How to Get a Visa for Vietnam: Frequently Asked Questions

Travellers often have many questions regarding their upcoming trips. Where will you stay? What are your plans upon arrival? People who are traveling outside of their home countries may also ask, “What about a visa?”

Visas are often a necessary part of travelling internationally. The necessary steps to obtain a visa vary from country to country and depend on the traveller’s passport country. In the post below, we answer frequently asked questions regarding getting a visa to enter Vietnam. With the right guidance and planning, travellers can navigate the Vietnam visa process with ease.

 1. What is a visa on arrival?

A visa on arrival (VOA) is a legal document approved by the Vietnam Department of Immigration. Some of the benefits of a VOA include:

  • Legitimacy: The Vietnam Department of Immigration is the authority that grants and approves each VOA.
  • Convenience: VOAs involve an easy online application and do not require you to send in your passport or passport photos before you travel. Also, VOA applications typically do not face delays.
  • Cost-effectiveness: VOAs are often the lowest cost method for obtaining a Vietnam visa. This benefit is particularly important for budget travellers who wish to travel inexpensively.
  • Speed: A traveller can complete a visa on arrival application within two working days. Often, if there is an emergency, the Department of Immigration may be able to grant a Vietnam visa within two to three hours. If you need an emergency visa on arrival, reach out to our team directly to discuss your emergency visa needs.

2. Are visas on arrival legitimate?

Yes, visas on arrival are legitimate. A Vietnam visa on arrival is a legitimate way to receive a visa to visit Vietnam, and in fact, visas on arrival are one of the most common ways that travellers to Vietnam source their visas. In addition to the legitimacy of VOAs, many people consider visas on arrival to be the most convenient, fastest, and affordable ways to obtain a Vietnam visa. In many cases, travellers can get entry visas as low as US $17 per visa, depending on a traveller’s length of stay and desired number of entries. The Vietnam Department of Immigration grants all types of visas on arrival. Travellers can then pick up their approved visas on arrival after landing at one of Vietnam’s international airports.

3.What is the visa approval letter?

The Vietnam Department of Immigration grants visa approval letters, which allow travellers to enter and exit Vietnam for a given period of time. With a visa approval letter, travellers can pick up your visa on arrival at one of the several international airports in Vietnam. These international airports include:

  • Hanoi
  • Da Nang
  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • Nha Trang

At the airport, the entry authority will verify the details of the visa approval letter based on your passport and travel documents. As long as you have entered the correct information on your visa application, you should have no problems gaining entry into Vietnam with your visa approval letter. Once the immigration officer reviews your documents, the officer will stamp your Vietnam visa in your passport.

4.How long does it take to get the visa approval letter?

The Vietnam Department of Immigration processes visa approval letters and emails them to travellers typically within two business days of the traveller’s application. Processing days do not include Saturday, Sunday, and major national and international holidays. In some cases, travellers may be able to receive an expedited visa approval letter for an extra service fee. How much is a Vietnam visa on arrival with expedited processing? Expedited visa on arrival processing options include:

  • Processing within four to eight hours for an additional $20 per applicant.
  • Processing within one business day for an additional $10 per applicant.
  • Urgent processing on national or international holidays. For urgent processing, please call us or contact us via email for details and assistance

Please take note that the above urgent processing times do not apply between 12:00 PM Friday and 9:00 AM Monday, local time in Vietnam. Please consider the time difference between Vietnam and your application location. However, note that visa desks at Vietnam’s international airports are open 24/7. As long as you have your visa approval letter, you will still be able to get your Vietnam visa on a weekend arrival.

5. How do I receive my visa approval letter?

Receiving your visa approval letter is easy and convenient. We send travellers a scanned file of their visa approval letters via email. So, please be sure to provide us with your correct email address. You will need the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader in order to open the file. Travellers will then need to print their visa approval letters and present their printed copies upon arriving into Vietnam.

