One of the most important travel requirements that a foreigner must prepare before flying into Vietnam is the visa. Nowadays, there are plenty of ways to apply for a visa to Vietnam. You can apply online for the Vietnam e-visa or you can choose to receive the visa on arrival. However, not all foreign nationals are eligible for the e-visa or visa on arrival.
For those foreign nationals who cannot get the Vietnam e-visa or visa on arrival, the only option they have is to apply for the visa from a Vietnam embassy near them. Here’s everything you need to know on how to get a visa at the embassy of Vietnam.
Requirements for Vietnam Visa Application at the Embassy
First of all, you need to prepare the requirements needed for the visa application. You should compile them ahead of time before you visit the embassy of Vietnam. Here are the requirements:
- Visa application form with an attached photo – you can download a copy of the visa application form from the official website of the Vietnam embassy where you intend to apply. Print this form and make sure you fill it out completely. Write down your name correctly and the other important details. Then attach your photo on the form. Make sure the photo is taken recently and displays your face clearly. Refer to the form for the detailed requirements of the photo that you are required to attach.
- Original passport – you are required to submit the original copy of your passport to the embassy. It’s important that the passport will be valid for six months from your date of entry into Vietnam.
- Prepaid return envelope – if you wish to get your visa by mail, you need to include a prepaid return envelope on your visa application. The envelope must be self-addressed and has to be enclosed in your application form and passport. If you wanted to submit your application personally and claim the visa from the embassy, then there’s no need to attach this envelope.
How To Apply for the Vietnam Visa at the Embassy
If you are able to personally appear at the Vietnam embassy, then you can submit your visa application personally. It’s also possible to apply for your Vietnam embassy through an agency. The embassy will collect the requirements from you and will send in your application to the Vietnam embassy. If your visa application is approved, you will get it from the agency.
After submitting your requirements, you will be asked to wait for a certain number of days. The processing time will usually depend on the Vietnam embassy where you have chosen to apply. This should not take longer than two weeks. Also, there are instances when the embassy will call you to submit additional documents and this can further delay your visa application. Also, if you have applied for the visa during the peak travel season, your visa could take longer to be processed. So it’s highly recommended that you apply for the visa at the embassy of Vietnam at least two weeks prior to your trip.
There are also instances that your visa will be available after only three business days. Once your visa is approved, the agency or embassy will call you about this so you can personally claim your visa. But if you have requested for the visa to be mailed, then it will be sent to you through the prepaid envelope you have attached.
Important Things to Keep In Mind
As mentioned, there are instances where you will be asked to submit additional requirements for your visa application. Make sure to provide these documents or your visa will be denied. For instance, if you are applying for a visa for business purposes, you might be required to have a sponsorship or an invitation letter from a Vietnamese national. This is why it’s a good idea to apply through an agency that will advise you on the requirements ahead of time.
You will be required to pay for the visa-processing fee. The mode of payment will depend on the embassy from which you applied for the visa. Some embassies will accept bank transfer while others accept only cash. If you will apply through the agency, they may collect cash from you. The fee will vary depending on the type of visa that you have applied and the period of validly.
But take note that the processing fee is non-refundable. So if your visa is denied, you can’t request to get your money back. And if you decide to cancel your trip, the processing fee will not be returned to you. Furthermore, the Vietnam Immigration reserves the right to withhold the reason for rejecting a visa application. For those whose visa has been denied, they can choose to apply again after six months.