How to Apply for a Vietnam Visa on Arrival

vietnam visa on arrival

Is a Vietnam visa on arrival available and who can get it? If you’re planning a holiday to Vietnam, keep in mind citizens of most countries are required to have a visa for entry. Many passport holders have the option to either obtain a Vietnam online Visa or get a Vietnam visa on arrival or Approval Letter if traveling by air.

However, even travelers who choose to get the Vietnam visa on arrival are required to pre-register an online form before traveling to the country.

Although there are some advantages to traveling to Vietnam with a visa on arrival, applying for the eVisa for Vietnam online saves the applicant the time and hassle of queuing and trying to organize paperwork at border entry points.

Where to Apply for a Visa on Arrival from Vietnam

International travelers can obtain a visa on arrival for Vietnam from any of the following 6 international airports:

  • Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi)
  • Cat Bi International Airport (Hai Phong)
  • Da Nang International Airport (Da Nang)
  • Cam Ranh International Airport (Nha Trang)
  • Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh City)
  • Phu Quoc International Airport

Prior to flying to Vietnam, foreign visitors must apply online for an Approval Letter, which can be exchanged for the visa on arrival at one of the airports listed above. This can be done from any location outside Vietnam with an internet connection.

How Does Vietnam Visa on Arrival Work?

The Vietnam visa on arrival can be obtained at any of the 6 main airports in Vietnam and is available for either a 30-day or 60-day stay in the country. A Vietnam visa on arrival for US citizens can be requested for a stay of up to a year in the country.

It is possible to obtain visas for different purposes in this manner, such as a Vietnam business visa on arrival.

Getting the visa on arrival requires submitting an online form before travel, as in the eVisa application. An Approval Letter for obtaining a Vietnam VOA will be sent to the applicant to print and present at the airport immigration office.

Steps Required to Apply for a Vietnam Visa on Arrival

International visitors to Vietnam must complete the following steps to obtain a visa on arrival:

  • Complete an online application for an Approval Letter
  • Provide a valid email address
  • Receive the Approval Letter by email within 1-5 working days and print a copy
  • Bring the Approval Letter, 2 passport-size photos, a valid passport, and the stamping fee (USD$25 for single entry; $50 for multiple entry) in cash to Vietnam
  • Present these required items at immigration to receive the visa on arrival stamp

The traveler’s passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of entry into Vietnam.

After visiting the airport immigration office, applicants are then required to wait in the immigration queue to get a passport stamp and gain entry to Vietnam.

Who Can Apply for a Vietnam Visa on Arrival?

Downsides of the Visa on Arrival for Vietnam

Travelers are advised to consider the pros and cons of both the eVisa and the visa on arrival for Vietnam before choosing which is the better option for their stay.

The visa on arrival has certain advantages worth considering, including the option to have either a 30-day or 60-day stay in Vietnam. However, there are some cons to the visa on arrival for Vietnam, including the fact that it requires more paperwork than the eVisa application.

Applicants for the Vietnam visa on arrival are still required to complete an online form with personal and passport information, and pay a fee with a debit or credit card before travel. Visa on arrival holders are also required to pay an additional Vietnam ‘stamp fee’ at the airport, which can only be paid in cash.

Also, while the eVisa for Vietnam permits holders access at 28 ports of entry, the Vietnam visa on arrival is only available for those traveling by air to the 6 main airports.

Overall, the eVisa allows the traveler to speed up the application process and gain faster and smoother entry to Vietnam.

Apply for an eVisa Instead of a Vietnam Visa on Arrival

The Vietnam eVisa is available for citizens from 80 eligible countries, including Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, and allows a single-entry stay of up to 30 days in Vietnam. Eligible citizens can apply for the eVisa through a simple Vietnam visa application that only takes a few minutes to complete.

Vietnam tourist eVisa applications are usually processed within 3 working days, although it’s advised to apply at least 7 days before the entry date to Vietnam, in the rare case of a delay.

Applicants are required to fill in the online form with some personal and passport information and provide an email address, as the electronic visa for Vietnam is sent to the inbox provided upon approval. The Vietnamese electronic Visa requirements also involve having a debit or credit card to pay the visa fee for Vietnam and providing a digital passport photo and scan of the data page of the applicant’s valid passport.

Upon visa approval, the traveler can print a copy of the Vietnam eVisa to present to border authorities on arrival. EVisa holders can head directly to border control to receive a stamp on their passport, and skip the visa on arrival queue completely.