VIETNAM VISA INSTRUCTIONS
Applying for your Vietnam Visa can sometimes be confusing, here are some useful information to help facilitate this process.
WHO NEEDS A VISA FOR VIETNAM
Most nationalities require a visa to enter Vietnam with the following exceptions:
90 days without a visa: Kyrgizistan
30 days without a visa: Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.
21 days without a visa: Philippines
15 days without a visa: United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Japan, South Korea and Russia (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain will be exempted until 30 June 2016).
14 days without a visa: Cambodia and Brunei.
Note: Visa-free entry is only permitted ONE time within the same calendar month. If multiple entries are required within one month, a standard Vietnam Visa must be obtained.
TYPES OF TOURIST VISAS:
1. Single Entry Visas (NOT applicable to U.S. Passport Holders).
Visa On Arrival is valid for stays in Vietnam of up to 30 days after date of entry. Visa Extensions are available for up to one month. Visa issued from the Embassy is valid for stays of up to 30 days and must be used within 3 months of the visa being issued. PLEASE NOTE: As of August 29, 2016, Single Entry visas are no longer issued for U.S. Passport Holders.
2. Multiple Entry Visas.
Valid for stays of up to 90 days after date of entry, and must be used within one year from date of visa issuance. A multi-entry visa is required for all travelers who will leave and reenter Vietnam on one itinerary (with the exception of travelers who fly in and connect immediately to an international flight without leaving the international terminal). Please note: travelers who arrive on a domestic flight followed by an international flight connection must still apply for a multiple-entry visa if entering Vietnam a second time). Multiple entry visa can be applied for upon arrival (Invitation Letter must indicate multi-entry in such case) or from the embassy.
METHODS FOR APPLYING FOR A VIETNAM VISA:
There are three methods of applying for a Vietnam Entry Visa :
(1) Visa on arrival
(2) Through the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate
(3) Through a Visa Agency
In order to apply for a visa on arrival, an Invitation Letter must be obtained before your trip. Airlines will require either an Invitation letter OR your Vietnam Visa to allow boarding your flight to Vietnam. Visa on arrival works for air travel ONLY, and available at three international airports (Hanoi, Danang and Ho Chi Minh City). If you arrive in Vietnam by land or by cruise, you must obtain your Vietnam Visa in advance at a Vietnamese embassy or consulate. With the Vietnam Visa in hand (via advance method), you may enter Vietnam via all entry points beyond the aforementioned international gateways. Please refer to the the overland border crossing points on the right side of this page.
APPLYING FOR VISA ON ARRIVAL:
If you do not wish to send in your passport to the Vietnamese Consulate or do not live near a consulate to apply in person, you have the option to apply for a visa on arrival. However, in doing so, it is necessary to first obtain an Invitation Letter from the Immigration Authorities in Vietnam. If you are traveling with us and prefer the Visa on Arrival method, we can furnish your invitation letter free of charge. It is important to note, however, that this method does lengthen your arrival time as you will be required to go through a separate visa line prior to proceeding to the immigrations checkpoint. Please contact the Vietnamese Consulate near you to obtain the most updated information.
Invitation letter from the Vietnam authorities (see procedure below)
Passport (must be valid for at least six months, and have one full page for the visa stamp)
One* Standard Passport Photo (recent photo, not same as one on your passport unless passport was renewed within the past 6 months)
Visa application form
Visa Stamping Fee (currently $135 for U.S. passport holders. Subject to change without notice)
*A second passport photo is required if the visa form is NOT completed online.
Visa on Arrival for single entry visa and is valid for 30 days after date of entry. Visa extensions are available for up to 1 month.
OBTAINING AN INVITATION LETTER
Explorient can apply for an invitation letter for clients booking a trip with us to Vietnam. Please note that an invitation letter is NOT the same as visa approval letter. The following information is required for the Invitation Letter processing. Explorient travelers can fill out our Passport Information Form and return it to your travel consultant at time of reservation. Processing type is between 5 and 10 business days for normal processing. Expedited Processing (2 day service) is available at an additional cost.
- Passport details
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Passport number
- Date of issue
- Ddate of expiry)
- Dates of travel
- Port of entry
- Single vs. multiple entry Visa
If you are NOT traveling with Explorient, you can apply for an invitation letter through your travel agency or 3rd party Visa Agency.
PROCEDURES FOR VISA ON ARRIVAL
Upon arrival at a designated international airport, proceed to the Visa on Arrival Line. Processing time is approximately 30 minutes but this may vary. The following documents are required:
- Your Passport (must remain valid for 6 months from end of trip)
- Invitation Letter
- Two Passport Photos
- Visa Stamping Fee (presently at $135 for U.S. Passport Holders. Fee is subject to change without notice)
APPLYING FOR VISA THROUGH THE VIETNAMESE EMBASSY/CONSULATE:
A Visa to Vietnam can be applied for by MAIL or IN PERSON at the Embassy as early as six months prior to your date of travel.