6. Are there any exceptions for entry into Vietnam with a visa on arrival?

A visa on arrival is only valid for people who will arrive in Vietnam at one of Vietnam’s international airports. Travelers entering Vietnam by land or sea must visit a Vietnam Embassy to get their visa stamp. Vietnam immigration officials will accept visa approval letters at the following international airports in Vietnam:

  • Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi)
  • Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City)
  • Danang Airport (Da Nang)
  • Cam Ranh Airport (Nha Trang)

There is a 15-day free visa exemption for some passport holders. The Vietnam Department of Immigraition offers this exemption to passport holders from the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, and Germany. Travelers from those countries can travel to Vietnam without a visa for 15 days. Passport holders from Japan, South Korea, Philippines, and Chile can also enjoy visa exempt stay. The visa-exempt stay duration for travellers from those countries is between 14 to 90 days. Travellers who wish to obtain long-term Vietnam visas will need to apply for a visa on arrival or a visa from their country’s Vietnam embassy.

7. Do you require a scan of my passport?

We do not require passport scans for online visa applications. However, it is often a good idea for travellers to carry a copy of their passports with them during their travels. If travellers lose their passports, a passport copy may come in handy.

8. Do I need to provide a photo for my Vietnam visa? If so, what size photo do I need?

Yes, travellers need to provide photos for their visas on arrival. Travellers must bring at least two standard passport photos. The required photo size is 4cm x 6cm. Please note that if you do not have time to prepare these photos before your departure, you can have the photo vendors take your picture at the airport in Vietnam for about US $2 per photo. Of course, travellers will also need to provide photo ID upon arrival to Vietnam.

9. What if my passport has expired?

To apply for a visa to visit Vietnam, your passport must be valid for at least six months following your intended date of arrival. Therefore, if your passport is about to expire, please renew it before applying for a visa to Vietnam in order to avoid unwanted issues at the airport.

10. Do I need to provide the exact date of my arrival on my visa application? What if I am unsure when I will arrive?

Travellers do need to provide a date of arrival. The arrival date you provide should be the earliest you plan to arrive. If your plans change and you arrive after the arrival date you provided, that is fine. However, you can not arrive before the listed arrival date. Also, the departure date you provide on your application is the last day that you can stay in Vietnam. If you wish to extend your stay, you must apply for a visa extension. For example, if you apply for a one-month visa and submit your arrival date as January 1st, 2021, your visa approval letter will be valid from January 1st to February 1st, 2021. You can enter the country at any time during January, but you must leave on or before February 1st.

11. What is the stamping fee?

The visa stamping fee is the fee that travellers need to pay at a Vietnam airport to get the official Vietnam visa stamped in their passports. The stamping fee is $25 USD for a single-entry visa between one to three months, and the stamping fee is $50 USD for a multiple-entry visa between one to three months. Note that travellers must pay the stamping fee in cash using either Vietnam dong or U.S. dollars. The immigration officials at the airport do not accept credit cards, and it may be difficult to find an ATM.

12. Can I travel without a visa approval letter and still get a visa when I arrive in Vietnam?

No, you cannot. In order to board the plane, you must show your visa approval letter to the airline representatives. We strongly recommend that you apply for your Vietnam visa before you leave for Vietnam in order to avoid a delay at the airport or a need to change your flight. 

13. What if I change my flight and arrive at another airport in Vietnam?

A Vietnam visa on arrival works at any of Vietnam’s four international airports, including:

  • Tan Son Nhat (Ho Chi Minh City)
  • Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi)
  • Danang Airport (Da Nang)
  • Cam Ranh Airport (Nha Trang)

If you change your flight to any of the above airports, you should not expect any problems obtaining your visa. However, note that your date of entry in Vietnam needs to be after the arrival date and before the departure date that you listed on your visa on arrival application form.

We want the process of obtaining your Vietnam visa to go smoothly. For additional assistance, please contact our team at Vietnam Visa. You can reach us by email at, or you can call us on our hotline at (+84) 832-320-320.