Vietnam Visa On Arrival: How does it work?

So, you’ve decided that you want to come to Vietnam and are interested in getting a Visa On Arrival.

What’s the next step?

A Visa On Arrival is one of the simplest and fastest ways to obtain a visa for entrance into Vietnam. It can be for a number of purposes (to study, work or travel) and be for various lengths of time. You will be given a Visa On Arrival invitation letter which you take to the airport. You will then get your visa stamped in your passport once you arrive in Vietnam. It’s super quick and easy!

Firstly, apply online through a trusted Vietnam Visa Agency – I liked Make sure you do your research, read any reviews and only go with a trusted agency. There are a lot of scams out there and it is not uncommon for people to be turned away at the airport for not having the correct invitation letter for their Visa On Arrival. But never fear, this article will make sure that nothing goes wrong when your apply for your Visa On Arrival.

Firstly, you will need to complete a quick and easy application form. You will be asked for information such as your date of birth, nationality, gender, family members, occupation and purpose for travelling to Vietnam. You will also need to complete your entry and exit date and passport number.  Make sure these things are correct! There’s nothing wrong with checking and double checking the details so that everything goes smoothly for you.

The next step will be to make an online payment. There are two types of payment that will need to be made. One is the processing fee. This is paid to your visa agent and covers the cost of sending your details to immigration and getting the invitation letter. Make sure that the visa agent that you use offers a secured payment method such as Paypal/ Credit/ Debit/ Visa/ One Pay/ American Express etc. You will receive a receipt and an estimated time of arrival for your visa.

Usually, it only takes 2 working days to receive your visa (depending on which type you are applying for). However, I would apply for your Visa On Arrival about two weeks in advance, just to be sure. There are also 2 day visa and emergency visa options for people working to a tight deadline- but these cost more money. Speak with you Visa Agent for exact fees.

Once you have applied for your Visa On Arrival it will be processed instantly. Very soon you will receive your pre-approved Visa letter (or Visa On Arrival invitation letter) by email. You just need to print this and take it to the airport with you. Easy peasy! You should try and print the visa invitation letter in colour if possible but it’s not essential. Also, bring two passport sized photos with you to the airport. These can be sized for Vietnam or your home country- it doesn’t matter. I also recommend packing your Visa On Arrival letter neatly in a folder so it doesn’t get squashed or damaged on your journey.

The second payment is the airport/ stamp fee.  There are three international airports which you can fly into and use your Visa On Arrival. These are Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Lat, Nha Trang, Phu Quoc, Ho Chi Minh and Da Nang International airport. This is paid when you get the visa stamped in your passport by the Vietnamese Immigration on your arrival in Vietnam. This should be paid in either Vietnamese Dong or US dollars. They won’t accept any other currencies. The fee that you will need to pay depends on the type of visa you require and how long you are staying for. Be sure to check with your agent what the exact fee will be. Make sure you have the cash on you because Vietnamese Immigration does not accept card payments.

Things to note:

  • Firstly, your passport will need to have at least six months validity left, no matter what visa you are applying for.
  • Also, most legitimate visa agents will have a service where you can check the status of your Visa On Arrival online, using a reference code.
  • The Immigration Office is not open at the weekends and so processing time is only for working days. Therefore, if you apply for your visa on arrival on a late Friday afternoon or evening (after Immigration is closed) then your visa will not begin to be processed until the following Monday.
  • Please also be aware of the time difference between your home country and Vietnam. If you are in certain parts of the US, then Vietnam may be an extra 12 or even 24 hours ahead of you. It’s important to think about this if applying close to the end of the week.
  • You can ONLY use a Visa On Arrival for travel by air. It is not possible to arrive at a land border crossing without a visa already in your passport. Many people get turned away at the border for not having the visa stamp in their passport. Make sure it’s not you!

If you are ready to apply quickly and easily for your Vietnam Visa On Arrival then please get in touch!

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