Vietnam Visa on Arrival: How to Apply and Pros and Cons

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.

Pros and Cons of the Vietnam eVisa vs Visa On Arrival

One of the main advantages of the Vietnam E-Visa is that you can complete an online form with all of your personal and travel details. The Vietnam eVisa application must be done online and all you need is an Internet connection and a tablet, mobile or computer.

If you complete the online E-Visa form for Vietnam you do not need to pay a stamp fee upon arrival at the airport. Most applications are processed within 3 business days.

Once approved, the Vietnam E-Visa will have a 30-day validity to travel within the country. You will be able to use the electronic visa to enter Vietnam through 28 different ports of entry.

However, some of the disadvantages of an E-Visa for Vietnam are that only 81 countries are eligible to get it. An online visa is non-extendable and it is a single entry visa. Travelers should also consider that if the online visa application is denied, they cannot obtain a refund from the government of Vietnam.

When completing the Vietnam E-Visa form you should provide details of your port of entry and your exit point. You will also need to provide an address in the country, the address of your accommodation in Vietnam will suffice. Your passport should have a minimum validity of 6 months from the expected date of arrival in Vietnam and must have two blank pages.

To apply for an eVisa or online Visa for Vietnam you need:

  • A digital passport photo, in which you are strongly advised not to wear glasses, scarves, etc. Both ears must be shown.
  • A digital scan of the passport photo page. It can be in color or black and white but the info should be readable.
  • A credit or debit card to pay for the visa fee.

When the E-Visa is approved, you should print a copy to present at the airport. With your electronic visa, you can skip the visa on arrival line and head straight to border control where the immigration officers will stamp your passport.

How Does Vietnam Visa on Arrival Work?

The Vietnam visa on arrival can be obtained at any of the five 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.

Getting the visa on arrival requires submitting an online form before travel, as in the eVisa application, with processing taking around 2 business days. An Approval Letter for obtaining a Vietnam VOA will be sent to the applicant to print and present at the airport immigration office, and two passport-style photos must also be provided by the applicant.

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.

Pros and Cons of the Vietnam Visa-on-Arrival or Approval Letter

The visa-on-arrival, also called Approval Letter, has certain advantages worth considering. It is available to all travelers arriving by air and there are types of duration available. Travelers can choose between a 30-day stay or a 60-day stay. American citizens can request a one-year stay visa upon arrival in Vietnam. The processing time takes up to two working days and the online visa can be extended.

However, there is a downside to the Vietnam visa on arrival. The total price of this type of visa is unclear. It is available only at five main airports in Vietnam. The visa-on-arrival requires more paperwork than the electronic visa.

To obtain this visa, you need to have a digital passport photo, with the same requirements as those for the e-Visa. You are required to scan the passport photo page. You also need a debit or credit card to pay for the visa fee.

There are a few things you need to know before you apply for a visa-on-arrival. You will need to print the Vietnamese Approval Letter and prepare two passport-sized photos for obtain a visa on arrival. Upon arrival, you should present the Approval Letter and the passport-sized photos at the immigration office located at the airport before getting in the regular immigration line.

You will need to pay an additional “stamping fee” at the airport, besides the fee of the visa. This fee must be paid in cash, and you can use USD or Vietnamese Dong. ATMs are outside the customs area and you will not be able to take out money to pay for the fee.

If you need to obtain the visa-on-arrival, you still need to complete an online form with your personal detail and passport information and pay a fee with a debit or credit card.

The eVisa speeds up the process of obtaining a visa and makes arriving in Vietnam a smoother experience. Before applying verify that you meet the Vietnam online Visa requirements.

List of Country Citizens Can Be Offered Visa On Arrival to Vietnam