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Vietnam Visa – Complete Guide (2019)

Vietnam Visa – Complete Guide (2019)

Applying for a Vietnam tourist or business visa is a simple straight forward process. At least for residents of most countries. Vietnam offers visa exemption for 24 countries and e-visa for additional 81 countries. Here is our full guide on obtaining a Vietnam visa.

The visa regulations in Vietnam keep changing. There was a major change to the visa regulations in August 2018. Countries, including many Asia Pacific and Western European countries saw a reduction in the length of the visa they could obtain, particularly for business visa.

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Many countries that were able to get 12 months business visa before August 2018, now only get a 3-month business visa. And countries such as Turkey saw the possible length of their visa go from 3 months to 30 days, or even less in some cases.

Example of Vietnamese Business Visa

Tourist Visa vs Business Visa

If you intend to do any business in Vietnam, you are required to get a business visa. The difficulty of getting a business visa vs a tourist visa is the same. There is no need for an invitation letter from a company but business visa is more expensive than tourist visa.

With the new visa regulations, only passport holders from the United States are allowed a 12 month multiple-entry business visa.

Visa Exemptions

Passport holders from 24 countries do not need visa to enter Vietnam. The length they are allowed to stay varies between 14 to 90 days depending on the country. There is no cost associated with visa exemptions but you will need to have at least 6 months remaining on the validity of your passport, and 2 available pages. You will also be required to show proof of plan for exiting Vietnam.

Countries with 15 days visa exemption must allow 30 days between visits to Vietnam.

90 days visa exemption: Chile

30 days visa exemption: Cambodia, Indonesia, Kyrgizstan, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand.

21 days visa exemption: Philippines

15 days visa exemption: Belarus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom (British citizens only).

14 days visa exemption: Brunei, Myanmar.

Example of Vietnamese E-Visa Approval Letter

E-Visa (On-Arrival Visa)

Vietnam Immigration Office introduced e-visa in 2017 and has since been expanding the list of countries that are eligible for the program. There are currently 81 countries eligible for e-visa, or on-arrival visa.

With e-visa, you can get both tourist visa and business visa, either for maximum of 1 month or 3 months, single entry and multiple-entry visa.

The price for a single entry tourist visa ranges from USD 32 to USD 53, including the government stamping fee. The price for multiple-entry tourist visa ranges from USD 65 to USD 88. The price difference depends on whether you choose a 1 month visa or 3 months visa.

Business e-visa is more expensive than tourist e-visa. The price varies between agencies but expect to pay around USD 80 for a single entry 1 month visa and up to USD 145 for a 3 month multiple entry visa.

Countries Eligible for E-Visa

Countries that are eligible for e-visa (on-arrival visa): all European Union countries, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Armania, Azerbijan, Belarus, Bosnia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, China, Columbia, Cuba, Fiji, Georgia, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Macau, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldavia, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Myanmar, Nauru, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Switzerland, Timor Leste, UAE, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Vietnam Visa

How long does it take to get e-visa approval letter? The processing time of the e-visa approval letter various between agencies but most of them guarantee the letter in less than 4 days. Many of the agencies offer express service at an additional cost. That can reduce the processing time down to as little as 2 hours.

How long does it take to get the visa processed at the airport? It depends on the season and airport. At Hanoi and Saigon airports, it usually take between 30 – 60 minutes. During holiday season, it may take longer. It usually takes no longer than 30 minutes at Nha Trang and Da Nang airports.

What happens if I overstay my Vietnam visa? If you overstay by only 1-3 days, it’s recommended that you pay the fine at the immigration office at the airport. If you overstay by more than 3 days, it is recommended that you visit the immigration office in Hanoi and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) to address the overstay, and pay the fine. The fines vary depending on number of days overstayed, repeat offense, etc… but you can estimate it at around VND 500,000 per day you overstay.

Can I extend or renew my Vietnam visa without leaving Vietnam? Yes, there are agencies such as Vietnam-Immigration and My Vietnam Visa that offers both Vietnam visa extension and renewal services.

What happens to my Vietnam Visa if my passport gets lost or stolen? You must get a police report that your passport has been lost or stolen, and new passport or travel document from your embassy or consulate. Then you have to bring these documents to the Vietnam Immigration Office to get a new visa. You will not be allowed to exit Vietnam until you have a new visa.

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Tips on Vietnam Visa

  • Make sure to have your visa in order before departing for Vietnam. Most airlines will not allow you to board the airplane to Vietnam without having the visa. In case of e-visa, make sure to print your e-visa page to show at the airline check-in counter.
  • Vietnamese visa will use up a whole page of your passport. So make sure you have at least 1 page remaining of your passport before coming to Vietnam.
  • Transit in Vietnam. If you’re only transiting in Vietnam, you are allowed to stay airside, inside the terminal area. And you’re only allowed to stay 24 hours. Staying overnight in the terminal area is allowed.
  • There are no requirements for vaccinations to get a Vietnam visa. But you may want to consult your local hospital for recommendation on whether you should have vaccinations or not.
  • You must have at least 6 months remaining on the validity of your passport.
  • If you’re entering Vietnam through its international airports, make sure to enter the right queue. If you don’t already have a visa, you need to enter the visa queue first, obtain visa and then go to the immigration queue. This also applies if you got e-visa. With e-visa, you’ll need to enter the visa queue first before entering the immigration queue.
  • Government stamping fees will need to be paid in cash, preferably in U.S. dollars. The fee is USD 25 for single entry tourist visa and USD 50 for multi-entry visa.
  • There is no official government website for e-visa. You will have to go through a visa agency.
  • Have everything ready before arriving at the airport. This includes visa approval letter (if applicable), visa application form, passport photo and cash for the visa stamping fee.
  • Apparently you can get a passport photo taken at both Hanoi and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) airports for USD 2 per photo. But we suggest you get these sorted before departing.
  • Make sure to review all documents before departing for Vietnam. Your visa may be rejected if there is incorrect information, typos, etc…

Disclaimer: The text above is provided for information only. Vietnamese visa regulation are constantly changing so visit your embassy website for the latest information.