Vietnam is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia and welcomes millions of visitors every year. The amount of visitors seem to rise by each year and people are finally discovering the beauty and charm of this Southeast Asian gem. If you’re wondering why people are flocking to Vietnam, there’s multiple answers to this. Perhaps people go here because of the cuisine that has taken the world by storm, or maybe it’s the pristine beaches with its crystal clear water that lures visitors here, or perhaps it’s the green and lush landscapes with mountains and jungles. Whatever it is, it’s definitely worth traveling to Vietnam to see it for yourself.
As a citizen of Gabon, you are required to apply for a Vietnam visa regardless of the length of your stay. This means that even if you’re planning on only staying for a few days, or even hours, you must apply for a Vietnam visa. But since the tourism boom started, the government had to come up with solutions on how foreigners could acquire a visa easy, fast and affordable. Nowadays you have an online option, which is the Visa on Arrival, or you can go to your nearest Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate and apply for a visa with them. The online option is by far the most popular way to get a visa – you can even get it within a few hours, if you get an “Emergency Visa”. Let’s have a look at the two options:
I heard about Vietnam e-visa. Can I apply for Vietnam e-visa if I am citizens of Gabon? (No, Gabonese citizens are not eligible for Vietnam e-visa)
From 01 Feb 2019, under Decision 17/2019/NĐ-CP of the Government of Vietnam, there are 80 countries which citizens of it are eligible to apply online for an e-visa of Vietnam online (e-visa is a single entry valid for staying 30 days). We check but not found Gabon national in this list, therefore, Gabonese citizens should choose two options below to get a visa for Vietnam
1. Visa on Arrival (VOA) – Apply online for pre-approval then pick up your visa on arrival at the airport of Vietnam
This is the most preferred option for many travellers. If you live far away from the Vietnamese Embassy for example, or you do not want to send important documents such as your passport, this is a good option for you. It’s also easy, quick and affordable. To apply for a VOA, you need your computer and internet. If you get a Visa on Arrival, you are allowed to enter Vietnam through any of the 5 international airports: Da Nang, Khanh Hoa, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Hai Phong. You can only travel by air if you get a VOA, meaning you can’t enter Vietnam by bus, car, and so forth.
The process is very simple. What you need to do is fill in the Online Application form with all relevant information. What you need to state in the application form is:
- Your full name, as stated in your passport
- Date of Birth – The format they use in Vietnam is DD/MM/YY
- Your nationality – as stated in your passport
- Your passport number
- Date of Arrival – you can state a date of arrival and then arrive later, but not earlier
After you have filled this information out, you have to wait for a confirmation email which usually arrives within 1-2 working hours. Normally you will receive an Approval Letter within 2 working days. When the letter comes, don’t forget to print it out so the immigration officers in Vietnam can stamp your passport. If you need an emergency visa, you can get one within 40 minutes to 4 hours. This will cost you more money, but you will be able to get it much faster.
You also have the option to buy “On Arrival Support” which is a very good option for those who wants to check in to Vietnam faster:
- Standard Support : +US$20/pp
Our staff will meet you in front of the “visa on arrival” desk with a welcome board, then take care of all procedures necessary to get the visa stamped on your passport. Please prepare 25 USD/person and give it to our staff to pay for the visa stamp fee.
- VIP Support : +US$35/pp
Our staff will meet you in front of the “visa on arrival” desk with a welcome board, receive your passport and give it back with the visa within 5-10 minutes, then escort you to check out via the VIP gate. Please prepare 25 USD/person and give it to our staff to pay for the visa stamp fee.
2. Apply for a visa through the Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate in the nearby countries of Gabon
The second option is to apply for a visa in your local or nearest Vietnamese Embassy or Consulate in Gabon. The reason why this option might not be recommended is because it’s not as convenient if you don’t live close to the embassy. It means you will have to spend time on transportation and money. You also need to remember to bring all the necessary documents, such as passport, and if you happen to forget anything, you need to start the process all over again. It’s time consuming and you usually need to pick up your passport in the embassy or consulate. Also, be kindly advised that the fees and procedures are subject to change depending on where you apply.