Online Visa application form. (See instructions below)
Original passport (must be valid for at least six months, and have one full page for the visa stamp)
2 Standard Passport Photos (recent photo, not same as one on your passport unless passport was renewed within the past 6 months)
Visa Fee (see below for details)
A Prepaid return envelop if the applicant requests the visa be returned by mail.
Visa on Arrival is single entry visa and is valid for 30 days after date of entry and must be used with 3 months of being issued. Visa extensions are available for up to one month.
ONLINE VISA APPLICATION FORM
Complete and print the online visa application form available at the Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs site.
(1) choose ENGLISH language (top right corner);
(2) place of visa submission and collection. Select your nearest Vietnamese Consulate or “Vietnam Embassy in The United States of America”. (Note: this is where you will send your visa documents).
(3) All fields with (*) are mandatory.
(4) Your visa will be valid from proposed date of entry, which you indicate on your application in section 10.
(5) You have 15 minutes to complete the application form.
Use Acrobat Reader or compatible software to open the electronic application form (PDF format).
Check carefully your information, print and sign the form
Attach one (1) standard size (2″ x 2″) passport photo to the completed form
If by chance you already have a visa approval letter, reference the visa approval number on the top of the form. This may reduce the visa processing fee. Please check with your Vietnamese Embassy/Consulate for details.
In case it is not possible for you to fill in the visa application online, you can download visa application form and complete it by hand. Be sure to also include one additional standard sized passport photo (total of 2 photos).
As of August 29, 2016, the consular fee for a multi-entry Visa (1 year validity) is $200, subject to change by government authorities without notice.
Visa fees must be in the form of MONEY ORDER or CASHIER’S CHECK payable to “EMBASSY OF VIETNAM.” Applicants applying together may submit combined payment in one money order or one check.
For additional questions regarding your Vietnam Visa Application, please contact the Vietnamese Authorities directly via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by telephone at 202.861.0737 ext. 118/121/122/123/125/ 129
PROCEDURES AND PROCESSING TIME FOR APPLYING VISA THROUGH EMBASSY
Prepare your visa package, please include your completed visa application form, original passport, passport photos, fees and prepaid envelop* and send it to a Vietnamese Consular Authority, as chosen the “place of visa submission and collection” field on the online visa form. Refer to the column on the right of this page for the respective website and address information. Please be sure to double check their website to obtain the most up-to-date mailing information.
Normal processing time is five business days upon receipt of the aforementioned documents. Expedited processing is available at an additional cost and takes 1-2 business upon receipt. Refer to the price chart above for fees. Be sure to keep your tracking numbers to and from the Embassy.
*To ensure delivery, the Embassy advises to use USPS Express Mail or FedEx with the tracking numbers. Applicants applying together may provide one envelope for visas to be returned to the same address. For international shipping, please pay in the form of money order payable to the Embassy of Vietnam.
APPLYING FOR VISA THROUGH AN AUTHORIZED VISA AGENCY:
For those who do not wish to apply for the visa on arrival or find it too cumbersome (or risky) to mail the visa documents to the Vietnamese Consulate/Embassy, a third method is to go through a reliable and authorized Visa Agency such as VisaRite, our preferred partner for visa processing. VisaRite offers a service where they can obtain your Vietnam Visas with just electronic copies for your passport and photo. Please refer to the VisaRite Vietnam Visa page for more information.
Disclaimer: the information above is subject to change by the Vietnamese Authorities without notice. Always refer to the Vietnam Embassy / Consulate websites for the most up to date forms, procedures, fees and information.
VISA APPLICATION FORM FOR PRINT:
VIETNAM ENTRY & EXIT FORM:
Vietnamese Embassy (Washington D.C.)
1233 20th Street NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 861-0737
Fax: (202) 861-0917
Vietnamese Consulate (San Francisco)
1700 California Street, Suite 430
San Francisco, CA 94109
tel. 415-922-1577, fax 415-922-1848
Vietnamese Consulate (Houston)
5251 Westheimer Rd, Suite 1100
Houston, Texas 77056
Tel: 713-850-1233; Fax: 713-810-0159
Vietnamese Consulate (New York)
866 United Nations Plaza, Suite 435
New York, NY 10017
INTERNATIONAL ENTRY POINTS:
Noi Bai Internat’l Airport (Hanoi)*
Da Nang Internat’l Airport*
Tan Son Nhat Internat’l Airport (Ho Chi Minh City)*
Vinh Xuong – Khorm Samnor, Cambodia
Moc Bai Bavet, Cambodia
Lao Bao – Dan Savanh, Laos
Cau Treo – Lak Sao, Laos
Chalo – Mahaxai, Laos
Nghe An Nam Can (Xieng Khuang), Laos
Huu Nghi/Dong Dang – Huu Nghi Quan, China
Lao Cai – Ha Khau, China
Mong Cai – Dong Hung, China