extension of stay:

You can extend tourist visas for up to a month and the best way to do this is through a travel agent in Vietnam. Rates vary depending on the agent used. Do not overstay your visa.

How many types of Vietnam visa?

1. Tourist Visa

- 1 month single entry and 1 month multiple entry

- Maximum stay in Vietnam of 30 days

- Can be extended once time after your arrival in Vietnam

2. Diplomatic and official Visa

- No fees applied unless otherwise agreed upon between Vietnam and applicant’s country

- On applying visa, an official letter by the concerned agencies of local government, foreign embassies or consulates accredited to the applicant’s country, international organizations, or other accredited organizations based in that country must be submitted.

3. Transit visa (or visa for city visiting)

- Maximum duration of this type of visa is 5 days

- Transit visa will be issued for groups in tour, accompanied with a tour guide.

4. Business visa or other types of Visa

- Multiple entry and available to stay three or six months.

- Required to obtain the approval from sponsors in Vietnam.

 What is the difference between single entry visa and multiple entry visa?

- Single entry visa: You are allowed to enter Vietnam ONCE only during your visa validity. If you want to re-enter, you need to apply for multiple entry visa

- Multiple entry visa: You can enter and exit Vietnam as many times as you want during your visa validity.

News & Updates on stamping fee for 2013

Arrival in 2013: Stamp fee at the airport (price per person)
45 USD for Single 1 month
65 USD for Multiple 1 month or Single 3 months
95 USD for Multiple 3 months

Fill this form and apply to the immigration office at your arrival airport.

The visa application form may vary from Embassy to Embassy, so you need to take the form from the specific Embassy where you will obtain your visa. Submit this filled form with your original passport, 2 or 3 photos, accompanied by the visa fees. If you apply directly to the Embassy, your information will then be sent to Hanoi for approval. Therefore, it will take between 4 to 10 days depending on your country of origin